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Shirley Booth

Shirley Booth

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Shirley Booth was an American actress.

Primarily a theatre actress, Booth's Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 career began in 1925. Her most significant success was as Lola Delaney, in the drama
Drama
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

 Come Back, Little Sheba
Come Back, Little Sheba (play)
Come Back, Little Sheba is a 1950 play by the American dramatist William Inge. The play was Inge's first, written while he was a teacher at Washington University in St...

, for which she received a Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 in 1950. She made her film debut, reprising her role in the 1952 film version
Come Back, Little Sheba (1952 film)
Come Back, Little Sheba is a drama film produced by Paramount Pictures which tells the story of a loveless marriage that is rocked when a young woman rents a room in the couple's house. The film stars Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth with Terry Moore and Richard Jaeckel...

, and won both the Academy Award for Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance. Despite her successful entry into films, she preferred stage acting, and made only four more films.

From 1961 until 1966, she played the title role in the sitcom Hazel
Hazel (TV series)
Hazel is a Screen Gems television series about a fictional live-in maid named Hazel Burke and her employers, the Baxters. The five-season, 154-episode series aired in primetime from September 1961 until April 1966...

, for which she won two Emmy Awards, and was acclaimed for her performance in the 1966 television production of
The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie is a four-character memory play by Tennessee Williams. Williams worked on various drafts of the play prior to writing a version of it as a screenplay for MGM, to whom Williams was contracted...

. She retired in 1974.

Early life


Booth was born as Marjory Ford, the daughter of Albert James Ford and Virginia Martha Wright. Her childhood was spent in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn where she attended P.S. 152. By the time of the 1910 census in April 1910, aged 11, she was known as Thelma by her family. She had only one sibling, a younger sister, Jean
Valentine Ford, who died January 23, 2010. Although IMDB.com says her birth name is Thelma Marjorie Ford, the birth certificate shows her name as Marjory Ford.

Career


She began her career onstage as a teenager, acting in stock company
Stock company
Stock company can refer to:*Joint stock company *Stock company - referring to a group of actors...

 productions, and was briefly known as
Thelma Booth Ford. She was a prominent actress in Pittsburgh theatre
Theatre in Pittsburgh
Theatre in Pittsburgh has existed professionally since the early 1800s and has continued to expand, having emerged as an important cultural force in the city over the past 30 years.-History:...

 for a time, performing with the Sharp Company. Her debut on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 was in the play,
Hell's Bells
Hell's Bells (play)
Hell's Bells is a comedy play in three acts written by Barry Conners. It was first produced on the Broadway stage at the Wallack's Theatre, opening January 26, 1925, and ran for 120 performances....

, opposite Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

 on January 26, 1925.

Booth first attracted major notice as the female lead in the comedy hit Three Men on a Horse
Three Men on a Horse
Three Men on a Horse is a play by George Abbott and John Cecil Holm. The comedy focuses on a man who discovers he has a talent for choosing the winning horse in a race as long as he never places a bet himself.-Plot:...

 which ran almost two years in 1935 to 1937. During the 1930s and 1940s, she achieved popularity in dramas, comedies and, later, musicals. She acted with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

 in The Philadelphia Story
The Philadelphia Story (play)
The Philadelphia Story is a 1939 American comic play by Philip Barry. It tells the story of a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and an attractive journalist.-Production:...

 (1939), originated the role of Ruth Sherwood in the 1940 Broadway production of My Sister Eileen
My Sister Eileen (play)
My Sister Eileen is an American comedy stage production, written by Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov, based on autobiographical short stories by Ruth McKenney...

 and performed with Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy was an American actor whose career spanned sixty-two years.-Early life:He was born Ralph Rexford Bellamy in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Lilla Louise , a native of Canada, and Charles Rexford Bellamy. He ran away from home when he was fifteen and managed to get into a road show...

 in Tomorrow the World (1943). She was a prolific Broadway performer for over three decades.

