Shelley Winters

Actor, Acting teacher, Model
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 ... Read more »
Born: 08/17/1920 in St Louis, Missouri, USA

Filmography

Actor (123)

History Vs. Hollywood 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Palance: From Grit to Grace 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Gideon 1999 (Movie)

Mrs Willows (Actor)

Once Upon a Time in Little Italy 1998 (Movie)

Professor Summers (Actor)

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

Actor

Inside the Actors Studio 1994 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Heavy 1996 (Movie)

Dolly (Actor)

Mrs. Munck 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Roseanne 1991 - 1994, 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Portrait of A Lady 1996 (Movie)

Mrs Touchett (Actor)

Back Fire! 1995 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hollywood Stars: A Century of Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Jury Duty 1995 (Movie)

Mom (Actor)

Raging Angels 1995 (Movie)

Grandma Ruth (Actor)

Marlon Brando, Wild One 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Silence of the Hams 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Pickle 1993 (Movie)

Yetta (Actor)

AFI Salute to Sidney Poitier 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Street Scenes: New York on Film 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Stepping Out 1991 (Movie)

Mrs Fraser (Actor)

Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol 1991 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Montgomery Clift: His Place in the Sun 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Touch of a Stranger 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

An Unremarkable Life 1989 (Movie)

Evelyn McEllany (Actor)

Hello Actors Studio 1988 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Purple People Eater 1988 (Movie)

Rita (Actor)

True Confessions 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Alice in Wonderland 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Delta Force 1986 (Movie)

Edie Kaplan (Actor)

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey 1985 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Dom DeLuise and Friends, Part 2 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Over the Brooklyn Bridge 1984 (Movie)

Becky Sherman (Actor)

Deja Vu 1983 (Movie)

Olga Nabokov (Actor)

Ellie 1983 (Movie)

Cora (Actor)

Parade of Stars 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Witchfire 1983 (Movie)

Lydia (Actor)

Fanny Hill 1982 (Movie)

Mrs Cole (Actor)

Very Close Quarters 1982 (Movie)

Galina (Actor)

S.O.B. 1981 (Movie)

Eva Brown (Actor)

Acting: Lee Strasberg and The Actors Studio 1980 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Looping 1980 (Movie)

Carmen (Actor)

My Mother, My Daughter 1980 (Movie)

Mother (Actor)

The French Atlantic Affair 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Visitor 1980 (Movie)

Jane Phillips (Actor)

City on Fire 1979 (Movie)

Nurse Andrea Harper (Actor)

King of the Gypsies 1978 (Movie)

Queen Rachel (Actor)

Kojak (CBS) 1973 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Initiation of Sarah 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Magician of Lublin 1978 (Movie)

Elizabeta (Actor)

Pete's Dragon 1977 (Movie)

Lena Gogan (Actor)

An Average Man 1976 (Movie)

Amalia Vivaldi (Actor)

Next Stop, Greenwich Village 1976 (Movie)

Mrs Lapinsky (Actor)

Tentacoli 1976 (Movie)

Tillie Turner (Actor)

Diamonds 1975 (Movie)

Zelda Shapiro (Actor)

Journey Into Fear 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Tenant 1975 (Movie)

Concierge (Actor)

Poor Pretty Eddie 1974 (Movie)

(Actor)

That Lucky Touch 1974 (Movie)

Diana Steedeman (Actor)

Blume in Love 1973 (Movie)

Mrs Cramer (Actor)

Cleopatra Jones 1973 (Movie)

Mommy (Actor)

The Poseidon Adventure 1972 (Movie)

Belle Rosen (Actor)

What's The Matter With Helen? 1971 (Movie)

Helen (Actor)

Who Slew Auntie Roo? 1971 (Movie)

Aunt Roo (Actor)

Bloody Mama 1970 (Movie)

Kate "Ma" Barker (Actor)

Flap 1970 (Movie)

(Actor)

Something to Hide 1970 (Movie)

Gabriella (Actor)

How Do I Love Thee? 1969 (Movie)

Lena Mervin (Actor)

The Mad Room 1969 (Movie)

Mrs Gladys Armstrong (Actor)

Buona Sera, Mrs Campbell 1968 (Movie)

Shirley Newman (Actor)

The Scalphunters 1968 (Movie)

Kate (Actor)

Wild in the Streets 1968 (Movie)

Mrs Flatow (Actor)

Enter Laughing 1967 (Movie)

Mrs Kolowitz (Actor)

Harper 1966 (Movie)

Fay Estabrook (Actor)

Alfie 1965 (Movie)

Ruby (Actor)

The Greatest Story Ever Told 1965 (Movie)

