Elaine Anderson Steinbeck

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Mary Elaine Steinbeck
John Steinbeck with Elaine Scott 1950.jpg
Elaine and John Steinbeck in 1950
Mary Elaine Anderson

August 14, 1914
Austin, Texas, U.S.
DiedApril 27, 2003 (aged 88)
New York, New York, United States
Alma materUniversity of Texas at Austin
(m. 1934; div. 1950)

(m. 1950; died 1968)

Mary Elaine Steinbeck (August 14, 1914 – April 27, 2003) was an American actress and one of the first women to become a theatre stage manager.

She was previously known as Elaine Anderson during her acting career. While married to actor Zachary Scott she was also known as Elaine Scott, and after her marriage to author John Steinbeck she was known as Elaine Steinbeck.


Anderson was born August 14, 1914 in Austin, Texas to Waverly F. Anderson and Libbie Adeline (née Roberts). Her maternal great-grandfather was Judge John Bryant Dupuy of Erath County, Texas. On February 21, 1934, she married actor Zachary Scott whom she met while they both studied in the University of Texas at Austin theatre program. Anderson studied drama at the University of Texas, Austin. She worked with husband Zachary at the Austin Little Theatre for several years, and in the process they met several people with connections in the New York theatre. Around 1940 the Scotts moved to New York City to seek success there. Though both wished to be successful actors, Zachary had more success in that area, so Elaine began working for The Theatre Guild in New York and learned the technical aspects of theatre production.

In late 1944 Elaine gave up her career to relocate to Hollywood with husband Zachary, who had signed a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers. They divorced in December, 1950.

Within a week of her divorce from Zachary Scott, Elaine married John Steinbeck on December 28, 1950. They remained married until his death in December 1968.

Anderson died of natural causes on April 27, 2003 in Manhattan at the age of 88. She was buried near John Steinbeck in the Garden of Memories Memorial Park in Salinas, California.



Anderson is said to have made uncredited appearances in two 1944 B-movies: A Night of Adventure, and Seven Days Ashore ("girl in band").

Published works[edit]

Steinbeck, John, Ed. Elaine Steinbeck and Robert Wallsten (1975). Steinbeck: A Life in Letters. Viking: University of California Press. ISBN 0-670-66961-X.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)


  • Jones, Kenneth. "Elaine Steinbeck, Author's Widow and Former Stage Manager, Dead at 88" Playbill April 29, 2003. September 20, 2005 [1]
  • Lisheron, Mark. "Who was Zachary Scott?" Zachary Scott Theatre Center. September 20, 2005 [2]
  • Nemy, Enid. "Elaine Steinbeck, 88, Author's Widow, Dies." The New York Times April 29, 2003, Late ed., C19
  • Van Neste, Dan. "Zachary Scott: A Scoundrel with Style" Classic Images March, 1998. September 20, 2005 [3]
  • Woo, Elaine. "From the pages of his life, her legacy of love and work", Sydney Morning Herald, May 14, 2003. September 20, 2005 [4]

External links[edit]