from the film The Trouble with Harry, 1955
June 19, 1905|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Died||October 25, 1994
New York City, New York, U.S.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born to Joseph (a businessman) and Mildred Marion (née Dawes) Natwick. She graduated from the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore. After graduating from Bennett College with a degree in theater arts, Mildred Natwick toured with a number of stage productions before her first Broadway production, Carry Nation.
Her grandfather, Ole Natwick, was one of the earliest Norwegian immigrants to the United States, arriving in Wisconsin in 1847. He had eleven children in Grand Rapids, Wisconsin, including Joseph Natwick, Mildred's father. Mildred Natwick was a first cousin of animator and cartoonist Myron "Grim" Natwick.
She began performing at age 21 with "The Vagabonds", a nonprofessional group in Baltimore. She soon joined the celebrated University Players on Cape Cod. Natwick got her start on Broadway in 1932, playing Mrs. Noble in Frank McGrath’s play Carry Nation, about the famous temperance crusader. Throughout the 1930s she starred in a number of plays, frequently collaborating with friend and actor-director-playwright Joshua Logan. On Broadway, she played "Prossy" in Katharine Cornell's production of Candida. She made her film debut in John Ford's The Long Voyage Home as a Cockney prostitute, and portrayed the landlady in The Enchanted Cottage (1945).
Natwick is remembered for small but memorable roles in several John Ford film classics, including 3 Godfathers (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1948), and The Quiet Man (1952). She played Miss Ivy Gravely, in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry (1955), and a sorceress in The Court Jester (1956).
She continued to appear onstage, and made regular guest appearances in television series. She was twice nominated for Tony Awards: in 1957 for The Waltz of the Toreadors, and in 1972 for the musical 70 Girls 70. She returned to film in Barefoot in the Park (1967) as the mother of the character played by Jane Fonda. The role earned Natwick her only Academy Award nomination. One of Natwick's memorable roles was in The House Without a Christmas Tree (1972), which starred Jason Robards and Lisa Lucas. The program's success spawned three sequels: The Thanksgiving Treasure, The Easter Promise, and Addie and The King of Hearts. She also appeared as the rather British "Nanny" in Eloise.
In 1971, Natwick co-starred with Helen Hayes in Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate, in which their characters worked together as amateur sleuths. This may have inspired a television movie called The Snoop Sisters, starring Natwick and Hayes as two elderly sisters who routinely stumbled across mysteries which they solved. The success of that telefilm resulted in a 1973-74 series, also called The Snoop Sisters, which was part of The NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie. For her performance, Natwick won the Emmy Award as Best Lead Actress in a Limited Series. Natwick later joined Hayes as the first members of the Board of Advisors to the Riverside Shakespeare Company during its formative years, attending and supporting several fund raisers for that off-Broadway theatre company.
She guest-starred as Rock Hudson's eccentric mother in McMillan & Wife and also had a prominent guest appearance in the first season of Family, playing a grandmother who makes a final visit to her family to prepare them for her death. Her final role was in the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons.
- The Long Voyage Home (1940)
- The Enchanted Cottage (1945)
- Yolanda and the Thief (1945)
- The Late George Apley (1947)
- 3 Godfathers (1948)
- The Kissing Bandit
- She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
- The Quiet Man (1952)
- Against All Flags (1952)
- The Trouble with Harry (1955)
- The Court Jester (1956)
- Teenage Rebel (1956)
- Tammy and the Bachelor (1957)
- Barefoot in the Park (1967)
- If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969)
- Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate (1971) (TV)
- The House Without a Christmas Tree (1972) (TV)
- The Snoop Sisters (1973–1974) (TV)
- Daisy Miller (1974)
- Kiss Me Goodbye (1982)
- Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
- Biography for Mildred Natwick (Turner Classic Movies)
- Carrie Nation: IBDb entry
- Ole Natwick ("History of Wood County, Wisconsin". George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co., 1923)
- Mildred Natwick profile at Moviefone.com
- Posthumous profile of Mildred Natwick in The New York Times
- Mildred Natwick profile at FilmReference.com
- Dickens lends the Bard a Hand, The New York Daily News, September 13, 1982.
- Mildred Natwick obituary at masterworksbroadway.com
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mildred Natwick.|
- Mildred Natwick at the Internet Movie Database
- Mildred Natwick at the Internet Broadway Database
- Mildred Natwick papers, 1932-1985, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts