Kim Hunter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kim Hunter
Hunter in 1956
Janet Cole

(1922-11-12)November 12, 1922
DiedSeptember 11, 2002(2002-09-11) (aged 79)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1943–2001
William Baldwin
(m. 1944; div. 1946)
Robert Emmett
(m. 1951; died 2000)

Kim Hunter (born Janet Cole; November 12, 1922 – September 11, 2002) was an American theatre, film, and television actress. She achieved prominence for portraying Stella Kowalski in the original production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, which she reprised for the 1951 film adaptation, and won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Decades later, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for portraying Nola Madison on the soap opera The Edge of Night.[1] She also portrayed the chimpanzee Zira in Planet of the Apes (1968), and its sequels Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) and Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971).

Early life[edit]

Hunter was born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Grace Lind, who was trained as a concert pianist, and Donald Cole, a refrigeration engineer.[2] She was of English and Welsh descent.[3] Hunter attended Miami Beach High School.[4]


Hunter's first film role was in the 1943 horror The Seventh Victim, and her first starring role was playing opposite David Niven in the 1946 British fantasy film A Matter of Life and Death. In 1947, she was Stella Kowalski on stage in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Recreating that role in the 1951 film version, Hunter won both the Academy and Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress.[5][6] In the interim, however, in 1948, she had already joined with Streetcar co-stars Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, and 47 others, to become one of the first members accepted by the newly created Actors Studio.[7]

In 1952, Hunter became Humphrey Bogart's leading lady in Deadline USA.[8]

Hunter was blacklisted from film and television in the 1950s, amid suspicions of communism in Hollywood, during the era of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).[9]

In 1956, with the HUAC's influence subsiding, she co-starred in Rod Serling's Peabody Award-winning teleplay on Playhouse 90, "Requiem for a Heavyweight". The telecast won multiple Emmy Awards, including Best Single Program of the Year. She appeared opposite Mickey Rooney in the 1957 live CBS-TV broadcast of The Comedian, another drama written by Rod Serling and directed by John Frankenheimer. In 1959, she appeared in Rawhide in "Incident of the Misplaced Indians" as Amelia Spaulding. On February 4, 1968, she appeared as Ada Halle in the NBC TV Western series Bonanza in the episode "The Price of Salt".[3]

Starting in 1968, Hunter took on the role of Zira, the sympathetic chimpanzee scientist in the science fiction film Planet of the Apes, as well as two of its sequels. She also appeared in several radio and TV soap operas, most notably as Hollywood actress Nola Madison in ABC's The Edge of Night, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1980.[1] In 1979, she appeared as First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson in the serial drama Backstairs at the White House.[10]

Hunter starred in the controversial TV movie Born Innocent (1974) playing the mother of Linda Blair's character. She also starred in several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater during the mid-1970s. In 1971, she appeared in an episode of Cannon. In the same year, she starred in a Columbo episode "Suitable for Framing". In 1974, she appeared on Raymond Burr's Ironside. In 1977, she appeared on the NBC Western series The Oregon Trail starring Rod Taylor, in the episode "The Waterhole", which also featured Lonny Chapman.[3]

Hunter's last film role in a major motion picture was in Clint Eastwood's 1997 film, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In it, Hunter portrayed Betty Harty, legal secretary for real-life Savannah lawyer Sonny Seiler.[3][10]

Personal life[edit]

Hunter was married twice, first to William Baldwin, a Marine Corps pilot, in 1944. The couple had a daughter, Kathryn Deirdre (b. 1944), before divorcing two years later. She wed Robert Emmett in 1951. They had a son, Sean Robert, in 1954.[10] Hunter and Emmett would occasionally perform together in stage plays; he died in 2000.[11]

Hunter was a lifelong progressive Democrat.[12] She died in New York City on September 11, 2002, of a heart attack at the age of 79.[10][11][13] Her ashes were given to her daughter—an attorney, civic leader, and former judge in Connecticut[14]—after cremation.[15]


