Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gale Sondergaard-1899-1985

Gale Sondergaard (l.) and Bette Davis in The Letter (1940)

Today marks the birth anniversary of actress Gale Sondergaard, who was born on this day in 1899. She started off on the stage, and supposedly didn't have any intention of going to Hollywood, except that her husband, a director, went west and she followed him. It turned out to be serendipitous as Sondergaard was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in her very first film, Anthony Adverse; in fact, she won that award. She then proceeded to have an active career for a dozen years until the government panicked that there might be Communists in Hollywood. She was one of many people dragooned into appearing before Congress (her husband was one of the Hollywood Ten), and when she refused to testify, nobody would hire her again.

In addition to her Oscar-winning role in Anthony Adverse and the pictured The Letter above, you might want to look for her as Alfred Dreyfus' wife Lucie in The Life of Emile Zola or as Empress Eugenie in Juarez.

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