Booth also starred on the popular radio
Radio programming
Radio programming is the Broadcast programming of a Radio format or content that is organized for Commercial broadcasting and Public broadcasting radio stations....

 series Duffy's Tavern
Duffy's Tavern
Duffy's Tavern was a popular American radio situation comedy which ran for a decade on several networks , concluding with the December 28, 1951 broadcast....

, playing the lighthearted, wisecracking, man-crazy daughter of the unseen tavern owner on CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 radio from 1941 to 1942 and on NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

-Blue Radio from 1942 to 1943. Her husband, Ed Gardner
Ed Gardner
Edward Francis 'Ed' Gardner was an American comic actor, writer and director, best remembered as the creator and star of the radio's popular Duffy's Tavern comedy series....

, created and wrote the show as well as playing its lead character, Archie, the malapropping manager of the tavern; Booth left the show not long after the couple divorced.

Booth auditioned unsuccessfully for the title role of Our Miss Brooks
Our Miss Brooks
Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast on CBS from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television , it became one of the medium's earliest hits...

 in 1948; she'd been recommended by Harry Ackerman
Harry Ackerman
Harry Stephen Ackerman was an American TV executive producer at Screen Gems, the television division of Columbia Pictures....

, who was to produce the show, but Ackerman told radio historian Gerald Nachman that he felt Booth was too conscious of a high school teacher's struggles to have full fun with the character's comic possibilities. Our Miss Brooks became a radio and television hit when the title role went to Eve Arden
Eve Arden
Eve Arden was an American actress. Her almost 60-year career crossed most media frontiers with supporting and leading roles, but she may be best-remembered for playing the sardonic but engaging title character, a high school teacher, on Our Miss Brooks, and as the Rydell High School principal in...

, making her a major star.

Booth received her first Tony
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

, for Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic), for her performance as Grace Woods in Goodbye, My Fancy (1948). Her second Tony was for Best Actress in a Play, which she received for her widely acclaimed performance as the tortured wife, Lola Delaney, in the poignant drama Come Back, Little Sheba
Come Back, Little Sheba (play)
Come Back, Little Sheba is a 1950 play by the American dramatist William Inge. The play was Inge's first, written while he was a teacher at Washington University in St...

 (1950). Her leading man, Sidney Blackmer
Sidney Blackmer
Sidney Alderman Blackmer was an American actor.Blackmer was born and raised in Salisbury, North Carolina. He started off in an insurance and financial business but gave up on it. While working as a builder's laborer on a new building, he saw a Pearl White serial being filmed and immediately...

, received the Tony for Best Actor in a Play for his performance as her husband, Doc.

Her success in Come Back, Little Sheba
Come Back, Little Sheba (play)
Come Back, Little Sheba is a 1950 play by the American dramatist William Inge. The play was Inge's first, written while he was a teacher at Washington University in St...

 was immediately followed by the musical A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (musical)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a musical with a book by George Abbott and Betty Smith, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and music by Arthur Schwartz....

 (1951), (based on the popular novel) in which she played the feisty but lovable Aunt Sissy, which proved to be another major hit. Her popularity was such that, at the time, the story was skewed from the original so that Aunt Sissy was the leading role (rather than Francie).

She then went to Hollywood
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema...

 and recreated her stage role in the motion picture
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 version of Come Back, Little Sheba
Come Back, Little Sheba (1952 film)
Come Back, Little Sheba is a drama film produced by Paramount Pictures which tells the story of a loveless marriage that is rocked when a young woman rents a room in the couple's house. The film stars Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth with Terry Moore and Richard Jaeckel...

 (1952), with Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique and distinctive smile...

 playing Doc. After that movie, her first of only five films in her career, was completed, she returned to New York and played Leona Samish in The Time of the Cuckoo
The Time of the Cuckoo
The Time of the Cuckoo is a play by Arthur Laurents. It focuses on the bittersweet romance between Leona Samish, a single American executive secretary vacationing in Europe, and Renato Di Rossi, a shopkeeper she meets in Venice...

 (1952) on Broadway.