Woman of No Name (Actor)

A Patch of Blue 1964 (Movie)

Rose-Ann D'Arcy (Actor)

A House Is Not a Home 1963 (Movie)

Polly Adler (Actor)

Alcoa Premiere 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

The Three Sisters 1963 (Movie)

Natalya (Actor)

The Balcony 1962 (Movie)

Madame Irma (Actor)

Wives and Lovers 1962 (Movie)

Fran Cabrell (Actor)

Lolita 1961 (Movie)

Charlotte Haze (Actor)

The Chapman Report 1961 (Movie)

Sarah Gamell (Actor)

The Young Savages 1961 (Movie)

Mary Di Pace (Actor)

Let No Man Write My Epitaph 1960 (Movie)

Nellie Romano (Actor)

Odds Against Tomorrow 1959 (Movie)

Lorry (Actor)

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars 1951 - 1959 (TV Show)

Actor

The Diary of Anne Frank 1958 (Movie)

Mrs Van Daan (Actor)

I Am a Camera 1955 (Movie)

Natalie Landauer (Actor)

I Died a Thousand Times 1955 (Movie)

Marie (Actor)

Mambo 1955 (Movie)

Tony Burns (Actor)

The Big Knife 1955 (Movie)

Dixie Evans (Actor)

The Night of the Hunter 1955 (Movie)

Willa Harper (Actor)

The Treasure of Pancho Villa 1955 (Movie)

Ruth Harris (Actor)

To Dorothy a Son 1955 (Movie)

Myrtle La Mar (Actor)

Executive Suite 1954 (Movie)

Eva Bardeman (Actor)

Saskatchewan 1954 (Movie)

Grace Markey (Actor)

Tennessee Champ 1954 (Movie)

Sarah Wurble (Actor)

Playgirl 1953 (Movie)

Fran Davis (Actor)

He Ran All the Way 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

Phone Call From a Stranger 1951 (Movie)

Binky Gay (Actor)

A Place in the Sun 1950 (Movie)

Alice Tripp (Actor)

Red River 1948 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Thousand and One Nights 1945 (Movie)

Handmaiden (Actor)

A Death of Innocence (TV Show)

Actor

Batman (TV Show)

Actor

Big Rose (TV Show)

Actor

Climax! (TV Show)

Actor

Elvis (TV Show)

Actor

Frosty's Winter Wonderland (TV Show)

Voice

Hawaiian Heat (TV Show)

Actor

Kraft Television Theater (TV Show)

Actor

On Cukor (TV Show)

Actor

Revenge (TV Show)

Actor

The Devil's Daughter (TV Show)

Actor

The Sex Symbol (TV Show)

Actor

Weep No More My Lady (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (1)

Witchfire 1983 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Biography

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.

Relationships

Laura Dern Actor

Godchild

Anthony Franciosa Actor

Husband
Married on May 4, 1957 divorced in November 1960

Vittorio Gassman Actor

Husband

Vittoria Gassman

Daughter
born c. 1953

Paul Meyer

Husband
married in October 1943 divorced in 1946

Jonas Schrift

Father

Rose Schrift

Mother

EDUCATION

Wayne State University

Detroit , Michigan

Actors Studio

New York , New York

Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research

New York

Thomas Jefferson High School

New York , New York
made stage acting debut while a student

Milestones

1999

Acted in "La Bomba", featuring ex-husband Vittorio Gassman and his son Alessandro

1999

Played a retirement home resident in "Gideon's Web"; shown at the Cannes Film Festival market

1996

Had supporting role in Diane Ladd's TV directorial debut, the Showtime movie "Mrs. Munck"

1996

Played small role of Mrs Touchette in Jane Campion's "The Portrait of a Lady"

1995

Cast as Pauly Shore's mother in the lame comedy "Jury Duty"

1995

Co-starred in "Heavy"

1991

Played the pianist in "Stepping Out"

1981

Cast as a duplicitous agent in Blake Edwards' satirical "S.O.B."

