from the trailer for The Mating Season (1951)
|Born||February 14, 1902
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||February 5, 1969
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Joseph Moran (April 21, 1927 – February 5, 1969; her death); 2 children|
Thelma Ritter (February 14, 1902 — February 5, 1969) was an American actress, best known for her comedic roles as working class characters. She received six Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress, and won one Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.
Early life 
Ritter was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1902. After appearing in high school plays and stock companies, she trained as an actress at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She established a stage career but took a hiatus to raise her two children by her husband, Joseph Moran, an actor turned advertising executive.
Ritter did stock theater and radio shows early in her career, without much impact. Ritter's first movie role was in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). She made a memorable impression in a brief uncredited part, as a frustrated mother unable to find the toy that Kris Kringle has promised her son. Her second role, in writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's A Letter to Three Wives (1949), left a mark, although Ritter was again uncredited. Mankiewicz kept Ritter in mind, and cast her as "Birdie" in All About Eve (1950), which earned her an Oscar nomination. A second nomination followed for her work in Mitchell Leisen's' classic ensemble screwball comedy The Mating Season (1951) starring Gene Tierney and John Lund. She enjoyed steady film work for the next dozen years.
She appeared in many of the episodic drama TV series of the 1950s, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, General Electric Theater, and The United States Steel Hour. Other film roles were as James Stewart's nurse in Rear Window (1954) and as Doris Day's housekeeper in Pillow Talk (1959). Although best known for comedy roles, she played the occasional dramatic role, most notably in With a Song in My Heart (1952), Pickup on South Street (1953), Titanic (1953), and The Misfits (1961).
Selected filmography 
|1947||Miracle on 34th Street||Peter's Mother||Uncredited|
|1948||Call Northside 777||Receptionist||Uncredited|
|1949||A Letter to Three Wives||Sadie Dugan||Uncredited|
|1949||City Across the River||Mrs. Katie Cusack|
|1949||Father was a Fullback||Geraldine|
|1950||Perfect Strangers||Lena Fassler|
|1950||I'll Get By||Miss Murphy|
|1950||All About Eve||Birdie Coonan|
|1951||The Mating Season||Ellen McNulty|
|1951||As Young as You Feel||Della Hodges|
|1951||The Model and the Marriage Broker||Mae Swasey|
|1952||With a Song in My Heart||Clancy|
|1953||Titanic||Maude Young||Based on Molly Brown|
|1953||Pickup on South Street||Moe Williams|
|1953||The Farmer Takes a Wife||Lucy Cashdollar|
|1955||The Best of Broadway||Mrs. Fisher||Episode: "The Show-Off"|
|1955||Daddy Long Legs||Alicia Pritchard|
|1955||Lucy Gallant||Molly Basserman||Alternative title: Oil Town|
|1956||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Lottie Slocum||Episode: "The Baby Sitter"|
|1956||The Proud and Profane||Kate Connors|
|1957||Telephone Time||Mary Devlin||Episode: "Plot to Save a Boy"|
|1959||A Hole in the Head||Sophie Manetta|
|1961||The Misfits||Isabelle Steers|
|1961||Frontier Circus||Bertha Beecher||Episode: "Journey from Hannibal"|
|1961||The Second Time Around||Aggie Gates|
|1962||Birdman of Alcatraz||Elizabeth Stroud|
|1962||Wagon Train||Madame Sagittarius||Episode: "The Madame Sagittarius Story"|
|1962||How the West Was Won||Agatha Clegg|
|1963||For Love or Money||Chloe Brasher|
|1963||A New Kind of Love||Leena|
|1963||Move Over, Darling||Grace Arden|
|1965||Boeing Boeing||Bertha||Alternative title: Boeing (707) Boeing (707)|
|1967||The Incident||Bertha Beckerman|
|1968||What's So Bad About Feeling Good?||Mrs. Schwartz|
Awards and nominations 
During her career, Ritter was nominated for an Oscar six times, giving her the distinction of being one of the three actresses (tied with Deborah Kerr and Glenn Close) most nominated for the award in an acting category without a win. The current record for all actors is Peter O'Toole with eight nominations without a win, followed by Richard Burton with seven nominations. Both Kerr and O'Toole received honorary awards from the Academy, however. In 1954, Thelma Ritter co-hosted the Oscar ceremony, notably trading wisecracks with Bob Hope.
Academy Awards 
Nominated Best Actress in a Supporting Role for:
- All About Eve (1950)
- The Mating Season (1951)
- With a Song in My Heart (1952)
- Pickup on South Street (1953)
- Pillow Talk (1959)
- Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
Emmy Awards 
Golden Globe Awards 
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress for:
Tony Awards 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Thelma Ritter|
- Born in 1902 as per Social Security Death Index under the name Thelma Ritter
- "Appearance on Jerry Lewis Show". Thewindmillsofyourmind.com. Retrieved 2012-12-04.