A character player, instantly recognizable and long beloved for her prolific assortment of portrayals of steely mothers, dour maids and hard-hearted Hannahs, Kathleen Freeman actually began her career just out of diapers as part of her parents' vaudeville act. The petite, stout performer formed her own theater company and was acting in "Ethan Frome" when she was spotted by talent scouts and signed for the movies. Freeman's early film career began with numerous nameless roles in the late 1940s and 50s in such films as "The Naked City" (1948), "Dream Wife" (1953) "The Fly" (1958). She was especially memorable in a hilarious supporting role in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) as the voice teacher of Jean Hagen. The actress also enjoyed a 10 film collaboration with Jerry Lewis ranging from "Three Ring Circus" (1954) through "The Nutty Professor" (1963) and "The Disorderly Orderly" (1964) and winding up with "Which Way to the Front?" (1970).