A celebrated stage actress whose occasional forays into TV and rare steps into feature films were selected with great care, Sada Thompson was cast in many "mother roles" throughout her lengthy career, due in large part to the no-nonsense aura she gave off in many matriarchal roles. Born Sept. 27, 1927 in Des Moines, IA, she was the oldest of three children of magazine editor, Hugh Woodruff Thompson, and his wife, Corlyss Gibson. The youngster grew to love the theater. Her first role on a semi-professional stage was, ironically, as a mother, in a college production of "The Time of Your Life." Thompson made her professional stage debut in Massachusetts in a production of "The Beautiful People." Continuing to land roles, she spent several years playing parts as diverse as Billie Dawn in "Born Yesterday" and Madame Arcati in "Blithe Spirits." After arriving in New York City in the mid-1950s, she often performed classic Shakespearean and Chekhovian roles as well as average Americans at prestigious theaters and elsewhere for three decades. Stage stardom arrived with her turn as Beatrice, the slovenly mother in Paul Zindel's Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" (1970), for which she won an OBIE. She solidified her success with her versatile, Tony-winning turn as four women in the same family in George Furth's "Twigs." Thompson even played Lady Macbeth in a 1969 production at the San Diego Shakespeare Festival.