Hunter received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures at 1615 Vine Street and a second for television at 1715 Vine Street.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
1943 The Seventh Victim Mary Gibson
1943 Tender Comrade Doris Dumbrowski
1943 Reconnaissance Pilot Catherine Cummings Uncredited / Documentary short
1944 A Canterbury Tale Johnson's Girl US release scenes shot in 1946
1944 When Strangers Marry Mildred "Millie" Baxter Re-release title Betrayed
1945 You Came Along Frances Hotchkiss
1946 A Matter of Life and Death June
1951 A Streetcar Named Desire Stella Kowalski Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1952 Deadline – U.S.A. Nora Hutcheson
1952 Anything Can Happen Helen Watson
1956 Bermuda Affair Fran West
1956 Storm Center Martha Lockridge
1957 The Young Stranger Helen Ditmar
1958 Money, Women and Guns Mary Johnston Kingman
1964 Lilith Dr. Bea Brice
1968 Planet of the Apes Dr. Zira
1968 The Swimmer Betty Graham
1970 Beneath the Planet of the Apes Dr. Zira
1971 Escape from the Planet of the Apes Dr. Zira
1971 Jennifer on My Mind Jennifer's Mother Scenes deleted
1976 Dark August Adrianna Putnam
1987 The Kindred Amanda Hollins
1990 Due occhi diabolici Mrs. Pym Segment: "The Black Cat"
1993 The Black Cat Mrs. Pym Short release of segment in Due occhi diabolici
1997 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Betty Harty
1998 A Price Above Rubies Rebbitzn
1999 Abilene Emmeline Brown
1999 Out of the Cold Elsa Lindepu
2000 The Hiding Place Muriel
2000 Here's to Life! Nelly Ormond


