Rosalind Russell

Rosalind Russell

in the trailer for The Women (1939)
BornMay 4 1907(1907--)
Waterbury, Connecticut, USA
DiedNovember 28 1976 (aged 69)
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California,
Spouse(s)Frederick Brisson (1941-1976)
ChildrenLance Brisson (b. 1943)


Rosalind Russell (June 4, 1907November 28, 1976) was a four-time Academy Award nominated and Tony Award winning American film and stage actress, perhaps best known for her role as a fast-talking newspaper reporter in the Howard Hawks screwball comedy His Girl Friday.

She is the actress (tied with Meryl Streep) with the most Golden Globe Awards (for films) wins, with five. It is notable that she won every Golden Globe for which she was nominated.

Early life

Rosalind Russell was one of seven siblings born in Waterbury, Connecticut to Clara and James Edward Russell,[1] an Irish-American Catholic family. She was not named after the character from Shakespeare's As You Like It, but rather after the ship on which her parents had travelled. She attended Catholic schools before attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Career

She started her career as a fashion model and was in many Broadway shows. In the early 1930s, she began to work for MGM, where she starred in many comedies, such as Forsaking All Others (1934) and Four's a Crowd (1938), as well as dramas, including Craig's Wife (1936) and The Citadel (1938). In 1939, she was cast as a catty gossip in the all-female comedy The Women, directed by George Cukor.

She proved her quick-witted talent for comedy in the classic screwball comedy His Girl Friday (1940), directed by Howard Hawks. She played a quick-witted ace reporter who was also the ex-wife of her former newspaper editor (played by Cary Grant).

In the 1940s, she continued to make both comedies such as The Feminine Touch (1941) and Take a Letter Darling (1942), dramas like Sister Kenny (1946) and Mourning Becomes Electra (1947), and a murder mystery The Velvet Touch (1948).

Russell scored a big hit on Broadway with her Tony Award-winning performance in Wonderful Town in 1953. The play was a musical version of her successful film of a decade earlier, My Sister Eileen. Russell reprised her starring role in the musical version in 1958 in a television special.

Probably her most memorable performance was in the title role of the long-running stage hit Auntie Mame (1956) and the subsequent movie version (1958), in which she played an eccentric aunt whose orphan nephew comes to live with her. When asked which role she was most closely identified with, she replied that strangers who spotted her still called out, "Hey, Auntie Mame!"

From the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, she starred in a large number of movies, giving notable performances in Picnic (1956), Gypsy (1962) and The Trouble with Angels (1966).

Russell was the logical choice for reprising her role as "Auntie Mame" when its Broadway musical adaptation Mame was set for production in 1966. She claimed to have turned it down since she preferred to move on to different roles. In reality, she did not want to burden the public with her growing health problems, which included rheumatoid arthritis.

Rosalind Russell has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1708 Vine Street.

Personal life

She married Danish-American producer Frederick Brisson on October 25, 1941. Fred was often referred to in Hollywood as "The Lizard of Roz" due to his habit of getting choice Broadway play roles for the movie to be played by his wife Roz. They had one child in 1943, a son named Lance. Her father-in-law was the successful Danish actor Carl Brisson.

Russell died after a long battle with breast cancer in 1976 at the age of 69, although initially her age was misreported because she had shaved a few years off her true age. She was survived by her husband and son. She is buried in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Her autobiography, written with Chris Chase, entitled Life is a Banquet was published a year after her death. In the foreword (written by her husband), he states that Russell had a nervous breakdown sometime in the early 1940s. Details are scant, but it indicates that her health problems can be traced back to the 1940s.

