Dunnock in trailer to "Butterfield 8" (1960)
January 25, 1901|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Died||July 5, 1991
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Keith Urmy (m. 1933–91) (her death); 2 children|
Mildred Dorothy Dunnock (January 25, 1901 – July 5, 1991) was an American theater, film and television actress.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, she graduated from Western Senior High School. Dunnock was a school teacher who did not start acting until she was in her early thirties. She attended Goucher College where she was a member of Alpha Phi sorority.
After a couple of roles in Broadway productions, Dunnock won praise for her performance as a Welsh school teacher in The Corn is Green (1940). The 1945 film version marked her screen debut. During the 1940s she performed mainly on stage, in such dramas as Another Part of the Forest (1946) and Death of a Salesman (1949) and in the musical Lute Song (1946). In 1947, Dunnock became a founding member of the Actors Studio.
Dunnock reprised her Salesman role in the 1951 film version. She originated the role of Big Mama in the Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, although she lost the movie role to Judith Anderson. Her films include The Trouble with Harry (1955), Love Me Tender (1956), Baby Doll (1956), Peyton Place (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), BUtterfield 8 (1960), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). She was the woman in the wheelchair pushed down a flight of stairs to her death by the psychotic villain Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) in Kiss of Death (1947). She appeared frequently in numerous TV series in guest roles, and later in her career, several made-for-television movies, including a remake of Death of a Salesman in which she played Linda Loman for the third time.
She was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for Death of a Salesman in 1951, and for Baby Doll in 1956. She was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for Baby Doll, as well as Viva Zapata! in 1952 and Peyton Place in 1957. Her final film was The Pick-up Artist (1987), which starred Robert Downey, Jr. and Molly Ringwald.
Dunnock has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to motion pictures, at 6613 Hollywood Boulevard. She is also a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, which she was inducted into in 1983.
- Garfield, David (1980). "Birth of The Actors Studio: 1947-1950". A Player's Place: The Story of the Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 52. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. "Lewis' class included Herbert Berghof, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Mildred Dunnock, Tom Ewell, John Forsythe, Anne Jackson, Sidney Lumet, Kevin McCarthy, Karl Malden, E.G. Marshall, Patricia Neal, William Redfield, Jerome Robbins, Maureen Stapleton, Beatrice Straight, Eli Wallach, and David Wayne."
- "Theater Hall of Fame Gets 10 New Members". New York Times. May 10, 1983.
- Eric Pace (7 July 1991). "Mildred Dunnock, 90, Acclaimed As Broadway's First Mrs. Loman". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Mildred Dunnock at Find a Grave
- Mildred Dunnock at the Internet Movie Database
- Mildred Dunnock at the Internet Broadway Database
- Mildred Dunnock at the Internet Off-Broadway Database