In 1953, Booth received the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 for her performance in Come Back, Little Sheba
Come Back, Little Sheba (1952 film)
Come Back, Little Sheba is a drama film produced by Paramount Pictures which tells the story of a loveless marriage that is rocked when a young woman rents a room in the couple's house. The film stars Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth with Terry Moore and Richard Jaeckel...

, becoming the first actress ever to win both a Tony and an Oscar for the same role. The film also earned Booth Best Actress awards from The Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

, the Golden Globe Awards, The New York Film Critics Circle Awards
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
New York Film Critics' Circle Awards are given annually to honor excellence in cinema worldwide by an organization of film reviewers from New York City-based publications. It is considered one of the most important precursors to the Academy Awards....

, and National Board of Review. She also received her third Tony, which was her second in the Best Actress in a Play category, for her performance in the Broadway production of Arthur Laurents
Arthur Laurents
Arthur Laurents was an American playwright, stage director and screenwriter.After writing scripts for radio shows after college and then training films for the U.S...

' play The Time of the Cuckoo
The Time of the Cuckoo
The Time of the Cuckoo is a play by Arthur Laurents. It focuses on the bittersweet romance between Leona Samish, a single American executive secretary vacationing in Europe, and Renato Di Rossi, a shopkeeper she meets in Venice...

.

So prolific was Booth as an award winner at that time, that during her May 3, 1953, appearance on the TV game show What's My Line?
What's My Line?
What's My Line? is a panel game show which originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. The game tasked celebrity panelists with questioning contestants in order to determine their occupations....

, John Charles Daly
John Charles Daly
John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly (generally known as John Charles Daly or simply John Daly (February 20, 1914 – February 24, 1991) was an American journalist, game show host and radio personality, probably best known for hosting...

 said, "I might say, if I may, without causing you too much embarrassment, that it's a great honor for us to have the young lady who got the Oscar Award and the Antoinette Perry Award and just won the award in Cannes
Cannes
Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department....

, in fact I think one of our New York columnists, Mrs. Lyon, said the only thing that you hadn't won so far was the Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter mile at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry...

." Booth jokingly replied, "Well, I almost won it yesterday, but I drew the wrong ticket in the lottery."

Booth was 54 when she made her first movie, although she had successfully deleted a decade off her age, with her publicity stating 1907 as the year of her birth. The correct year of birth was known by only her closest associates until her actual age was announced at the time of her death. Her second starring film, a romantic drama About Mrs. Leslie
About Mrs. Leslie
About Mrs. Leslie is a drama film directed by Daniel Mann and starring Shirley Booth and Robert Ryan. It was nominated for a BAFTA Award in 1955.-Storyline:Mrs...

 (1954) opposite Robert Ryan
Robert Ryan
Robert Bushnell Ryan was an American actor who often played hardened cops and ruthless villains.-Early life and career:...

, was released in 1954 to good reviews. In 1953, Booth had made a cameo appearance as herself in the all-star comedy/drama movie Main Street to Broadway
Main Street to Broadway
Main Street to Broadway is a 1953 MGM musical comedy starring Tom Morton and Mary Murphy about an aspiring playwright who hopes to stage a Broadway production starring Tallulah Bankhead...

.

She spent the next few years commuting between New York and Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

. On the Broadway stage, she scored personal successes in the musical By the Beautiful Sea
By the Beautiful Sea
By the Beautiful Sea is a musical with a book by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and music by Arthur Schwartz. Like Schwartz’ previous musical, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, also starring Shirley Booth, the musical is set in Brooklyn just after the turn of the century...

 (1954) and the comedy Desk Set (1955). Although Booth had become well known to moviegoers during this period, the movie roles for both The Time of the Cuckoo
The Time of the Cuckoo
The Time of the Cuckoo is a play by Arthur Laurents. It focuses on the bittersweet romance between Leona Samish, a single American executive secretary vacationing in Europe, and Renato Di Rossi, a shopkeeper she meets in Venice...

 (re-titled as
Summertime for the film in 1955), and Desk Set
Desk Set
Desk Set is a 1957 American romantic comedy film directed by Walter Lang and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn...

 (1957), both went to Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

.

