Gifted, successful NY stage actress in Hollywood from 1934, primarily as Hollywood's premiere scene-stealing exotic villainess. A tall, dark-haired performer capable of displaying the haughty disdain of a New England Puritan ("Maid of Salem" 1937), the suspicious sneer of a haunted mansion's housekeeper ("The Cat and the Canary" 1939) or the feline deception of a cat-turned-human ("The Bluebird" 1940) with equal ease, Sondergaard also performed very well in such occasional sympathetic parts as Mrs. Dreyfus in "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937). She was memorable as one of Sherlock Holmes's most cunning nemeses in "Spider Woman" (1944). Politically active, and married to "Hollywood Ten" member Herbert Biberman, Sondergaard was blacklisted in the late 1940s but returned to act in several films of the late 60s and 70s as well as star in a one-woman off-Broadway show, "Woman." Her 1936 best supporting actress Academy Award (for "Anthony Adverse," her first film) was the first to be given in that category.