Marian Seldes

Actor, Director, Acting teacher
This daughter of noted critic and author Gilbert Seldes and niece of pioneering journalist George Seldes began her career as a dancer with the American Ballet. By her late teens, however, the tall, lithe brunette had ... Read more »
Born: 08/22/1928 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (58)

Nurse Jackie 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Extra Man 2010 (Movie)

Vivian (Actor)

Home 2009 (Movie)

Peggy (Actor)

The Toe Tactic 2009 (Movie)

Voice of Eunice (Actor)

Leatherheads 2008 (Movie)

Clerk (Actor)

The Visitor 2008 (Movie)

Barbara (Actor)

August Rush 2007 (Movie)

The Dean (Actor)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Big Day 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Book of Daniel 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Proteus: A Nineteenth Century Vision 2005 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Clubhouse 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Frasier 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mona Lisa Smile 2003 (Movie)

President Jocelyn Carr (Actor)

100 Centre Street 2000 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood Ending 2002 (Movie)

Alexandra (Actor)

Nero Wolfe 2000 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Education of Max Bickford 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Shelley Winters: Full Disclosure 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Town & Country 2001 (Movie)

Mrs Claybourne (Actor)

Duets 2000 (Movie)

Harriet Gahagan (Actor)

The Others 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Cosby 1995 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Murder, She Wrote 1991 - 1992, 1995 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Haunting 1999 (Movie)

Mrs Dudley (Actor)

Wings 1995 - 1996, 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Affliction 1998 (Movie)

Alma Pittman (Actor)

Celebrity 1998 (Movie)

Datloff Party Guest (Actor)

Digging to China 1998 (Movie)

Leah Schroth (Actor)

Sex and the City 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Home Alone 3 1997 (Movie)

Mrs Hess (Actor)

Central Park West 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Tom and Huck 1995 (Movie)

Widow Douglas (Actor)

The Whole Shebang 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Good & Evil 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

TGIF Comedy Preview 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag 1992 (Movie)

Margaret Armstrong (Actor)

Dancing For Mr. B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Narrator

In a Pig's Eye 1988 (Movie)

Isabel Purvis (Actor)

Spy Trap 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Gertrude Stein and a Companion 1985 (Movie)

Alice B Toklas (Actor)

Fingers 1978 (Movie)

Mother (Actor)

Kate McShane 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

The Greatest Story Ever Told 1965 (Movie)

Herodias (Actor)

Crime and Punishment 1958 (Movie)

Debbie Cole (Actor)

The Big Fisherman 1958 (Movie)

Arnon (Actor)

The Light in the Forest 1958 (Movie)

Kate Owens (Actor)

The Young Stranger 1957 (Movie)

Mrs Morse (Actor)

The True Story of Jesse James 1956 (Movie)

Rowena Cobb (Actor)

If These Walls Could Talk 2 (TV Show)

Actor

In From the Night (TV Show)

Actor

Loving (TV Show)

Actor

Plainsong (TV Show)

Actor

Truman (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

This daughter of noted critic and author Gilbert Seldes and niece of pioneering journalist George Seldes began her career as a dancer with the American Ballet. By her late teens, however, the tall, lithe brunette had decided to switch to acting, making her stage debut in a bit role supporting Judith Anderson in "Medea" in 1947. After apprenticing with Katharine Cornell (and supporting that legendary leading lady in NYC stage venues), Marian Seldes made her feature film debut in "The Lonely Night" (1952). By her own admission, her tony upbringing had instilled in her the notion that ambition was not necessarily a good thing, so consequently, her film career proved sporadic. After a flurry of roles, most of which wasted her unique presence, in films like "The True Story of Jesse James" (1957) and "The Light in the Forest" (1958), the actress returned to the East Coast and resumed her stage work.

Relationships

Julian Claman Producer

Husband

Katharine Claman

Daughter
Father, Julian Claman

Alice Hall

Mother

Garson Kanin Director

Husband
Married from June 19, 1990 to his death in 1999

Gilbert Seldes

Father

Timothy Seldes

Brother

George Seldes

Uncle
Was the subject of the 1996 Oscar-nominated documentary "Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press," in which Marian appears as an interviewee died on July 2, 1995

EDUCATION

School of the American Ballet

New York , New York 1941 - 1944

The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

New York , New York 1947
Studied under Sanford Meisner

Milestones

2008

Had a small role in the George Clooney directed "Leatherheads"

2007

Had a supporting role in the independent film "The Visitor"