She returned to motion pictures to star in two more films for Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

, playing Dolly Gallagher Levi in the 1958 film adaptation of Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
Thornton Niven Wilder was an American playwright and novelist. He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.-Early years:Wilder was born in Madison,...

's romance/comedy The Matchmaker
The Matchmaker (film)
The Matchmaker is a 1958 American comedy film directed by Joseph Anthony. The screenplay by John Michael Hayes is based on the 1955 play of the same name by Thornton Wilder.-Plot:...

 (the source text for the musical Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly! (musical)
Hello, Dolly! is a musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder's 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers, which Wilder revised and retitled The Matchmaker in 1955....

), and to play Alma Duval in the drama Hot Spell
Hot Spell (film)
Hot Spell is a drama film directed by Daniel Mann, starring Shirley Booth and Anthony Quinn, and released by Paramount Pictures.-Cast:*Shirley Booth as Alma Duval*Anthony Quinn as John Henry Duval*Shirley MacLaine as Virginia Duval...

 (1958). She was named runner-up to Susan Hayward
Susan Hayward
Susan Hayward was an American actress.After working as a fashion model in New York, Hayward travelled to Hollywood in 1937 when open auditions were held for the leading role in Gone with the Wind . Although she was not selected, she secured a film contract, and played several small supporting...

 in I Want to Live!
I Want to Live!
I Want to Live! is a 1958 film noir produced by Walter Wanger and directed by Robert Wise which tells the heavily fictionalized story of a woman, Barbara Graham, convicted of murder and facing execution. It stars Susan Hayward as Graham, and also features Simon Oakland, Stafford Repp, and Theodore...

 as the year's Best Actress by the New York Film Critics Circle for her two 1958 films.

In 1957, she won the Sarah Siddons Award
Sarah Siddons Award
The Sarah Siddons Society is an American non-profit organization founded in 1952 by prominent Chicago theatre patrons with the goal of promoting excellence in the theatre. The Society presents the Sarah Siddons Award annually to an actor for an outstanding performance in a Chicago theatre production...

 for her work on the stage in Chicago. She returned to the Broadway stage in 1959, starring as the long-suffering title character in Marc Blitzstein
Marc Blitzstein
Marcus Samuel Blitzstein, better known as Marc Blitzstein , was an American composer. He won national attention in 1937 when his pro-union musical The Cradle Will Rock, directed by Orson Welles, was shut down by the Works Progress Administration...

's musical Juno
Juno (musical)
Juno is a Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein and book by Joseph Stein, based closely on the 1924 play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey. The original Broadway production opened at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York, on March 9, 1959.Despite light moments, the musical,...

, an adaptation of Sean O'Casey
Seán O'Casey
Seán O'Casey was an Irish dramatist and memoirist. A committed socialist, he was the first Irish playwright of note to write about the Dublin working classes.- Early life:...

's 1924 classic play, Juno and the Paycock
Juno and the Paycock
Juno and the Paycock is a play by Sean O'Casey, and one of the most highly regarded and oft-performed plays in Ireland. It was first staged at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1924...

.

Director Frank Capra
Frank Capra
Frank Russell Capra was a Sicilian-born American film director. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was six, and eventually became a creative force behind major award-winning films during the 1930s and 1940s...

 unsuccessfully attempted to bring Booth back to the screen with Pocketful of Miracles
Pocketful of Miracles
Pocketful of Miracles is a 1961 American comedy film that stars Bette Davis and Glenn Ford, directed by Frank Capra. The screenplay by Hal Kanter and Harry Tugend is based on the screenplay Lady for a Day by Robert Riskin, which was adapted from the Damon Runyon short story "Madame La Gimp".The...

 in 1961, but after viewing Capra's original version, Lady for a Day
Lady for a Day
Lady for a Day is a 1933 American comedy-drama film directed by Frank Capra. The screenplay by Robert Riskin is based on the short story Madame La Gimp by Damon Runyon...

