A classically trained actress with extensive stage experience, Beatrice Straight made her mark on film late in her career, but did so with indelible performances that made the most of her keen intelligence and aristocratic manner. A member of the now legendary Group Theater from its inception, Straight won a Tony award for Best Actress in 1953 for her performance as Elizabeth Proctor in "The Crucible." She also worked frequently in television, beginning in the medium's early live broadcast era and appearing consistently in TV movies and series until the end of the 1980s. She had appeared in just four feature films before she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Louis Schumacher in Sydney Lumet's "Network" (1975). Straight held the record for the briefest performance to win an Oscar - a scant five minutes and 40 seconds of screen time. Regardless, in a dazzling display of acting prowess, Straight portrayed the full gamut of the devastated Schumacher's emotions in a single, intense scene in which her husband, (William Holden), confesses to an affair. The Oscar win brought Straight greater recognition, but also typecast the versatile actress for the first time in her career. From that point, she predominantly played severe matriarchal roles, such as the brittle Dr. Lesh in "Poltergeist" (1982). Having honed her craft in a long and celebrated stage career, Beatrice Straight established a remarkable screen presence as a character actress with finely drawn performances that were as powerful as they were rare.