Year Title Role Notes
1948–1950 Actors Studio 4 episodes
1949 The Philco Television Playhouse 2 episodes
1949 The Silver Theatre Episode: "Rhapsody in Discord"
1949 Suspense Emily Episode: "Man in the House"
1949 The Ford Theatre Hour Meg March Episode: "Little Women"
1952 Robert Montgomery Presents Episode: "Rise Up and Walk"
1952 Celanese Theatre Gaby Maple Episode: "The Petrified Forest"
1953 Gulf Playhouse Episode: "A Gift from Cotton Mather"
1954 Janet Dean, Registered Nurse Sylvia Peters Episode: "The Putnam Case"
1955 Omnibus Joan of Arc Segment: "The Trial of St. Joan"
1955 Justice Episode: "The Blues Kill Me"
1955 Appointment with Adventure Episode: "Race the Comet"
1955 Star Tonight Episode: "Cross-Words"
1955 Screen Directors Playhouse Elizabeth Episode: "A Midsummer Daydream"
1955 Lux Video Theatre Lina Episode: "Suspicion"
1955–1958 Climax! Ann Brewster / Lynn Griffith / Barbara Williams 3 episodes
1956 Studio 57 Molly Episode: "Perfect Likeness"
1956 The Joseph Cotten Show Anita Wells Episode: "The Person and Property of Margery Hay"
1956–1960 General Electric Theater Edie Gauman / Hilda / Mary Murphy 3 episodes
1956–1960 Playhouse 90 Helen Bragg / Maria / Mrs. Anderson / Shirl Cato / Joyce McClure / Anna Rojas / Julie Hogarth / Grace Carney 8 episodes
1956–1962 The United States Steel Hour Vivan 2 episodes
1957 The Kaiser Aluminum Hour Louise Marden Episode: "Whereabouts Unknown"
1958 Studio One Maggie Church Episode: "Ticket to Tahiti"
1958 Lamp Unto My Feet Episode: "Antigone"
1958 Alcoa Theatre Stephanie Heldman Episode: "The Dark File"
1958 Rendezvous Amanda 'Mandy' Sullivan Skowran Episode: "In an Early Winter"
1959 Rawhide Amelia Spaulding Episode: "Incident of the Misplaced Indians"
1959 The Lineup Sister Angela Episode: "The Strange Return of Army Armitage"
1959 Adventures in Paradise Vanessa Sutton Charles Episode: "Haunted"
1960 The Closing Door Television film
1960 NBC Sunday Showcase Episode: "The Secret of Freedom"
1960 World Wide '60 Jill Episode: "The Secret of Freedom"
1960 Special for Women: The Cold Woman The Cold Woman Television film
1960–1961 The Play of the Week 2 episodes
1961 Give Us Barabbas! Mara Television film
1962 Naked City Edna Daggett Episode: "The Face of the Enemy"
1962 The Dick Powell Show Ruth Jacobs Episode: "Tomorrow, the Man"
1962 The Eleventh Hour Virginia Hunter Episode: "Of Roses and Nightingales and Other Lovely Things"
1963 Jackie Gleason: American Scene Magazine Guest / Sketches Episode: #1.15
1963 The Nurses Lora Stanton Episode: "They Are as Lions"
1963 Chronicle Episode: "The French, They Are So French"
1963 Breaking Point Anita Anson Episode: "Crack in an Image"
1963 Arrest and Trial Geraldine Weston Saunders Episode: "Some Weeks Are All Mondays"
1964 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Adelaide Winters Episode: "The Evil of Adelaide Winters"
1965 The Defenders Eileen Rolf Episode: "The Unwritten Law"
1965 Dr. Kildare Emily Field 2 episodes
1966 Confidential for Women Episode: "Love After Marriage"
1966 Lamp At Midnight Maria Celeste Hallmark Hall of Fame Television film
1966 Hawk Mrs. Gilworth Episode: "Wall of Silence"
1967–1970 Mannix Angela Warren / Louise Dubrio 2 episodes
1968 Bonanza Ada Halle Episode: "The Price of Salt"
1968 The Young Loner Freda Williams Television film
1968 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Freda Williams 2 episodes
1968 The Jackie Gleason Show Miss Patterson Episode: "The Honeymooners: The Boy Next Door"
1968 CBS Playhouse Gerrie Mason Episode: "The People Next Door"
1969 NET Playhouse Clytemnestra Episode: "The Prodigal"
1970 Dial Hot Line Mrs. Edith Carruthers Television film
1970 The Teaching Nan Golden Television film
1970 The Young Lawyers Miriam Hewitt Episode: "The Alienation Kick"
1970 Bracken's World Amy Dobie Episode: "A Team of One-Legged Acrobats"
1971 The Bold Ones: The New Doctors Elaine Miller Episode: "A Matter of Priorities"
1971 In Search of America Cora Chandler Television film
1971 Gunsmoke Bea Colter Episode: "The Legend"
1971 Cannon Liz Somers Episode: "Girl in the Electric Coffin"
1971 Columbo Edna Matthews Episode: "Suitable for Framing"
1971–1974 Medical Center Marion / Carla Yarman 2 episodes
1972 Night Gallery Cora Peddington Segment: "The Late Mr. Peddington"
1972 Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law Faye Danner Episode: "Lines from an Angry Book"
1972 Young Dr. Kildare Episode: "The Thing with Feathers"
1973 Mission: Impossible Hannah O'Connel Episode: "Incarnate"
1973 Love, American Style Ruth Segment: "Love and the Happy Family"
1973 The Magician Nora Coogan Episode: "Pilot"
1973 Marcus Welby, M.D. Vera Pulaski Episode: "For Services Rendered"
1973 Griff Dr. Martha Reed Episode: "The Last Ballad"
1973 Police Story Rose Koster Episode: "Man on a Rack"
1973 Hec Ramsey Annie Kirby Episode: "The Detroit Connection"
1973–1974 The Evil Touch Emily Webber / Jill 2 episodes
1974 Ironside Athena Champion / Joanna Portman 2 episodes
1974 Unwed Father Judy Simmons Television film
1974 Born Innocent Mrs. Parker Television film
1974 Bad Ronald Elaine Wilby Television film
1975 Insight Ann Hinds Episode: "The Last of the Great Male Chauvinists"
1975 Lucas Tanner Bess Reiter Episode: "Collision"
1975 Ellery Queen Marion McKell Episode: "Too Many Suspects"
1975 The Wide World of Mystery Episode: "The Impersonation Murder Case"
1976 The Dark Side of Innocence Kathleen Hancock Television film
1976 Baretta Crazy Annie Episode: "Crazy Annie"
1976 Once an Eagle Kitty Damon Television miniseries
1977 The Oregon Trail Liz Webster Episode: "The Waterhole"
1977 Hunter Mrs. Lovejoy Episode: "The Lovejoy File"
1978 Project U.F.O. Samantha Episode: "Sighting 4017: The Devilish Davidson Lights Incident"
1978 Stubby Pringle's Christmas Mrs. Harper Television film
1979 Backstairs at the White House Mrs. Ellen Wilson Television miniseries
1979 The Rockford Files Mrs. Brockleman / Mrs. Brockelman 2 episodes
1979 The Golden Gate Murders Sister Superior Television film
1979–1980 The Edge of Night Nola Madison 113 episodes
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1980)
1980 F.D.R.: The Last Year Lucy Rutherford Television film
1981 Skokie Bertha Feldman Television film
1984 Scene of the Crime Helen Hollander Episode: "Pilot"
1985 Private Sessions Rosemary O'Reilly Television film
1985 American Playhouse Mary Easty Episode: "Three Sovereigns for Sarah: Part I"
1988 Drop-Out Mother Leona Television film
1989 Cross of Fire Mrs. Oberholtzer Television film
1990 Murder, She Wrote Beatrice Vitello Episode: "Trials and Tribulations"
1993 All My Children Faye Perth
1993 Bloodlines: Murder in the Family Vera Woodman Television film
1993 Triumph Over Disaster: The Hurricane Andrew Story Elsa Rael Television film
1994 Mad About You Millie Barton Episode: "Love Letters"
1994 L.A. Law Natalie Schoen Episode: "Finish Line"
1997 As the World Turns Nurse / Mrs. Tompkins 3 episodes
1999 Blue Moon Sheila Keating Television film
2001 The Education of Max Bickford Adelle Aldrich Episode: "Who Is Breckenridge Long?"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1951 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress A Streetcar Named Desire Won
Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Won
1980 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series The Edge of Night Nominated