 (1933), Booth informed him there was no way she could match May Robson
May Robson
May Robson was an actress and playwright. A major stage actress of the late 19th and early 20th century, Robson is best known today for the dozens of 1930s motion pictures she appeared in when she was well into her seventies, usually playing cross old ladies with hearts of gold.- Biography :Born...

's moving, Oscar-nominated performance in the original film. So Frank Capra
Frank Capra
Frank Russell Capra was a Sicilian-born American film director. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was six, and eventually became a creative force behind major award-winning films during the 1930s and 1940s...

 instead cast Bette Davis
Bette Davis
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional...

 -- and, indeed, Davis was unfavorably compared to May Robson by most reviewers when the film was released.
In 1961, Booth began starring in the television situation comedy
Situation comedy
A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, accompanied with jokes as part of the dialogue...

 Hazel
Hazel (TV series)
Hazel is a Screen Gems television series about a fictional live-in maid named Hazel Burke and her employers, the Baxters. The five-season, 154-episode series aired in primetime from September 1961 until April 1966...

, based on Ted Key
Ted Key
Ted Key, born Theodore Keyser , was an American cartoonist and writer. He is best known as the creator of the cartoon series Hazel.-College to cartoons:...

's popular comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 from the Saturday Evening Post about the domineering yet endearing housemaid
Maid
A maidservant or in current usage housemaid or maid is a female employed in domestic service.-Description:Once part of an elaborate hierarchy in great houses, today a single maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford, as was historically the case...

, Hazel Burke. The show reunited her with Harry Ackerman who produced the show, and she won two Emmys
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

 for her role in the series, in 1962 and 1963, making her one of the few performers to win all three major entertainment awards (Oscar, Tony, Emmy), and new stardom with a younger audience. Booth received another Emmy nomination for her third season as "Hazel" in 1964, and in 1966 was also Emmy-nominated for her performance as Amanda in a television adaptation of The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie is a four-character memory play by Tennessee Williams. Williams worked on various drafts of the play prior to writing a version of it as a screenplay for MGM, to whom Williams was contracted...

.

Booth owned Hazel and personally hired Lynn Borden
Lynn Borden
Lynn Borden is an American actress best known for her role as "Barbara Baxter" in the final season of the Shirley Booth sitcom Hazel, which aired on CBS from 1965 to 1966.-Background:...

, a former Miss Arizona
Miss Arizona
The Miss Arizona competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Arizona in the Miss America pageant. Arizona has twice won the Miss America title.-Results summary:...

, to play the role of Barbara Baxter in the final season, when the series aired on CBS. Borden replaced Whitney Blake
Whitney Blake
Whitney Blake was an American film and television actress, director and producer.Blake was born as Nancy Ann Whitney in 1926 in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, California, the first child of Martha Mae Wilkerson and Harry Whitney...

, and Ray Fulmer
Ray Fulmer
Raymond Stover Fulmer, known as Ray Fulmer , is a former actor, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, best known for his role as Steve Baxter in the final season of Shirley Booth's situation comedy Hazel, which aired on CBS television from September 13, 1965, to April 11, 1966.Fulmer first...

, as Steve Baxter, followed Don DeFore
Don DeFore
Donald John DeFore was an American actor who played "the regular guy" and "the good, ol' boy next door" in many films in the 1940s and 1950s.-Life and career:...

 as George Baxter. Hazel ended not because of low ratings in its fifth season but because of Booth's health problems.

In 1963, Booth told the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

, at the height of Hazels popularity, "I liked playing Hazel the first time I read one of the scripts
Screenplay
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film or television program. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated...

, and I could see all the possibilities of the character—the comedy would take care of itself. My job was to give her heart. Hazel never bores me. Besides, she's my insurance policy." She proved prescient with the last comment; the show was seen in syndicated reruns for many years after it ceased first-run production in 1966.

Booth's last Broadway appearances were in a revival of Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

's play Hay Fever
Hay Fever
Hay Fever is a comic play written by Noël Coward in 1924 and first produced in 1925 with Marie Tempest as the first Judith Bliss. Laura Hope Crews played the role in New York...

 and the musical Look to the Lilies
Look to the Lilies
Look to the Lilies is a musical with a book by Leonard Spigelgass, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, and music by Jule Styne.Based on the novel and 1963 film Lilies of the Field, it tells the story of an impoverished group of German nuns, headed by dauntless Mother Superior Maria, who coerce on-the-lam African...

