Geraldine Page

Actor, Lingerie model, Hat-check girl
Described by playwright Tennessee Williams, whose troubled heroines she often portrayed on stage and screen, as "the most disciplined and dedicated of actresses," Geraldine Page burst upon the NYC theatrical scene as ... Read more »
Born: 11/22/1924 in Kirksville, Missouri, USA

Filmography

Actor (39)

My Little Girl 1987 (Movie)

Grandmother Molly (Actor)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Flanagan 1986 (Movie)

Mama (Actor)

Native Son 1986 (Movie)

Peggy (Actor)

Wgod 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Bride 1985 (Movie)

Mrs Baumann (Actor)

Trip to Bountiful 1985 (Movie)

Mrs Carrie Watts (Actor)

White Nights 1985 (Movie)

Anne Wyatt (Actor)

The Parade 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Pope of Greenwich Village 1984 (Movie)

Mrs Ritter (Actor)

The Blue and the Gray 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can 1982 (Movie)

Jean Scott Martin (Actor)

Honky Tonk Freeway 1981 (Movie)

Sister Mary Clarise (Actor)

Harry's War 1980 (Movie)

Beverly Payne (Actor)

Interiors 1978 (Movie)

Eve (Actor)

Nasty Habits 1977 (Movie)

Prioress Walburga (Actor)

The Rescuers 1977 (Movie)

of Madame Medusa (Voice)

The Day of the Locust 1974 (Movie)

Big Sister (Actor)

Happy As the Grass Was Green 1972 (Movie)

Anna Witmer (Actor)

J.W. Coop 1972 (Movie)

Mama (Actor)

Pete 'n' Tillie 1972 (Movie)

Gertrude (Actor)

The Beguiled 1970 (Movie)

Martha (Actor)

Trilogy 1969 (Movie)

Woman (Actor)

Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice? 1969 (Movie)

Mrs Marrable (Actor)

Happiest Millionaire 1966 (Movie)

Mrs Duke (Actor)

You're a Big Boy Now 1966 (Movie)

Margery Chanticleer (Actor)

Dear Heart 1964 (Movie)

Evie Jackson (Actor)

The Three Sisters 1963 (Movie)

Olga (Actor)

Toys in the Attic 1963 (Movie)

Carrie Berniers (Actor)

Sweet Bird of Youth 1962 (Movie)

Alexandra Del Lago (Actor)

Summer and Smoke 1961 (Movie)

Alma Winemiller (Actor)

Matinee Theater 1955 - 1958 (TV Show)

Actor

Hondo 1953 (Movie)

Angie Lowe (Actor)

A Christmas Memory (TV Show)

Actor

Live Again, Die Again (TV Show)

Actor

Something For Joey (TV Show)

Actor

The Dollmaker (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Described by playwright Tennessee Williams, whose troubled heroines she often portrayed on stage and screen, as "the most disciplined and dedicated of actresses," Geraldine Page burst upon the NYC theatrical scene as the Southern spinster hoping for one last chance at love in a highly celebrated 1952 revival of Williams' "Summer and Smoke", which put both Page and off-Broadway on the map. On the strength of that performance, she secured roles in two movies released in 1953, "Taxi" and "Hondo", receiving her first of eight Oscar nominations for her supporting turn as an abandoned ranch wife who falls for John Wayne in the latter.

Despite this formidable introduction to movies, Page returned to her first love to make her Broadway debut in "Midsummer" in 1953. The following year, she appeared in Broadway productions of "The Immoralist" (with James Dean and Louis Jordan) and "The Rainmaker" (opposite Darren McGavin). No great beauty, Page displayed an unparalleled repertoire of tics and mannerisms that sometimes marred otherwise fine performances and other times enhanced them. After an eight-year absence from features, Page's highly-strung, eccentric persona finally broke through in the 1961 film version of her star-making "Summer and Smoke", which she followed by reprising her Broadway success as Williams' fading screen star Alexandra Del Lago in "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1962), earning back-to-back Best Actress Oscar nominations.

Offered the female lead in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" on Broadway in the 60s, the Method-trained Page insisted that Lee Strasberg be present during the rehearsals, a demand which cost her the role and branded her with the reputation as somewhat difficult. Choosy about what parts she accepted, Page frequently turned down work that did not suit her taste. Her forte was sexually guarded and/or repressed women or women who just hadn't had a chance at the brass ring, and her ability to project the deep emotions of these characters guaranteed her standing as one of the best actresses of her generation. Brilliant as the spinster sister whose love for brother Dean Martin borders on the incestuous in "Toys in the Attic" (1963), she was a desperate wooer of Glenn Ford in "Dear Heart" (1965) before earning her fourth Oscar nomination (as Best Supporting Actress) as the doting mother (opposite husband Rip Torn) of Peter Kastner in Francis Ford Coppola's "You're a Big Boy Now" (1966). Memorable (and Oscar-nominated) for her no-holds barred, comic fight with friend Carol Burnett in "Pete 'n' Tillie (1972), she also contributed a performance of exquisite, enclosed self-pity to Woody Allen's first dramatic effort, the Bergmanesque "Interiors" (1978), earning her third Academy Award nomination as Best Actress.

