Lilia Skala

Actor
Galvanizing, stern-featured Viennese character actress with extensive Broadway experience ("The Diary of Anne Frank", "Medea and Jason") and regular if limited film and TV credits. A decade after recreating her Broadway ... Read more »
Born: 11/28/1896 in Austria

Filmography

Actor (21)

Men of Respect 1991 (Movie)

Lucia (Actor)

House of Games 1987 (Movie)

Dr Littauer (Actor)

Search For Tomorrow 1951 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Flashdance 1983 (Movie)

Hanna Long (Actor)

Testament 1983 (Movie)

Fania (Actor)

The End of August 1980 (Movie)

Madamoiselle Reisz (Actor)

Heartland 1979 (Movie)

Grandma Landauer (Actor)

Sooner or Later 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Roseland 1977 (Movie)

Rosa (Actor)

Eleanor and Franklin 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Deadly Hero 1975 (Movie)

Mrs Broderick (Actor)

Search 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Green Acres 1965 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Charly 1968 (Movie)

Dr Anna Straus (Actor)

Ironside 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

Caprice 1966 (Movie)

Madame Piasco (Actor)

Ship of Fools 1965 (Movie)

Frau Hutten (Actor)

Lilies of the Field 1963 (Movie)

Mother Maria (Actor)

Call Me Madam 1953 (Movie)

Grand Duchess (Actor)

Split Second to an Epitaph (TV Show)

Actor

The Sunshine Patriot (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Galvanizing, stern-featured Viennese character actress with extensive Broadway experience ("The Diary of Anne Frank", "Medea and Jason") and regular if limited film and TV credits. A decade after recreating her Broadway role in the film version of the Irving Berlin musical "Call Me Madam" (1953) Skala first gained attention in features with her splendid, Oscar-nominated performance as the disciplined, argumentative but good-hearted Mother Superior who coaxes an itinerant handyman (Sidney Poitier) into building a church in the delightful sleeper "Lilies of the Field" (1963).

Most typically in prominent, commanding supporting roles, Skala has also played nuns in TV-movies including "Who Has Seen the Wind?" (1965) and the pilot for "Ironside" (1967). She also played doctors regularly, performing well as Lindsay Crouse's mentor in David Mamet's psychological thriller "House of Games" (1987) and as one of the doctors who enhances a retarded man's mental capacities in the less-than-sterling "Charly" (1968). Skala's amusing recurring role as the battleaxe mother-in-law on the 1960s sitcom "Green Acres" was a welcome chance for her to do comedy; more typically she has played dramatic roles in the apocalyptic drama "Testament" (1983, as a music teacher) and the striking prairie saga "Heartland" (1980, as a brusque rancher). Also in 1983, she played a former ballerina who inspires Jennifer Beals in "Flashdance". One of her most affecting performances used the tough aspects of her acting persona to counterpoint her lonely, careworn character in the ballroom-set anthology "Roseland" (1977), which Skala effortlessly stole from a sterling ensemble cast of elderly character stalwarts. In that film, she tugs heartstrings by dying on the dance floor, a smile on her face.

Relationships

Martin

Son
survived her

Peter

Son
survived her

Milestones

1991

Appeared in final feature film, "Men of Respect"

1983

Had key roles in "Flashdance" and "Testament"

1977

Co-starred in "Roseland"

1965

Played the recurring role of the mother-in-law of Oliver Douglas (Eddie Albert) in the popular CBS sitcom "Green Acres"

1963

Returned to feature film work in "Lillies of the Field"

1953

Played first sizable American feature film role in "Call Me Madam", recreating her 1950 stage role

Appeared as regular on "As the World Turns" (CBS)

Acted primarily on the stage during the early days of her career; was on the American stage in the 1950s

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