, both in 1970. In 1971, she returned to Chicago to star opposite Gig Young in "Harvey" at the Blackstone Theater. After appearing as Grace Simpson in the TV series A Touch of Grace (1973), which was directed by Carl Reiner
Carl Reiner
Carl Reiner is an American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian. He has won nine Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award during this career...

, she did voice work for The Year Without a Santa Claus
The Year Without a Santa Claus
The Year Without a Santa Claus is a 1974 Rankin/Bass stop motion animated television special. It usually airs during the Christmas season on United States television. The story is based on Phyllis McGinley's 1956 book of the same name, illustrated by Kurt Werth.-Summary:The show is set in the...

 (1974), an animated
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

 special
Special
Special or specials may refer to:In music:* "Special" * "Special" * "Special" * The Specials, a British bandIn film and television:...

, playing Mrs. Santa, then retired.

Personal life


Shirley Booth was first married in 1929 to Ed Gardner
Ed Gardner
Edward Francis 'Ed' Gardner was an American comic actor, writer and director, best remembered as the creator and star of the radio's popular Duffy's Tavern comedy series....

, who later gained fame as the creator and star of Duffy's Tavern
Duffy's Tavern
Duffy's Tavern was a popular American radio situation comedy which ran for a decade on several networks , concluding with the December 28, 1951 broadcast....

 on radio. In 1942, the marriage ended in divorce.

Booth's second marriage, to William Baker in 1943, lasted until his death in 1951; the actress never remarried and had no children from either marriage. She was blind in her last years and died after a brief illness at her home in North Chatham (Cape Cod), Massachusetts
Chatham, Massachusetts
Chatham is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States, Barnstable County being coextensive with Cape Cod. The population was 6,625 at the 2000 census...

. She is interred in Mount Hebron Cemetery
Mount Hebron Cemetery, Montclair, New Jersey
Mount Hebron Cemetery is a cemetery in Montclair, in Essex County, New Jersey, United States.-Notable interments:* Shirley Booth was an Academy Award-winning American actress for the film Come Back, Little Sheba....

, Montclair, New Jersey
Montclair, New Jersey
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 38,977 people, 15,020 households, and 9,687 families residing in the township. The population density was 6,183.6 people per square mile . There were 15,531 housing units at an average density of 2,464.0 per square mile...

.

Shirley Booth has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

 at 6840 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard
-Revitalization:In recent years successful efforts have been made at cleaning up Hollywood Blvd., as the street had gained a reputation for crime and seediness. Central to these efforts was the construction of the Hollywood and Highland shopping center and adjacent Kodak Theatre in 2001...

 in Hollywood
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema...

.

Theatre (Broadway)

Dates of production Title Role Genre Notes
26 January 1925 - May 1925 Hell's Bells Nan Winchester Comedy
2 November 1925 - June 1926 Laff That Off Peggy Bryant Comedy
7 October 1926 - October 1926 Buy, Buy Baby Betty Hamilton Comedy
Oct 6, 1927 - Oct 1927 High Gear Mary Marshall Comedy
Sep 24, 1928 - Dec 1928 The War Song Emily Rosen Drama
Apr 21, 1931 - Apr 1931 School for Virtue Marg Comedy
Oct 2, 1931 - Oct 1931 The Camels are Coming Bobby Marchante Comedy
Nov 30, 1931 - Jan 1932 Coastwise Annie Duval Original drama
May 8, 1933 - Jun 1933 The Mask and the Face Elisa Zanotti Comedy revival
Feb 7, 1934 - Feb 1934 After Such Pleasures Comedy
Jan 30, 1935 - Jan 9, 1937 Three Men on a Horse
Three Men on a Horse
Three Men on a Horse is a play by George Abbott and John Cecil Holm. The comedy focuses on a man who discovers he has a talent for choosing the winning horse in a race as long as he never places a bet himself.-Plot:...