2007

Played well-bred Midge Barker, opposite Angela Lansbury's blue collar Leona Mullen, in the Broadway production of "Deuce"

2003

Earned a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actress in a Play for her role in "Dinner at Eight"

2003

Portrayed the president of a woman's college in the 1950s in "Mona Lisa Smile"

2002

Began teaching at Fordham University in New York City

2001

Played Andie MacDowell's mother in "Town & Country"

2001

Had featured role in Neil Simon's Broadway comedy "45 Seconds from Broadway"

2000

Starred in Edward Albee's "The Play About the Baby" at the Alley Theater in Houston; reprised role in the off-Broadway production in 2001

2000

Acted on stage as a theatrical grande dame in The Drama Dept. production of "The Torch-Bearers"

1999

Had supporting role as a mysterious housekeeper in "The Haunting"

1999

Returned to Broadway, replacing an ailing Irene Worth, in the revival of "Ring Round the Moon"; earned a Best Actress Tony Award nomination as the wheelchair-bound Madame Desmermortes

1998

Played the terminally ill mother of the mentally-challenged Kevin Bacon in "Digging to China"

1998

Played Mr. Big's (Chris Noth) mother in an episode of HBO's "Sex and the City"

1997

Cast as the grumpy woman who inadvertently passes a stolen computer chip to her next-door neighbor in "Home Alone 3"

1997

Acted alongside former student Kevin Kline in "Ivanov"; directed by Gerald Guitterez, another former student

1996

Was interviewed for the Oscar-nominated documentary "Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press"

1995

Portrayed former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the HBO biopic "Truman"

1995

Appeared as the Widow Douglas in "Tom and Huck"

1992

Offered a memorable turn as Aunt Brook on a holiday episode of "Murphy Brown" (CBS)

1992

Had featured role in the screen comedy "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag"

1992

First acted in Edward Albee's award-winning "Three Tall Women"; later appeared in the off-Broadway production in 1994

1991

Resumed film career portraying Alice B. Toklas to Jan Miner's Gertrude Stein in "Gertrude Stein and a Companion"

1991

Debuted as a series regular on the short-lived ABC sitcom "Good & Evil"

1990

Co-starred in the ill-fated (and ill-conceived) musical sequel "Annie 2: Miss Hanigan's Revenge" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

1983

Played the starchy matron in the hit off-Broadway play "Painting Churches"

1978

Co-starred as the murdered wife of playwright Sydney Bruhl in the long-running "Deathtrap"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actress in a Play

1978

Published her memoirs The Bright Lights

1977

Portrayed the titular dancer in "Isadora Duncan Sleeps with the Russian Navy"

1977

Made one-shot return to features as Harvey Kietel's mentally unbalanced mother in "Fingers"

1974

Played over 900 performances as the magistrate and later as Alan's mother in "Equus"

1970

Earned a Tony Award nomination for her role in Oliver Hailey's "Father's Day"; show opened and closed on the same night

1967

Played Julia, the much married daughter of a warring couple (played by Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn) in Albee's "A Delicate Balance"

1967

Was a faculty member of the Juilliard School of Drama; among her students were Kevin Kline, Gerald Guiterrez and Frances Conroy

1965

Appeared as Herodias in "The Greatest Story Ever Told"; last feature for over a decade

1965

Initial stage collaboration with Edward Albee, "Tiny Alice"

1964

Performed in Tennessee Williams' "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore"

1960

Returned to Broadway to appear in "The Wall"

1955

Acted in the Broadway production of "The Chalk Garden"

1952

Feature acting debut, "The Lonely Night"

1949

Made an early TV appearance in a production of "Macbeth"

1948

Made her Broadway theatre debut in a production of "Medea"

1944

Made stage acting debut with the Cambridge Summer Theater

1941

Debuted as a dancer with the American Ballet in "Petrouchka"

Appeared with Katharine Cornell in "That Lady" (1949) and "The Tower Beyond Tragedy" (1950)

Bonus Trivia

.

Seldes was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1996.

.

"I thought ambition was an unattractive quality. I couldn't see the positive side of it. And I think it held me back, and I wish I'd been more ambitious." - Marian Seldes quoted in "The Lively Artist: 'Ring Round the Moon' Brings Actress Marian Seldes Unexpected Rewards" by Edward Karam in Playbill, May 12, 1999

.

Seldes acted in over 1,000 consecutive performances of "Deathtrap," landing her in the Guinness Book of World Records and having her name elevated above the title.

SIMILAR ARTICLES