Kim Hunter

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Kim Hunter
Kim Hunter.jpg
Born Janet Cole
(1922-11-12)November 12, 1922
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died September 11, 2002(2002-09-11) (aged 79)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1943–2000
Spouse(s) William Baldwin (1944–46)
Robert Emmett (1951–2000)

Kim Hunter (November 12, 1922 – September 11, 2002) was an American film, theatre, and television actress. She won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, each as Best Supporting Actress, for her performance as Stella Kowalski in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire. Decades later she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on the long-running soap The Edge of Night.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hunter was born Janet Cole in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Grace Lind, who was trained as a concert pianist, and Donald Cole, a refrigeration engineer.[2] She attended Miami Beach High School.

Career[edit]

Hunter's first film role was in the 1943 film noir, The Seventh Victim. In 1947, she performed in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire, playing the role of Stella Kowalski. Recreating that role in the 1951 film version, Hunter won both the Academy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actress. In the interim, however, back in 1948, she had already joined with 'Streetcar' co-stars Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, and 47 others, to become one of the very first members accepted by the newly created Actors Studio.[3]

In 1952, fresh on the heels of her Supporting Actress Oscar, Hunter would become Humphrey Bogart's leading lady in Deadline USA. From Brando to Bogart, both critical and commercial success; it certainly seemed that Hunter's star was on the rise. For Hunter, however, as for so many, such certainties were about to be short-circuited.

Hunter was blacklisted from film and television in the 1950s, amid suspicions of communism in Hollywood, during the McCarthy Era. Streetcar director Elia Kazan gave her name to the House Un-American Activities Committee.[citation needed] She still appeared in an episode of CBS's anthology series Appointment with Adventure and NBC's Justice, based on case files of the New York Legal Aid Society.[4]

She appeared opposite Mickey Rooney in the 1957 live CBS-TV broadcast of The Comedian, a harrowing drama written by Rod Serling and directed by John Frankenheimer. In 1959 she appeared in Rawhide season 1/16 episode Incident of the Misplaced Indians as Amelia Spaulding. In 1962, she appeared in the NBC medical drama The Eleventh Hour in the role of Virginia Hunter in the episode Of Roses and Nightingales and Other Lovely Things. In 1963, Hunter appeared as Anita Anson on the ABC medical drama Breaking Point in the episode Crack in an Image. In 1965, she appeared twice as Emily Field in the NBC TV medical series Dr. Kildare. In 1967, she appeared in the pilot episode of Mannix. On Feb. 4th 1968, she appeared as Ada Halle in the NBC TV western series Bonanza in the episode The Price of Salt.

Her other major film roles include David Niven's character's love interest in the film A Matter of Life and Death (1946), and Zira, the sympathetic chimpanzee scientist in the 1968 film Planet of the Apes and two sequels. She also appeared in several radio and TV soap operas, most notably as Nola Madison on TV's The Edge of Night, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1980.[1] In 1979 she appeared as First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson in the serial drama Backstairs at the White House.

Hunter starred in the controversial TV movie Born Innocent (1974) playing the mother of Linda Blair's character. She also starred in several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater during the mid-1970s. In 1971 she appeared in an episode of Cannon. In the same year she starred in a Columbo episode "Suitable for Framing." In 1973, she appeared twice on Lorne Greene's short-lived ABC crime drama Griff, including the episode The Last Ballad, in which she portrayed Dr. Martha Reed, an abortionist held by police in the death of a patient. In 1974, she appeared on Raymond Burr's Ironside. In 1977, she appeared on the NBC western series The Oregon Trail starring Rod Taylor, in the episode The Waterhole, which also featured Lonny Chapman.

Although not recognizable because of the costume and make-up, Hunter's most frequently played movie role was that of Dr. Zira in the film Planet of the Apes and its two sequels.

Death and legacy[edit]

Hunter died of a heart attack in New York City at the age of 79. She received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures at 1615 Vine Street and a second for television at 1715 Vine Street.[5]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1943 The Seventh Victim Mary Gibson
Tender Comrade Doris Dumbrowski
1944 When Strangers Marry Millie Baxter
A Canterbury Tale Johnson's Girl US release
1945 You Came Along Frances Hotchkiss
1946 A Matter of Life and Death June
1951 A Streetcar Named Desire Stella Kowalski Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1952 Deadline - U.S.A. Nora Hutcheson
Anything Can Happen Helen Watson
1956 Storm Center Martha Lockridge
Bermuda Affair Fran West
1957 The Young Stranger Helen Ditmar
1959 Money, Women and Guns Mary Johnston Kingman
1964 Lilith Dr. Bea Brice
1968 Planet of the Apes Dr. Zira
The Swimmer Betty Graham
1970 Beneath the Planet of the Apes Dr. Zira
1971 Escape from the Planet of the Apes Dr. Zira
1974 Bad Ronald Elaine
1976 Dark August Adrianna Putnam
1976 Once an Eagle Kitty Damon
1987 The Kindred Amanda Hollins
1990 Due occhi diabolici Mrs. Pym segment "The Black Cat"
1993 The Black Cat Mrs. Pym Short release of segment in Due occhi diabolici
1997 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Betty Harty
1998 A Price Above Rubies Rebbitzn
1999 Abilene Emmeline Brown
Out of the Cold Elsa Lindepu
2000 Here's to Life! Nelly Ormond
The Hiding Place Muriel

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "1980 Emmy Winners & Nominees". Soap Opera Digest. American Media, Inc. Archived from the original on August 18, 2004. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ Archive.org
  3. ^ Dick Kleiner: "The Actors Studio: Making Stars Out of the Unknown," The Sarasota Journal (Friday, December 21, 1956), p. 26. "That first year, they interviewed around 700 actors and picked 50. In that first group were people like Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Tom Ewell, John Forsythe, Julie Harris, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, E.G. Marshall, Margaret Phillips, Maureen Stapleton, Kim Stanley, Jo Van Fleet, Eli Wallach, Ray Walston and David Wayne."
  4. ^ "Justice". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved February 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ Kim Hunter – Awards at Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]