1979

Played Gladys Presley in the acclaimed ABC biopic "Elvis", starring Kurt Russell and directed by John Carpenter

1976

Acted the role of the Concierge in Roman Polanski's thriller "The Tenant"

1974

Starred as Rose Winters (a character named after her real-life mother) in the CBS TV-movie "Big Rose", an unsold series pilot

1973

Debut as playwright with "One Night Stands of a Noisy Passenger", a series of three one-act plays; hand-picked Robert De Niro for one of the roles

1972

Received fourth Academy Award nomination as the grandmotherly ex-swimmer who risks her life to save others in "The Poseidon Adventure"

1970

TV-movie debut in ABC's "Revenge"

1969

Starred in the Roger Corman film "Bloody Mama"; first time working with Robert De Niro

1969

Played Minnie Shean Marx in "Minnie's Boys", the unsuccessful musical biography of the Marx Brothers

1965

Garnered second Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as the bigoted mother of a blind girl in "A Patch of Blue"

1964

Received Emmy for appearance in "Two Is the Number", a drama special aired as part of "Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" (NBC)

1964

Appeared in featured role in the Actors Studio film version of "Three Sisters", starring Geraldine Page

1962

Succeeded Bette Davis in the role of Maxine Faulk in Tennessee Williams' "The Night of the Iguana"

1962

Cast as the blowsy Charlotte Haze in Stanley Kubrick's comic take on "Lolita"

1959

Received first Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Mrs Van Daan in the film version of "The Diary of Anne Frank", directed by George Stevens

1955

Starred in "The Night of the Hunter", directed by Charles Laughton

1955

Portrayed the promiscuous shopgirl Crystal Allen in NBC version of "The Women"

1955

Returned to Broadway as co-star of "A Hatful of Rain"

1951

Received Best Actress Oscar nomination as the doomed, working-class girl in love with Clift in "A Place in the Sun", directed by George Stevens

1948

Signed seven-year contract with Universal

1948

Played small role in "Red River", starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift

1947

Gained attention in film with her performance in "A Double Life"

1947

Played Ado Annie on Broadway in the musical "Oklahoma!"

1943

Appeared in "Knickerbocker Holiday", billed as Shelley Winter

1942

Film acting debut in "What a Woman!"

1942

Signed to a contract by Columbia Pictures

1940

Broadway debut in "The Night Before Christmas"

1940

Stage debut as understudy in "The Time of Your Life"

1938

Auditioned for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind"; George Cukor reportedly told her she should attend college

Played recurring role as Roseanne's grandmother Nana Mary on the ABC sitcom "Roseanne"

Raised in Brooklyn, New York

Bonus Trivia

.

In the 1940s when both were struggling actresses, Winters and Marilyn Monroe shared an apartment

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She donated her 1959 Oscar to the Anne Frank Home in Amsterdam.

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In her memoirs, Winters recounts her many love affairs, including those with Errol Flynn, Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Adlai Stevenson, Sean Connery and William Holden, among others

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"She is eccentric, highly gifted, unique, unusual, creative--and off-the-wall. Working with Shelley is extraordinarily challenging. She is extremely difficult to work with. I found that not to be helpful for my work. She said I was better because she was difficult. I say it would have been easier or better for my health to have had a little less turmoil on the set." --Debbie Reynolds, co-star of "What's the Matter With Helen?", quoted in LOS ANGELES TIMES, April 9, 1995

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"I think that because Shelley was a pretty, zaftig blonde and worked in the era of where those movie role proliferated, she played a lot of not-so-birght roles, victims and floozies--and yet somehow, you always knew that there was a strength there. She never seemed to feel she had to adopt a masculine style in order to show that she was strong." --Gloria Steinem quoted in LOS ANGELES TIMES, April 9, 1995

.

"I'll tell you, I'm a little confused about why there;s all this interest in me. In 'Mrs. Doubtfire', Robin Williams says he wants to get older, and Harvey Fierstein says 'Like Shirley MacLaine or Shelley Winters?' Then, in 'The Adventures of Prsicilla, Queen of the Desert'. one of those men says ,'Take that off. Who do you think you are, Shelley Winters?' [Laughs] Now, I haven't been a babe for a long time, you know. And there's a wonderful picture called 'Swimming With Sharks'; under the titles, this agent trying to tell these young producers who I am, trying to get me a part. Nothing was really insulting, except one of them said I looked older, but I think I prefer to look older than have things operated on. . . . Why, all of a sudden am I public domain. I mean, I've been here all the time!" --Shelley Winters in INTERVIEW, May 1966

.

"The ONLY love scene I ever tried to do was in 'Lolita' with James Mason. I had to lower my robe and snuggle up to him in bed. I couldn't do it. I knocked him out of bed and broke his glasses." --Winters in PREMIERE, January 1995

.

"I've got four Oscar nominations and two Oscars, and guess what? Peole know me from 'Roseanne', where I play her grandmother." --Winters to PEOPLE, December 16, 1996

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Winters was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Hollywood Film Festival in August 1998.

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She was quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES in July 1998 as admitting she had been lying about her age for years and that in reality she was born in 1920 not 1922 as all the record books list.

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On October 14, 2005, Shelley Winters suffered a heart attack.

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