Kim Stanley

Actor, Drama professor, Model
This imposing, emotional stage actress also made an occasional inroad into film and TV since the 1950s. After studying at the Pasadena Community Playhouse and New York's Actors Studio, Stanley appeared in a number of ... Read more »
Born: 02/11/1925 in Tularosa, New Mexico, USA


Actor (9)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)


The Right Stuff 1983 (Movie)

Pancho Barnes (Actor)

Frances 1982 (Movie)

Lillian Farmer (Actor)

U.M.C. 1968 - 1969 (TV Show)


Flesh and Blood 1967 - 1968 (TV Show)


Seance on a Wet Afternoon 1964 (Movie)

Myra Savage (Actor)

The Three Sisters 1963 (Movie)

Masha (Actor)

The Goddess 1958 (Movie)

Emily Ann Faulkner (Actor)

Danger (Movie)



This imposing, emotional stage actress also made an occasional inroad into film and TV since the 1950s. After studying at the Pasadena Community Playhouse and New York's Actors Studio, Stanley appeared in a number of shows before making her Broadway debut replacing Julie Harris in "Monserrat" (1949). Her first major success came as the lovesick tomboy sister in William Inge's "Picnic" (1953), which led to further theatrical successes as nightclub "chantoosie" Cherie in Inge's "Bus Stop" (1955), the rebellious daughter in Eugene O'Neill's "A Touch of the Poet" (1958), one of Freud's patients in "A Far Country" (1961) and Masha in a 1964 revival of "Three Sisters", which was also filmed.

Stanley began making TV appearances on the "Golden Age" dramatic anthologies, "Danger", "Goodyear TV Playhouse", "Studio One", "Magnavox Theater" and others from the early 1950s. She won an Emmy for her turn on a 1963 "Ben Casey" episode that dealt with mercy killing and made her TV-movie debut in the family drama "Flesh and Blood" (NBC, 1986). The following year she appeared in "U.M.C." (CBS), the pilot for the series "Medical Center". Her performance as Big Mama in a PBS/Showtime production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1984) won Stanley a second Emmy.

Her big screen career has been extremely uneven and frustrating. Stanley's debut was in "The Goddess" (1958); she managed to turn in an intelligent performance despite being ludicrously miscast as a Marilyn Monroe-inspired sexpot. She was again impressive as a medium in the low-budget "Seance on a Wet Afternoon" (1964). Despite earning an Oscar nomination as Best Actress, Stanley left films for 18 years. She returned to features as the rapacious monster mother of disturbed actress Frances Farmer (Jessica Lange) in "Frances" (1982), for which she earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod. This was followed by another great turn as early barnstorming pilot Pancho Barnes in Philip Kaufman's space-race saga "The Right Stuff" (1983). By this time, however, Stanley was devoting most of her time to teaching drama at the College of Santa Fe in her native New Mexico.


Justin Reid


Jamison Clift

father, Curt Conway

Curt Conway

married in 1949 divorced on April 3, 1956

Lisa Conway

father, Curt Conway

Bruce Hall


J Reid

divorced from Stanley's mother

Ann Reid

divorced from Stanley's father

Alfred Ryder

married on August 1, 1958 divorced

Rachel Zahn

father, Alfred Ryder


Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena , California 1949
attended on scholarship

Texas State University

Waco , Texas

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque , New Mexico

Actors Studio

New York , New York
studied under Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg



Last TV appearance to date, co-starred with Lange in "Cat on a Hit Tin Roof" (Showtime/PBS); won second Emmy Award


Final film, "The Right Stuff"; played pilot Pancho Barnes


Return to films as the title character's mother in the biopic "Frances"; received Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination; first screen collaboration with Jessica Lange


Returned to NYC; served as artistic director at a small theater company


TV-movie debut in "Flesh and Blood" (NBC)


Final NYC stage appearance in "Three Sisters", with Geraldine Page, Shirley Knight and Sandy Dennis; production filmed


Earned Best Actress Oscar nomination as a medium in "Seance on a Wet Afternoon"; last film for 18 years


Won an Emmy for a guest appearance on "Ben Casey"


Picked up second Tony nomination for turn as a woman afflicted with hysterical paralysis in "A Far Country"


Starred in Anita Loos' stage adaptation of Colette's "Cherie"


London stage debut, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"


Departed the Broadway production of "A Touch of the Poet", co-starring Helen Hayes and Eric Portman, after falling into conflict with Portman; she later claimed he struck a bit too enthusiastically in one scene and left the production; received Tony nomin


Film debut, the starring role in "The Goddess"


Garnered critical praise as the nightclub singer Cherie in Inge's "Bus Stop"


Enjoyed theatrical success portraying a lovesick pre-teen in "Picnic" by William Inge


Made Broadway debut replacing Julie Harris in "Monserrat"


Garnered attention for her performance in the Off-Broadway show "Yes Is for a Very Young Man"


Moved to NYC; supported herself as a waitress and dress model (for Herbert Sondheim, father of composer Stephen Sondheim)

Returned to New Mexico and began teaching

Worked for a season playing walk-on roles at a stock company in Louisville, Kentucky

Raised in New Mexico and Texas

Received scholarship to study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse

Once again returned to New Mexico to live and teach

Became a member of the theater group Off-Broadway Inc.

Joined the Interplayers, a theater group whose members included playwright Michael V. Gazzo, actor-director Gene Saks and actor-director Sidney Lumet

Bonus Trivia


Stanley was her maternal grandmother's maiden name.


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