From the film Bewitched (1945)
|Born||Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter
November 20, 1919
Portland, Maine, U.S.
|Died||August 14, 2012
Longwood, Florida, U.S.
Cause of death
|Known for||Ma Kent in Superman,
Ellen Lawson in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
|Children||Skye Aubrey, James Aubrey|
Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter (November 20, 1919 – August 14, 2012) was an American actress.
She had frequently worked on Broadway since 1940. When Dorothy McGuire went to Hollywood, Phyllis replaced her in the play Claudia. In 1944, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her movie debut was opposite Van Johnson in the wartime film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Thaxter played Joan Alris Ellis, a woman suffering from split personality in the film-noir Bewitched in 1945. In 1948, she played a cattle owner’s daughter alongside Barbara Bel Geddes in Blood on the Moon.
At MGM, she routinely portrayed the ever-patient wife to a number of leading men. She moved to Warner Brothers in the 1950s, but usually played the same type of roles.
Thaxter’s career stalled after an attack of polio in 1952. She made a comeback in such television series as Rawhide, Wagon Train ("The Christine Elliott Story"), The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1978, Thaxter was cast, along with Glenn Ford, as Jonathan and Martha Kent in Superman.
Author Patricia Bosworth, in her biography of Montgomery Clift, tells of Thaxter’s close relationship with Clift in the early 1940s, writing that they “seemed so close that a great many people assumed they would eventually marry.” While at MGM, Thaxter married James T. Aubrey, Jr., who later became president of CBS-TV and MGM. They divorced in 1962. They had two children: Skye Aubrey, an actress; and James Aubrey.
Thaxter died on August 14, 2012, in Longwood, Florida, after an eight- or nine-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 92 years old. In keeping with her wishes, she was cremated and her ashes were scattered into the Atlantic Ocean.
- Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
- Bewitched (1945)
- Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
- Tenth Avenue Angel (1946)
- The Sea of Grass (1947)
- Living in a Big Way (1947)
- Blood on the Moon (1948)
- Act of Violence (1948)
- No Man of Her Own (1950)
- The Breaking Point (1950)
- Jim Thorpe -- All-American (1951)
- Come Fill the Cup (1951)
- Fort Worth (1951)
- Springfield Rifle (1952 film)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (guest roles) (1956-1960)
- Wagon Train (1959)
- Women's Prison (1955)
- The World of Henry Orient (1964)
- The Invaders (TV series) (Episode: "The Peacemaker") (1968)
- Superman (1978)
- 1920 U.S. Census
- Denise Grady (August 18, 2012). "Phyllis Thaxter, Actress Who Played Superman’s Mother, Dies at 92". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-22. "Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Skye Aubrey, who said that Ms. Thaxter had had Alzheimer’s disease for the last eight years. ..."
- Bosworth, Patricia (2004). Montgomery Clift: A Biography. Limelight Editions. p. 80. ISBN 978-0879101350.
- "Obituary: Gilbert Lea". Town Topics: Princeton's Weekly Newspaper. 2008-05-21.
- Actress Phyllis Thaxter, Superman's Mom, Dies at 92, The Hollywood Reporter, August 15, 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Phyllis Thaxter.|
- Phyllis Thaxter at the Internet Movie Database
- Phyllis Thaxter at the Internet Broadway Database
- Phyllis Thaxter at Find a Grave