Anne Revere

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Anne Revere
Studio publicity Anne Revere.jpg
Revere in the 1940s
Born(1903-06-25)June 25, 1903
New York City, U.S.
DiedDecember 18, 1990(1990-12-18) (aged 87)
Locust Valley, New York, U.S.
Resting placeMount Auburn Cemetery
EducationWellesley College
American Laboratory Theatre
Years active1931–1977
Samuel Rosen
(m. 1935; died 1984)

Anne Revere (June 25, 1903 – December 18, 1990[citation needed]) was an American actress and a liberal member of the board of the Screen Actors' Guild. She was best known for her work on Broadway and her film portrayals of mothers in a series of critically acclaimed films. An outspoken critic of the House Un-American Activities Committee, her name appeared in Red Channels: The Report on Communist Influence in Radio and Television in 1950 and she was subsequently blacklisted.

Revere won an Academy Award for her supporting role in the film National Velvet (1945). She was also nominated in the same category for The Song of Bernadette (1943) and Gentleman's Agreement (1947). She won a Tony Award for her performance in Lillian Hellman's play Toys in the Attic in 1960.

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, Revere was a direct descendant of American Revolution hero Paul Revere.[1] Her father, Clinton, was a stockbroker,[2] and she was raised on the Upper West Side and in Westfield, New Jersey. In 1926, she graduated from Wellesley College. Despite her unsuccessful attempts to join dramatic groups in high school and (initially) in college, she eventually was successful at Wellesley and studied dramatics there.[3] She went on to enroll at the American Laboratory School to study acting with Maria Ouspenskaya and Richard Boleslavsky.[2]


Robert Keith, Anne Revere, Florence McGee, Katherine Emery and Katherine Emmet in the original Broadway production of The Children's Hour (1934)

Revere gained early acting experience in regional and stock theater troupes.[4] She made her Broadway debut in 1931 in The Great Barrington. Three years later, she went to Hollywood to reprise her stage role in the film adaptation of Double Door. She returned to Broadway to create the role of Martha Dobie in the original 1934 production of The Children's Hour, and in later years, she appeared on the New York stage in As You Like It, The Three Sisters, and Toys in the Attic,[5] for which she won the 1960 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play.[6]

Revere worked steadily as a character actress in films, appearing in nearly three dozen between 1934 and 1951.[2] She was frequently cast in the role of a matriarch and played mother to Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, John Garfield, and Montgomery Clift. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress three times and won for her performance in National Velvet.[7] Additional screen credits included The Song of Bernadette, Gentleman's Agreement, The Keys of the Kingdom, Body and Soul, and A Place in the Sun.

In 1951, Revere resigned from the board of the Screen Actors Guild. At the time, she was an active member of the American Communist Party. She later pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.[8] A Place in the Sun was her last film role for two decades.[2] She returned to the screen in Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon.

In 1962, television director Joseph Hardy fought for Revere to appear in the popular soap opera A Time for Us. ABC finally agreed to cast Revere in the role and after that Revere appeared frequently in television soap operas like A Flame in the Wind, The Edge of Night, Search for Tomorrow, and Ryan's Hope.[9]

Revere and her husband, theatre director Samuel Rosen moved to New York and opened an acting school, and she continued to work in summer stock and regional theater productions and on television.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Revere married Rosen on April 11, 1935, and they remained wed until his death in 1984.[4] Revere supported Progressive Party candidate Henry A. Wallace's campaign in 1948 and Adlai Stevenson in 1952.[10][11]

Illness and death[edit]

Revere died of pneumonia in her home at Locust Valley, New York at the age of 87.[12] She was survived by one sister.[8] She was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[13]


Year Title Role Notes
1934 Double Door Caroline Van Brett
1940 One Crowded Night Mae Andrews
The Howards of Virginia Mrs. Betsy Norton
1941 The Devil Commands Mrs. Blanche Walters
Men of Boys Town Mrs. Fenely
The Flame of New Orleans Giraud's Sister
H.M. Pulham, Esq. Miss Redfern, John's Secretary Uncredited
Remember the Day Miss Nadine Price
Design for Scandal Nettie, Porter's Maid Uncredited
1942 Meet the Stewarts Geraldine Stewart
The Falcon Takes Over Jessie Florian Uncredited
Are Husbands Necessary? Anna
The Gay Sisters Miss Ida Orner
Star Spangled Rhythm Sarah Uncredited
1943 The Meanest Man in the World Kitty Crockett, Clark's Secretary
Shantytown Mrs. Gorty
Old Acquaintance Belle Carter
The Song of Bernadette Louise Soubirous Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1944 Standing Room Only Major Harriet Cromwell
Rainbow Island Queen Okalana
The Thin Man Goes Home Crazy Mary
Sunday Dinner for a Soldier Agatha Butterfield
National Velvet Mrs. Brown Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
The Keys of the Kingdom Agnes Fiske
1945 Don Juan Quilligan Mrs. Cora Rostigaff
Fallen Angel Clara Mills
1946 Dragonwyck Abigail Wells
1947 The Shocking Miss Pilgrim Alice Pritchard
Carnival in Costa Rica Mama Elsa Molina
Forever Amber Mother Red Cap
Body and Soul Anna Davis
Gentleman's Agreement Mrs. Green Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Secret Beyond the Door Caroline Lamphere
1948 Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! Judith Dominy
Deep Waters Mary McKay
1949 You're My Everything Aunt Jane
1951 The Great Missouri Raid Mrs. Samuels
A Place in the Sun Hannah Eastman
1970 Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon Miss Farber
Macho Callahan Crystal
1976 Birch Interval Mrs. Tanner


  1. ^ Robertson, Patrick, The Guinness Book of Almost Everything You Didn't Need to Know About the Movies. Guinness Superlatives Ltd. 1986. ISBN 0-85112-481-X, p. 34
  2. ^ a b c d Peter B. Flint (December 19, 1990). "Anne Revere, 87, Actress, Dies; Was Movie Mother of Many Stars". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Coons, Robin (April 13, 1944). "Anne Revere Already Has A Job". Big Spring Daily Herald. Big Spring, Texas. p. 4. Retrieved March 19, 2016 – via open access
  4. ^ a b Nissen, Axel (2007). Actresses of a Certain Character: Forty Familiar Hollywood Faces from the Thirties to the Fifties. McFarland. pp. 163–167. ISBN 9780786427468. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  5. ^ "Anne Revere". Playbill Vault. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  6. ^ "Anne Revere". Tony Awards. Archived from the original on August 31, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  7. ^ "Anne Revere". Academy Awards. Retrieved January 11, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Anne Revere, 87; won Oscar, blacklisted in '50s". Chicago Tribune. December 20, 1990. p. 8-Section 2. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  9. ^ Taylor, Clarke (June 20, 1976). "Blacklist: A Horror Show for Anne Revere". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Revere Blasts Filmland Ban; The Harvard Crimson, February 20, 1952
  11. ^ Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 33, Ideal Publishers
  12. ^ Obituary Variety, December 24, 1990.
  13. ^ Wilson, Scott (August 17, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9780786479924 – via Google Books.

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