Mabel Comedy
Apr 9, 1937 - Jul 1937 Excursion Mrs. Loschavio Comedy
Nov 15, 1937 - Nov 1937 Too Many Heroes Carrie Nolan Drama
Mar 28, 1939 - Mar 30, 1940 The Philadelphia Story
The Philadelphia Story (play)
The Philadelphia Story is a 1939 American comic play by Philip Barry. It tells the story of a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and an attractive journalist.-Production:...

Elizabeth Imbrie Comedy
Dec 26, 1940 - Jan 16, 1943 My Sister Eileen
My Sister Eileen (play)
My Sister Eileen is an American comedy stage production, written by Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov, based on autobiographical short stories by Ruth McKenney...

Ruth Sherwood Comedy
Apr 14, 1943 - Jun 17, 1944 Tomorrow the World Leona Richards Drama
May 31, 1945 - Jul 14, 1945 Hollywood Pinafore
Hollywood Pinafore
Hollywood Pinafore, or The Lad Who Loved a Salary is a musical comedy in two acts by George S. Kaufman, with music by Arthur Sullivan, based on Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore. It opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on May 31, 1945, and closed on July 14, 1945 after 52 performances...

Louhedda Hopsons Comedy
Dec 11, 1946 - Dec 14, 1946 Land's End Susan Pengilly Drama
Jan 16, 1948 - Jan 17, 1948 The Men We Marry Drama
Nov 17, 1948 - Dec 24, 1949 Goodbye, My Fancy Grace Woods Drama Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 for Best Supporting Actress in a Play
Nov 7, 1949 - Nov 19, 1949 Love Me Long Abby Quinn Comedy
Feb 15, 1950 - Jul 29, 1950 Come Back, Little Sheba
Come Back, Little Sheba (play)
Come Back, Little Sheba is a 1950 play by the American dramatist William Inge. The play was Inge's first, written while he was a teacher at Washington University in St...

Lola Drama Tony Award
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
This is a list of the winners and nominations of Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. The award has been presented since 1947, and is for performance in new productions or revivals.-1940s:...

Apr 19, 1951 - Dec 8, 1951 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (musical)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a musical with a book by George Abbott and Betty Smith, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and music by Arthur Schwartz....

Cissy Musical
Oct 15, 1952 - May 30, 1953 The Time of the Cuckoo
The Time of the Cuckoo
The Time of the Cuckoo is a play by Arthur Laurents. It focuses on the bittersweet romance between Leona Samish, a single American executive secretary vacationing in Europe, and Renato Di Rossi, a shopkeeper she meets in Venice...

Leona Samish Drama Tony Award
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
This is a list of the winners and nominations of Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. The award has been presented since 1947, and is for performance in new productions or revivals.-1940s:...

Apr 8, 1954 - Nov 27, 1954 By the Beautiful Sea
By the Beautiful Sea
By the Beautiful Sea is a musical with a book by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and music by Arthur Schwartz. Like Schwartz’ previous musical, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, also starring Shirley Booth, the musical is set in Brooklyn just after the turn of the century...

Lottie Gibson Musical
Oct 24, 1955 - Jul 5, 1956 Desk Set Bunny Watson Comedy
Dec 26, 1957 - Feb 8, 1958 Miss Isobel Mrs. Ackroyd Drama
Mar 9, 1959 - Mar 21, 1959 Juno
Juno (musical)
Juno is a Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein and book by Joseph Stein, based closely on the 1924 play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey. The original Broadway production opened at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York, on March 9, 1959.Despite light moments, the musical,...

Juno Boyle Musical
Apr 13, 1960 - May 7, 1960 A Second String Fanny Drama
Mar 29, 1970 - Apr 18, 1970 Look to the Lilies
Look to the Lilies
Look to the Lilies is a musical with a book by Leonard Spigelgass, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, and music by Jule Styne.Based on the novel and 1963 film Lilies of the Field, it tells the story of an impoverished group of German nuns, headed by dauntless Mother Superior Maria, who coerce on-the-lam African...