  1. ^ a b "1980 Emmy Winners & Nominees". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on August 18, 2004. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  2. ^ Ross, Lillian; Ross, Helen (April 8, 1961). The Player A Profile Of An Art. Simon And Schuster. p. 320. Retrieved October 29, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ a b c d Collura, Joe (October 23, 2009). "Kim Hunter". Classic Images. Archived from the original on September 24, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "Kim Hunter". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Winners & Nominees: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture 1952". Golden Globe Awards. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  6. ^ "Oscar Ceremony 1952 (Actress In A Supporting Role)". Academy Awards. 5 October 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Kleiner, Dick (December 21, 1956). "The Actors Studio: Making Stars Out of the Unknown". Sarasota Journal. p. 26. That first year, they interviewed around 700 actors and picked 50. In that first group were people like Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Tom Ewell, John Forsythe, Julie Harris, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, E.G. Marshall, Margaret Phillips, Maureen Stapleton, Kim Stanley, Jo Van Fleet, Eli Wallach, Ray Walston and David Wayne.
  8. ^ McCarty, Clifford (1965). Bogey: The Films of Humphrey Bogart. New York: Citadel Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-8065-0001-0.
  9. ^ "THEATER; Blacklist: Memories of a Word That Marks an Era". The New York Times. July 31, 1994. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d Baxter, Brian (September 12, 2002). "Obituary: Kim Hunter". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Kim Hunter". The Daily Telegraph. London. September 12, 2002. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Lyman, Rick (September 12, 2002). "Kim Hunter, 79, an Actress Lauded as Stella in 'Streetcar'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  13. ^ "Kim Hunter Obituary". Legacy. Archived from the original on 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  14. ^ "Kathryn Emmett". Franklin Street Works. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  15. ^ Wilson, Scott (September 16, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3d ed.). McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-2599-7 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (September 12, 2002). "Kim Hunter - Hollywood Star Walk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 20, 2018.

External links[edit]