Over a six-decade (and counting) career, Brooklyn-born Shelley Winters has proven to be a highly prolific, galvanic presence on stage and screen. As a teenager, she auditioned for the coveted role of Scarlett O'Hara in her thick "Noo Yawk" accent, prompting director George Cukor to suggest she consider college. Undaunted, Winters persisted and landed an understudy job for the 1940 Broadway production of "The Time of Your Life". The following year, she made her Broadway debut in "The Night Before Christmas". A voluptuous bottle blonde, the actress soon caught the attention of talent scouts and was put under contract by Columbia Pictures in 1943. Underutilized, Winters auditioned for and landed a role in "Knickerbocker Holiday" (1944) at United Artists upsetting studio head Harry Cohn who eventually dropped her option.