Musical
Nov 9, 1970 - Nov 28, 1970 Hay Fever
Hay Fever
Hay Fever is a comic play written by Noël Coward in 1924 and first produced in 1925 with Marie Tempest as the first Judith Bliss. Laura Hope Crews played the role in New York...

Judith Bliss Comedy revival

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1952 Come Back, Little Sheba
Come Back, Little Sheba (1952 film)
Come Back, Little Sheba is a drama film produced by Paramount Pictures which tells the story of a loveless marriage that is rocked when a young woman rents a room in the couple's house. The film stars Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth with Terry Moore and Richard Jaeckel...

Lola Academy Award for Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
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...

1953 Main Street to Broadway
Main Street to Broadway
Main Street to Broadway is a 1953 MGM musical comedy starring Tom Morton and Mary Murphy about an aspiring playwright who hopes to stage a Broadway production starring Tallulah Bankhead...

Herself
1954 About Mrs. Leslie
About Mrs. Leslie
About Mrs. Leslie is a drama film directed by Daniel Mann and starring Shirley Booth and Robert Ryan. It was nominated for a BAFTA Award in 1955.-Storyline:Mrs...

Mrs. Vivien Leslie
1958 Hot Spell
Hot Spell (film)
Hot Spell is a drama film directed by Daniel Mann, starring Shirley Booth and Anthony Quinn, and released by Paramount Pictures.-Cast:*Shirley Booth as Alma Duval*Anthony Quinn as John Henry Duval*Shirley MacLaine as Virginia Duval...

Alma Duval
The Matchmaker
The Matchmaker
The Matchmaker is a play by Thornton Wilder.The play has a long and colorful history. John Oxenford's 1835 one-act farce A Day Well Spent had been extended into a full-length play entitled Einen Jux will er sich machen by Austrian playwright Johann Nestroy in 1842...

Dolly 'Gallagher' Levi

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1954 Welcome Home Jenny on The United States Steel Hour
The United States Steel Hour
The United States Steel Hour is an anthology series which brought hour-long dramas to television from 1953 to 1963. The television series and the radio program that preceded it were both sponsored by the United States Steel Corporation....

1957 The Hostess With the Mostess Perle Mesta on Playhouse 90
Playhouse 90
Playhouse 90 is an American television anthology series that was telecast on CBS from 1956 to 1960 for a total of 133 episodes. It originated from CBS Television City in Los Angeles, California...

1961 The Haven on The United States Steel Hour
The United States Steel Hour
The United States Steel Hour is an anthology series which brought hour-long dramas to television from 1953 to 1963. The television series and the radio program that preceded it were both sponsored by the United States Steel Corporation....

1961–1965 Hazel
Hazel (TV series)
Hazel is a Screen Gems television series about a fictional live-in maid named Hazel Burke and her employers, the Baxters. The five-season, 154-episode series aired in primetime from September 1961 until April 1966...

Hazel Burke Emmy Award
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series
This is a list of winners of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. The award was first presented in 1953, but was not awarded again until 1959...

 1962 & 1963, nominated 1965
1966 The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie is a four-character memory play by Tennessee Williams. Williams worked on various drafts of the play prior to writing a version of it as a screenplay for MGM, to whom Williams was contracted...

Amanda Wingfield on CBS Playhouse
Nominated Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

1967 Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Heloise Michaud CBS Playhouse
1968 The Smugglers Mrs. Hudson
1973 A Touch of Grace Grace Simpson Television series
1974 The Year Without a Santa Claus
The Year Without a Santa Claus
The Year Without a Santa Claus is a 1974 Rankin/Bass stop motion animated television special. It usually airs during the Christmas season on United States television. The story is based on Phyllis McGinley's 1956 book of the same name, illustrated by Kurt Werth.-Summary:The show is set in the...

Mrs. Claus voice actress

External links


  • Blog devoted to Shirley Booth at http://shirleyboothstory.blogspot.com or http://shirleybooth.info