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Actress Shelley Winters Dies

Shelley Winters, the outspoken actress, best known for her Academy Award winning turns in films The Diary of Anne Frank and A Patch of Blue, has died, The Associated Press reports. She was 85.

Winters died of heart failure early Saturday at The Rehabilitation Centre of Beverly Hills, her publicist Dale Olson said. She had been hospitalized in October after suffering a heart attack.

The actress sustained a long career. She started as a nightclub chorus girl, advanced to supporting roles in New York plays, then became famous as a Hollywood starlet. But as a devotee of the Actors Studio, she got more serious about her craft.

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Winters received her final Oscar nomination, for 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure. Among her other notable films: A Place in the Sun, Night of the HunterLolita and Alfie. Still working well into her 70s, she had a recurring role as Roseanne’s grandmother on the 1990s TV show Roseanne.

“Shelley was idol of mine–and many–an extraordinary woman with powerful charisma, enormous talent and a keen, perceptive mind,” longtime friend and actress Connie Stevens told AP.

Winters was also known for her flamboyant lifestyle. Her stormy marriages, her romances with famous stars—including Burt Lancaster and William Holden–as well as her forays into politics and feminist causes kept her name before the public. She delighted in giving provocative interviews and seemed to have an opinion on everything.

Her first marriage was to businessman Paul “Mack” Mayer on Jan. 1, 1942. They divorced in 1948. Winters’ second and third marriages were brief and tempestuous: to Vittorio Gassman (1952-1954) and Anthony Franciosa (1957-1960), both volatile actors.

Winters is survived by a daughter, Vittoria, from her marriage to Gassman.

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