Anne Pitoniak

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Anne Pitoniak (March 30, 1922 – April 22, 2007) was an American actress. She was nominated twice for Broadway's Tony Award: as Best Actress (Play) in 1983 for 'night, Mother and as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) in 1994 for a revival of William Inge's Picnic.


Early life[edit]

Pitoniak was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, the daughter of Sophie (née Porubovic) and John Pitoniak.[1] She was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She spent two years as a civilian actress immediately after World War II, touring Japan, the Philippines and Korea for the Army's Special Services division. She met her future husband, Jerome Milord, then a soldier, when they were both in a U.S.O. show in Japan.[2]


In 'night, Mother she played a woman who desperately tries to keep her daughter from killing herself. The play had its premiere at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then moved to Broadway. Both Pitoniak and co-star Kathy Bates received Best Actress Tony Award nominations for their work. In 1994, Pitoniak received a second Tony nomination for her performance as Helen Potts in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Picnic. She also appeared on Broadway in Agnes of God, The Octette Bridge Club, Amy's View, Uncle Vanya, Dance of Death, and Imaginary Friends.

Pitoniak performed frequently at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, in plays such as Norman's Getting Out, D.L. Coburn's The Gin Game, and Jane Martin's Middle Aged White Guys. She also worked steadily in film and television, including the 1985 film version of Agnes of God, where she appeared as the mother of Jane Fonda's character.

In 1987, Pitoniak played the role of Mary in the 1987 Cheers episode "Pudd'n Head Boyd" (Season 6, Episode 9). In 1988, she played Cornelia in The Wizard of Loneliness. In 2001, she played the role of Mrs. Berry in the Law and Order: SVU episode "Redemption" (Season 3, Episode 6).[3]


Pitoniak died from cancer at her home in Manhattan at age 85.[4]


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