Filmography

Features

Short subject

  • The Candid Camera Story (Very Candid) of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures 1937 Convention (1937)
  • March of Time: The Movies Move On (1939)
  • March of Time: The Movies Move On (1939)
  • You Can't Fool a Camera (1941)
  • Screen Snapshots: 25th Anniversary (1945)
  • Screen Snapshots: Famous Hollywood Mothers (1947)
Awards
Preceded by
Ingrid Bergman
for The Bells of St. Mary's
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
1947
for Sister Kenny
Succeeded by
Rosalind Russell
for Mourning Becomes Electra
Preceded by
Rosalind Russell
for Sister Kenny
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
1948
for Mourning Becomes Electra
Succeeded by
Jane Wyman
for Johnny Belinda
Preceded by
Gertrude Lawrence
for The King and I
Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical
1953
for Wonderful Town
Succeeded by
Dolores Gray
for Carnival in Flanders
Preceded by
Kay Kendall
for Les Girls
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1959
for Auntie Mame
Succeeded by
Marilyn Monroe
for Some Like It Hot
Preceded by
Shirley MacLaine
for The Apartment
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1962
for A Majority of One
1963
for Gypsy
Succeeded by
Shirley MacLaine
for Irma la Douce
Preceded by
Frank Sinatra
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
1972
Succeeded by
Lew Wasserman
Preceded by
Walter Pidgeon
Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award
1975
Succeeded by
Pearl Bailey


Preceded by
Jerry Lewis
29th Academy Awards
Oscars host
30th Academy Awards (with Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, David Niven, and James Stewart)
Succeeded by
Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, David Niven, Laurence Olivier, Tony Randall, and Mort Sahl
31st Academy Awards

Footnotes

1. ^ [1]

External links

The Women is a comedy of manners by Clare Boothe Luce.

The play is an acidic commentary on the pampered lives and power struggles of various wealthy Manhattan socialites and up-and-comers and the gossip that propels and damages their relationships.
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Waterbury, Connecticut

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Nickname: The Brass City
Motto: Quid Aere Perennius
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State of Connecticut

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Nickname(s): The Constitution State, The Nutmeg State[]
Motto(s): Qui transtulit sustinet[0]
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"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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City of Beverly Hills, California
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Nickname: "Garden Spot of the World"
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Academy Award

Awarded for Excellence in cinematic achievements
Presented by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Country United States
First awarded May 16, 1929 to honor achievements of 1927/1928
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The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is awarded periodically at the Academy Award ceremonies for outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes. It is named after screen actor Jean Hersholt, who served as the president of the Motion Picture Relief Fund for eighteen years.
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Golden Globe Award

The Golden Globe Award
Awarded for Best in film and television programs
Presented by Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Country  United States
First awarded 1944
Official website
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The Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture - Drama was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as a separate category in 1951. Previously, there was a single award for "Best Actress in a Motion Picture" but the splitting allowed for recognition of it
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IMDb profile
Sister Kenny is a 1946 biographical film [1] which tells the life story of Sister Elizabeth Kenny, an Australian bush nurse, who fought to help people who suffered from polio, despite opposition from the medical establishment.
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Mourning Becomes Electra is the title for a trilogy of plays by Eugene O'Neill, first performed in 1931. In 1947 the play was made into a movie by Dudley Nichols. In 1967, the Metropolitan Opera gave the world premiere of an operatic version, composed by Martin David Levy to
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Auntie Mame is a 1958 film based on the play of the same title, starring Rosalind Russell and directed by Morton DaCosta.
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A Majority of One is a play by Leonard Spigelgass. The comedy involves Mrs. Jacoby, a Jewish widow from Brooklyn, New York, and Koichi Asano, a millionaire widower from Tokyo. Mrs. Jacoby is sailing to Japan to visit her daughter and foreign service officer son-in-law.
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Gypsy is a 1962 musical film made by Warner Bros., about the early life of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee. It was produced and directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
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Screen Actors Guild Awards

The Actor: The Screen Actors Guild Award Statue
Awarded for Excellence in film and television by members of the Screen Actors Guild
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The Screen Actors Guild's National Honors and Tributes Committee bestows an annual Life Achievement Award "for outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession." The award was not given in 1964 or 1981.
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Tony Award

Designed by Herman Rosse, 1949
Awarded for Excellence in theatre
Presented by American Theatre Wing and the League of American Theatres and Producers
Country  United States
First awarded 1947
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The Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical is the Tony Awards award given to the actress who was voted as the best actress in a musical, whether a new production or a revival.
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Wonderful Town
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Music Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics Betty Comden
Adolph Green
Book Joseph A. Fields
Jerome Chodorov
Based upon Joseph A.
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For the town in Argentina, see 28 de Noviembre.
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Academy Award

Awarded for Excellence in cinematic achievements
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First awarded May 16, 1929 to honor achievements of 1927/1928
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