Mercedes McCambridge

Actor, Voice actor
A noted radio and stage performer, Mercedes McCambridge won an Oscar for her screen debut as the political hatchet woman in "All the King's Men" (1949) but subsequently made only occasional film appearances. An intense ... Read more »
Born: 03/16/1918 in Joliet, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (27)

The 70th Annual Academy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Echoes 1983 (Movie)

Lilian Gerber (Actor)

Louis L'Amour's The Sacketts 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

The Concorde - Airport '79 1979 (Movie)

Nelli (Actor)

Thieves 1977 (Movie)

Street Lady (Actor)

The President's Plane Is Missing 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Like a Crow on a June Bug 1973 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Exorcist 1973 (Movie)

Voice of Demon Pazuzu (Actor)

Two For the Money 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

The Counterfeit Killer 1968 (Movie)

Frances (Actor)

99 Women 1967 (Movie)

Thelma (Actor)

The Loretta Young Theater 1953 - 1962 (TV Show)

Actor

Angel Baby 1961 (Movie)

Sarah Strand (Actor)

Cimarron 1960 (Movie)

Sarah Wyatt (Actor)

Suddenly, Last Summer 1959 (Movie)

Mrs Holly (Actor)

Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theater 1954 - 1958 (TV Show)

Actor

Touch of Evil 1958 (Movie)

Gang Leader (Actor)

A Farewell to Arms 1957 (Movie)

Miss Van Campen (Actor)

Front Row Center 1954 - 1956 (TV Show)

Actor

Giant 1956 (Movie)

Luz Benedict (Actor)

One Man's Family 1949 - 1955 (TV Show)

Actor

Johnny Guitar 1954 (Movie)

Emma Small (Actor)

The Chevrolet Tele-Theater 1948 - 1950 (TV Show)

Actor

All the King's Men 1948 (Movie)

Sadie Burke (Actor)

Killer By Night (TV Show)

Actor

Who Is the Black Dahlia? (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

A noted radio and stage performer, Mercedes McCambridge won an Oscar for her screen debut as the political hatchet woman in "All the King's Men" (1949) but subsequently made only occasional film appearances. An intense actress with piercing dark eyes and a strong, resonant voice, she specialized in forceful or domineering roles and was not afraid to play the unsympathetic role of Joan Crawford's insanely jealous and vindictive nemesis in Nicholas Ray's flamboyantly psychological Western, "Johnny Guitar" (1954). She earned a second Academy Award nomination as Rock Hudson's headstrong older sister in "Giant" (1956) and later played Elizabeth Taylor's mother in "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959). McCambridge also provided the memorable voice-over for the demon-child in "The Exorcist" (1973). A recovered alcoholic, she has served as honorary chair of the Alcoholism Information Month and has appeared before the Senate committee on Alcoholism and Narcotics.

Relationships

John Patrick McCambridge

Father

Marie McCambridge

Mother

William Fifield

Husband
married in 1939 divorced in 1946 son of a minister father of McCambridge's son John

Fletcher Markle

Husband
married on February 19, 1950 divorced in 1962 died on May 22, 1991 of heart failure adopted McCambridge's son

John Markle

Son
born in 1941 father, William Fifield nearly killed by thugs in 1961 and hospitalized c. 1961 again as a result of an auto accident killed his wife and two daughters and committed suicide on November 16, 1987 within four days of being dismissed as vice president of Stephens Inc., a Little Rock (AR) brokerage company left half of his estate (estimated $500,000) to McCambridge

EDUCATION

Mundelein College

Chicago , Illinois 1937
won drama award in senior year

Milestones

1991

Replaced Irene Worth as the grandmother in the Broadway production of Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers"; later toured in the role

1980

Final film (to date) "Echoes"

1979

Portrayed the family matriarch in the NBC miniseries "The Sacketts"

1973

Provided vocals used for the possessed Regan in "The Exorcist"

1972

Earned a Tony nomination for her performance in "The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks"

1972

TV-movie debut, "Killer by Night" (CBS)

1962

Returned to Broadway as replacement in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

1960

Led the crowd that stormed the Los Angeles Democratic convention to draft Adlai Stevenson

1959

Played Mrs. Holly, the mother of Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor) in "Suddenly, Last Summer"

1956

Again campaigned for Stevenson

1956

Garnered second Oscar nomination for her performance as Rock Hudson's older sister in "Giant"

1954

Sparred onscreen and off with Joan Crawford in "Johnny Guitar"

1952

Hosted own radio program

1952

Traveled for Adlai Stevenson's presidential election campaign

1950

TV debut in "The Voice of the Cricket" on NBC's "Tele-Theatre"

1949

Film debut, "All the King's Men"; won Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress

1944

Stage debut, "Hope for the Best"

1944

Broadway debut, "A Place of Our Own"

1936

Starred on radio series, "Big Sister"

Began career on radio while still in college

Supplied all female voices for radio series, "I Love a Mystery"

Spent much of her childhood on family farm in Blackstone, IL

Co-starred with Orson Welles on "Ford Theater" radio program for two years

Starred in national tours of "Agnes of God" (1983) and "'night, Mother" (1984)

Bonus Trivia

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When McCambridge was hailed as "the world's greatest living radio actress" by Orson Welles, she retorted "How can you be the world's greatest dead radio actress?" -From Daily News, January 22, 1970.

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Awarded certificiate for her volunteer work for the National Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Washington (1971).

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She received a special citiation from United Jewish Welfare and two awards from the "City of Hope" and the Gold Key Award (Kansas City in 1972).

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She has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees.

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