Fay Okell Bainter
December 7, 1893
|Died||April 16, 1968 (aged 74)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
The Children's Hour
(m. 1921; died 1964)
Fay Okell Bainter (December 7, 1893 – April 16, 1968) was an American film and stage actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Jezebel (1938) and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Bainter was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Charles F. Bainter and Mary Okell.
Bainter made her first appearance on stage in 1908 in The County Chairman at Morosco's Theater in Burbank, California. In 1910, she was a traveling stage actress. Her Broadway debut was in the role of Celine Marinter in The Rose of Panama (1912). P. G. Wodehouse, reviewing Turn to the Right in Vanity Fair in 1916, wrote, "Miss Bainter's advent from nowhere and her instant success form the season's biggest sensation." She appeared in a number of successful plays in New York, such as East Is West, The Willow Tree, and Dodsworth. In 1926, she appeared with Walter Abel in a Broadway production of Channing Pollock's The Enemy. MGM persuaded her to try films and her movie debut was in This Side of Heaven (February 1934). Also in 1934, she appeared in Dodsworth on Broadway and in the film It Happened One Day. Bainter quickly achieved success in the movies, and in 1939, she became the first performer to receive two Oscar nominations in the same year, contending for both Best Actress for White Banners (1938) and Best Supporting Actress for Jezebel (1938), winning for the latter. In 1940, she played Mrs. Gibbs in the film production of the Thornton Wilder play Our Town. In 1945, she played Melissa Frake in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical State Fair. She was again nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Children's Hour (1961).
Fay Bainter and Reginald Venable were married on June 8, 1921, in Riverside, California. Cmdr. Reginald Venable was a United States Navy officer who graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1913. He resigned from the Navy in 1925 as a Lieutenant Commander to manage his wife's business affairs. He had been a real-estate operator. The couple had one son, Reginald Venable Jr., who became an actor.
|1934||This Side of Heaven||Francene Turner|
|1937||Quality Street||Susan Throssel|
|1937||The Soldier and the Lady||Strogoff's Mother|
|1937||Make Way for Tomorrow||Anita Cooper|
|1938||White Banners||Hannah Parmalee||Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress|
|1938||Jezebel||Aunt Belle Massey||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1938||Mother Carey's Chickens||Mrs. Margaret Carey|
|1938||The Arkansas Traveler||Mrs. Martha Allen|
|1938||The Shining Hour||Hannah Linden|
|1939||Yes, My Darling Daughter||Ann "Annie" Murray|
|1939||The Lady and the Mob||Hattie Leonard|
|1939||Daughters Courageous||Nancy "Nan" Masters|
|1939||Our Neighbors – The Carters||Ellen Carter|
|1940||Young Tom Edison||Mrs. Samuel (Nancy) Edison|
|1940||Our Town||Mrs. Julia Hersey Gibbs|
|1940||A Bill of Divorcement||Margaret "Meg" Fairfield|
|1941||Babes on Broadway||Miss "Jonesy" Jones|
|1942||Woman of the Year||Ellen Whitcomb|
|1942||The War Against Mrs. Hadley||Stella Hadley|
|1942||Journey for Margaret||Trudy Strauss|
|1942||Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch||Mrs. Elvira Wiggs|
|1943||The Human Comedy||Mrs. Macauley|
|1943||Presenting Lily Mars||Mrs. Thornway|
|1943||Salute to the Marines||Jennie Bailey|
|1943||Cry 'Havoc'||Captain Alice Marsh|
|1944||The Heavenly Body||Margaret Sibyll|
|1944||Dark Waters||Aunt Emily|
|1944||Three Is a Family||Frances Whittaker|
|1945||State Fair||Melissa Frake|
|1946||The Kid from Brooklyn||Mrs. E. Winthrop LeMoyne|
|1946||The Virginian||Mrs. Taylor|
|1947||Deep Valley||Ellie Saul|
|1947||The Secret Life of Walter Mitty||Mrs. Eunice Mitty|
|1948||Give My Regards to Broadway||Fay Norwick|
|1948||June Bride||Paula Winthrop|
|1951||Close to My Heart||Mrs. Morrow|
|1953||The President's Lady||Mrs. Donaldson|
|1961||The Children's Hour||Mrs. Amelia Tilford||Laurel Award for Top Female Supporting Performance (2nd place)|
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
|1946||Suspense||180/"The Lucky Lady"|
|1952||Theatre Guild on the Air||"The Search"|
- List of actors with Academy Award nominations
- List of actors with Hollywood Walk of Fame motion picture stars
- "Fay Bainter". The Montreal Gazette. April 18, 1968. p. 35.
- Obituary Variety, April 24, 1968.
- "Deaths (In the Profession)". Variety. October 21, 1922. p. 106. ProQuest 1031698390.
BAINTER—Mrs. Mary Okell, 72, mother of Fay Bainter, widely known actress, died of heart trouble at the Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, October 2. Surviving are her husband Charles F. Bainter and three daughters, Mrs. Ada M. Fitxmier, Mrs. Grace Burgess and Mrs. Fay Bainter Venable.
- P. G. Wodehouse. "Our Slack and Slothful Playwrights". Retrieved November 9, 2022.
- "Hollywood's Shining Hour". American Cinematographer. May 1972. p. 566. ProQuest 196323768.
The year 1939 was one of repeats. Bette Davis for 'Jezebel', Spencer Tracy for 'Boys Town' and Walter Brennan for 'Kentucky', all got their second Oscars. Fay Bainter won as Best Supporting Actress for 'Jezebel', and the Best Picture was 'You Can't Take It With You'. Miss Bainter also had been nominated as Best Actress for her performance in 'White Banners'. She was the first actress to run in two categories in the same year.
- Thomas, Bob (February 1, 1962). "Liz Isn't in the Race for '61 Academy Awards". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 24. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
- "Fay Bainter". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on February 18, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
- Los Angeles Times, November 24, 1921, "Marriage Of Star Is Declared – Wedding of Fay Bainter and Navy Man Revealed by Mother of Actress", p. 17.
- "Reginald S. H. Venable, 74, Was Fay Bainter's Husband". The New York Times. September 29, 1964. p. 43. ProQuest 115587529.
Reginald S. H. Venable of Palm Springs, Calif., husband of Fay Bainter, the actress, died yesterday in a hospital there. He was 74 years old. Mr. Venable, who resigned from the Navy in 1925 as a lieutenant commander, had managed his wife's business affairs and had been a real-estate operator.
- Associated Press (April 17, 1968). "Fay Bainter, 'Motherly' Actress, Dies". The Evening Press. p. 8-B. ProQuest 2043678747.
Plans were for her to be buried in Arlington national Cemetery in Virginia beside her husband, Navy Lt. Comdr. Reginald Venable, who died in 1964. Their son, actor Reginald Venable, Jr., survives.
- "Obituaries: Dorothy Burgess". The Hollywood Reporter. August 25, 1961. p. 9. ProQuest 2339687816.
Actress Dorothy Burgess, niece of Fay Bainter, died Sunday of cancer. Burial was Wednesday.
- Patterson, Michael Robert. "Fay Okell Bainter – Navy Spouse & Actress". Arlington National Cemetery. Archived from the original on December 29, 2003. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
- Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Alistair, Rupert (2018). "Fay Bainter". The Name Below the Title : 65 Classic Movie Character Actors from Hollywood's Golden Age (softcover) (First ed.). Great Britain: Independently published. pp. 22–25. ISBN 978-1-7200-3837-5.