Like many New York actors, Page was a regular performer during television's Golden Age in the 50s, but she became more selective regarding small screen roles after her movie career took off. She played Xantippe in NBC's "Hallmark Hall of Fame" adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Barefoot in Athens" (1966), about the early days of Socrates, and a month later delivered an Emmy-winning performance as Aunt Sookie in ABC's "A Christmas Memory" (adapted from the story by Truman Capote), a role she would reprise for "A Thanksgiving Visitor" (ABC, 1968) earning a second Emmy Award. She appeared infrequently during the 70s (i.e., "Live Again, Die Again" ABC, 1974; "Something For Joey" CBS, 1977) but stepped up her output considerably during the 80s, acting in acclaimed vehicles like the miniseries "The Blue and the Gray" (CBS, 1982) and "The Dollmaker" (ABC, 1984). She also portrayed Sally Phelps in the "American Playhouse" presentation of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (PBS, 1986) and closed out her TV career impressively as a concentration camp survivor in "Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfield Story" (ABC, 1986).

Despite her screen success, Page never turned her back on the theater. She was a great proponent of off-Broadway and regional theater, appearing throughout her career with repertory companies like the Academy Festival Theatre (Lake Forest, Illinois), where she was able to play another choice Williams' role in 1974, that of Blanche in "A Streetcar Named Desire". She performed in two Actors Studio productions ("Strange Interlude" 1963 and "Three Sisters" 1964, which was filmed) and continued to appear on Broadway in such productions as "Black Comedy" (1967), "Absurd Person Singular" (1974) and "Agnes of God" (1982). She smoked like a chimney for her Oscar-nominated role as the mother of a slain policeman in "The Pope of Greenwich Village" (1984) and finally took home a Best Actress statue for "A Trip to Bountiful" (1985), luminously portraying an elderly woman who fulfills her fervent desire of visiting the small Texas town of her youth. Page capped her big screen career as the maid of the house in which Bigger Thomas goes to work in "Native Son" (1986) and was appearing on Broadway as the eccentric medium Madame Arcati in a revival of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" at the time of her death.

Relationships

Edna Pearl Page

Mother

Leon Page

Father

Alexander Schneider

Husband
married in 1954 divorced in 1957

Rip Torn Actor

Husband
Married from 1963 until her death in 1987 they had separated in the early 1980s acted together in "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1962), "You're a Big Boy Now" (1967) and "Nasty Habits" (1976)

Angelica Torn

Daughter
born in 1964 father, Rip Torn

Anthony Torn

Son
twin born in 1965 father, Rip Torn

Jonathan Torn

Son
twin of Anthony born in 1965 father, Rip Torn

EDUCATION

studied voice with Alice Hermes

trained for the stage with Sophia Swanstrom Young in Chicago in 1940

studied acting with Uta Hagen in 1949-50

The Goodman School of Drama

Chicago , Illinois 1942 - 1945
later worked there as teacher

studied acting with Mira Rostova in 1950

Milestones

1987

Was playing the eccentric spiritualist Madame Arcarti in a Broadway revival of "Blithe Spirit" at time of death

1985

Won Academy Award as Best Actress as a woman determined to return to her hometown for a final visit in "The Trip to Bountiful", written by Horton Foote and directed by Peter Masterson

1985

Acted Off-Broadway in the all-star production of Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind", directed by the playwright

1984

Delivered an Oscar-nominated supporting performance in "The Pope of Greenwich Village", combining humor and pathos in a showy pair of scenes as the mother of a dead cop

1982

Played the Mother Superior in "Agnes of God" on Broadway

1978

Earned Best Actress Oscar nomination for her emotionally tormented mother in Woody Allen's Bergmanesque "Interiors"

1974

Made TV-movie debut in "Live Again, Die Again" (ABC)

1973

Played Mary Todd Lincoln in short-lived Broadway production of "Look Away"

1968

Reprised role of Aunt Sookie in another Capote adaptation, "A Thanksgiving Visitor", snagging second Emmy Award

1966

Received first Emmy Award for leading role in ABC's "Stage 67" production of "A Christmas Memory", adapted from Truman Capote's short story; played Aunt Sookie

1964

Acted in Actors Studio production of Anton Chekov's "The Three Sisters", first play directed by Lee Strasberg in 13 years; filmed and released theatrically

1963

Reteamed with Quintero for NYC revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude"

1962

Picked up another Best Actress Oscar nomination for "Sweet Bird of Youth"

1961

Returned to films after nearly a decade in breakthrough turn reprising stage role of Alma in "Summer and Smoke"; earned first Oscar nomination as Best Actress

1959

Portrayed Alexandra Del Lago in Broadway production of Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth", acting with Paul Newman and future husband Rip Torn; all three reprised roles in the 1962 movie version directed by Richard Brooks

1956

London debut, reprising role of Lizzie Curry in "The Rainmaker"

1954

Starred opposite Darren McGavin in Broadway production of "The Rainmaker"

1954

Acted on Broadway in "The Immoralist", with James Dean and Louis Jordan

1953

Broadway debut in "Midsummer"

1953

Appeared in the feature films "Taxi" and "Hondo"; for her sensitive portrayal of an abandoned ranch wife who falls in love with John Wayne in the latter received first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress

1952

Made early TV appearance in episode of "Lux Video Theatre"

1952

Stage revival of Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke" (directed by Jose Quintero) put both off-Broadway and Page on the map, securing for her a place among America's finest actors; received raves playing heroine Alma Winemuller

1947

Feature film debut in "Out of the Night"

1940

Stage debut in Chicago production of "Eat My Dust"

Joined the Mirror Repertory Theatre Company in NYC

Bonus Trivia

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On being told that her husband Rip Torn had become the father of a child by actress Amy Wright: "Of course Rip and I are still married. We've been married for years. We're staying maried. What's the big fuss?" --Geraldine Page, to gossip columnist Cindy Adams in June of 1983

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