Sara Haden

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Sara Haden
Sara Haden in The Big Cat.jpg
Haden in The Big Cat (1949)
Catherine Haden

(1898-11-17)November 17, 1898
DiedSeptember 15, 1981(1981-09-15) (aged 82)
Years active1921–1965
Spouse(s)Richard Abbott (1921-1948; divorced)

Sara Haden (born Catherine Haden, November 17, 1898[1] – September 15, 1981) was a character actress in Hollywood films of the 1930s through the 1950s and in television into the mid-1960s. She may be best remembered for appearing as Aunt Milly Forrest in thirteen entries in MGM's Andy Hardy film series.

Early life[edit]

She was born in 1898 in Galveston, Texas,[note 1][2] a daughter of Dr. John Brannum Haden (1871-1910) and character actress, Charlotte Walker, later active in silent films and early sound films. She always was cast in character roles. After their parents' divorce, Haden and her elder sister Beatrice Shelton Haden (born 1897) attended Sacred Heart Academy in Galveston, where they boarded during school terms.[citation needed]


In A Family Affair

Haden first appeared on the stage in the early 1920s. As early as October 1920, she was appearing with Walter Hampden's acting troupe.[3] Her Broadway debut came in Trigger (1927).[4]

She made her film debut in 1934 (one year after her mother's retirement) in the Katharine Hepburn vehicle Spitfire.[5] Haden later became a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player in the late 1930s and had smallish roles in many of the studio's films, most notably in the Andy Hardy series starring Mickey Rooney, cast as the spinsterish Aunt Milly Forrest.[6]

Haden made her last film, Andy Hardy Comes Home, in 1958,[7] but was active on television until a 1965 guest spot on Dr. Kildare. She was most notable for her stern, humorless characterisations such as a truant officer in Shirley Temple's Captain January (1936), but she also played the much-loved teacher Miss Pipps, who is unjustly fired in the Our Gang comedy Come Back, Miss Pipps (1941). Other films in which she appeared include Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Woman of the Year (1942), and The Bishop's Wife (1947). Her television appearances include episodes of Climax!, Bourbon Street Beat, and Bonanza. She had a guest appearance on Perry Mason as Florence Harvey in the 1959 episode, "The Case of the Romantic Rogue".

Haden played Dora Darling in My Favorite Martian, season 2 episode 28, "Once Upon a Martian's Mother's Day" in 1965.

Personal life and death[edit]

She was married to film actor Richard Abbott (born Seamon Vandenberg; 1899-1986) from 1921 until their divorce in 1948. Sara Haden died on September 15, 1981 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California,[5] at age 82.[7]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Axel Nissen's Accustomed to Her Face: Thirty-Five Character Actresses of Golden Age Hollywood gives her birthplace as Center Point, Texas.


  1. ^ "Sixth Generation". Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  2. ^ Nissen, Axel. Accustomed to Her Face: Thirty-Five Character Actresses of Golden Age Hollywood. McFarland. pp. 76–82. ISBN 9781476626062. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "Shubert-Garrick". The Washington Times. District of Columbia, Washington. October 21, 1920. p. 12. Retrieved July 7, 2017 – via open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "Inherits Her Talent". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. October 17, 1928. p. 34. Retrieved July 7, 2017 – via open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ a b "Isle-born Sara Haden, 'crabby' actress, dies". The Galveston Daily News. Texas, Galveston. United Press International. September 22, 1981. p. 20. Retrieved January 16, 2017 – via open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ Rowan, Terry. Character-Based Film Series Part 1. p. 9. ISBN 9781365421051. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Sara Haden, Actress Played Crabby Roles in Long Film Career". The New York Times. Associated Press. September 22, 1981. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017.

External links[edit]