Movie Stars Who Have Never Won an Oscar: Part 13 – Ward Bond to Spring Byington

1960 was a big year for actress Jean Simmons who had 2 memorable performances that years as a slave girl who romances Kirk Douglas in Spartacus as well as Sister Sharon Falconer from Elmer Gantry, a role she should've received an Oscar nomination for but didn't.

1960 was a big year for actress Jean Simmons who had 2 memorable performances that years as a slave girl who romances Kirk Douglas in Spartacus as well as Sister Sharon Falconer from Elmer Gantry, a role she should’ve received an Oscar nomination for but didn’t.

I really wanted to get this series in before the Oscars ceremony, yet I completed all the rough work just the Friday before. However, I’m glad that I am already more than halfway through with this series after yesterday so there won’t be much left. In this selection, we look at 10 more film legends who never received the golden statuette like some of last night’s nominees. Some may be bridesmaids but never brides while others may not even get the bridesmaid honor. First, there is Ward Bond, a supporting player who was in some of the most famous films in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Second, we have character legends Beulah Bondi, Marjorie Main, and Spring Byington who were actresses best known for playing matronly older women and/or moms. After that is Peter Lawford best known as a Rat Pack member and onetime brother-in-law to John F. Kennedy followed by Jean Hagen famous for her funny as hell performance as the talentless Lina Lamont from Singin’ in the Rain. Then we have actor James Whitmore who most of us would recognize from The Shawshank Redemption, once I show a picture of him. Next we have Jean Simmons, a British actress whose career spanned over 60 years but is best known as Kirk Douglas’ love interest from Spartacus. Then we have Elsa Lanchester best known as the bride of Frankenstein. And last but not least, there is Dame Judith Anderson, an actress you may not recognize but she was in movies like Rebecca, Laura, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Ten Commandments, and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. So for your reading pleasure, here are some more actors and actresses who never won Oscars.

121. Ward Bond

Throughout his career, Ward Bond appeared in over 200 supporting roles, had long working relationships with Frank Capra and John Ford, and starred in in the TV show Wagon Train. This is him as a Union Captain from Gone With the Wind.

Throughout his career, Ward Bond appeared in over 200 supporting roles, had long working relationships with Frank Capra and John Ford, and starred in in the TV show Wagon Train. This is him as a Union Captain from Gone With the Wind.

Personal Life: (1903-1960) Born Wardell Edwin Bond in Benklemen, Nebraska. Moved to Denver, Colorado in 1919. Attended USC and got into acting as a member of the football team with John Wayne when Ford hired the whole team to do a movie in 1929. Was an epileptic and rejected for the draft during WWII. Married twice. Died of a heart attack in Dallas at 57.
Famous for: American actor whose rugged appearance and easygoing charm were featured in over 200 films mostly in supporting roles. Made 23 films with John Wayne and 25 films with John Ford. Often played policemen and soldiers. Notable roles are Captain Tom from Gone With the Wind, Policeman from The Grapes of Wrath, Franz from The Mortal Storm, Ape from Kit Carson, Townley from Santa Fe Trail, Ike Botkin from Sergeant York, Detective Tom Polhaus from The Maltese Falcon, Morgan Earp from My Darling Clementine, Honey Bragg from Canyon Passage,
‘Boats’ Mulcahey C.B.M. from They Were Expendable, Bert from It’s a Wonderful Life, La Hire from Joan of Arc, Father Peter Lonergan from The Quiet Man, John McIvers from Johnny Guitar, and Pat Wheeler from Rio Bravo.
Nominated for: Bond was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not receiving an honorary Oscar for the output of his career mostly because he didn’t live long enough.
Reasons: Bond was more of a character actor who mostly appeared in westerns. Also he was heavily involved in right-wing politics and displayed enthusiasm for blacklisting suspected Communists, which earned the enmity of many.
Trivia: Played on the USC football team at the same time as future USC coach Jesse Hill and John Wayne. Was a starting lineman on USC’s first national championship team in 1928. Starred in Wagon Train from 1957 to 1960. Has appeared in More AFI Top 100 Movies than any other actor. Was to attend a football game at the Cotton Bowl between SMU and Texas A&M. John Wayne gave the eulogy at his funeral. Was best friends with John Wayne. Appeared in 30 movies in 1935. Appeared in 3 Best Picture winners.

122. Jean Simmons

Throughout the 1940s through 1960s, Jean Simmons appeared in some of the most noteworthy films of the era such as Great Expectations, Hamlet, The Robe, Guys and Dolls, Elmer Gantry, and Spartacus.

Throughout the 1940s through 1960s, Jean Simmons appeared in some of the most noteworthy films of the era such as Great Expectations, Hamlet, Androcles and the Lion, The Robe, Guys and Dolls, Elmer Gantry, and Spartacus.

Personal Life: (1929-2010) Born in London. Father was a gymnast and phys ed teacher who died when she was 16. Began acting at 14. During WWII, her family was evacuated to Winscombe, Somerset. Discovered while attending the Aida Foster School of Dance, and made her first film in 1944. Married twice with her marriages being to Stewart Granger and Richard Brooks with a daughter from each union. Became a US citizen in 1956. Moved to the East Coast in the 1970s but later returned to Santa Monica, California. Struggled with alcoholism. Retired in 2009. Died of lung cancer at 80.
Famous for: British American actress who appeared predominantly in films she made in Great Britain during and after WWII and in Hollywood from 1950 onwards. Notable roles are Young Estella from Great Expectations, Kanchi from Black Narcissus, Ophelia from Hamlet, Emmeline Foster from The Blue Lagoon, Lavinia from Androcles and the Lion, Princess Elizabeth from Young Bess, Carolyn Parker from Affair with a Stranger, Diana from The Robe, Ruth Gordon Jones from The Actress, Meryt from The Egyptian, Désirée Clary from Desiree, Sergeant Sarah Brown from Guys and Dolls, Julie Maragon from The Big Country, Sharon Falconer from Elmer Gantry, Varinia from Spartacus, Fräulein Rottenmeier from Heidi, Mary Spencer from The Happy Ending, Em Reed from How to Make an American Quilt, and Grandma Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle.
Nominated for: Simmons was nominated twice, once for Best Actress and once for Best Supporting Actress in 1948 for Hamlet and 1969 for The Happy Ending.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actress in 1960 for Elmer Gantry. I mean she was incredibly good as a fanatical, hypocritical, and ambitions self-appointed preacher with a façade of sweetness that perfectly matched with Burt Lancaster’s Elmer Gantry’s fiery zeal and gift for gab.
Reasons: Simmons was nominated in 2 very bad years in which her main competition was Claire Trevor for playing an alcoholic ex-showgirl in Key Largo and Maggie Smith playing a fanatical Fascist teacher in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Trivia: Father competed in the 1912 Olympic Games. Spoke up publically about her addiction struggles and was patron of a British drug and human rights charity Release as well as an active supporter of just, humane, and effective drug policies. Was friends with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

123. James Whitmore

For those who may not recognize him, James Whitmore was the prison librarian with the pet bird from The Shawshank Redemption. He was also known as the only actor nominated for an Academy Award for playing a role he did for a one man show in Give Em' Hell Harry! Also was a spokesman for MiracleGro.

For those who may not recognize him, James Whitmore was the prison librarian with the pet bird from The Shawshank Redemption. He was also known as the only actor nominated for an Academy Award for playing a role he did for a one man show in Give ’em Hell Harry! Also was a spokesman for MiracleGro.

Personal Life: (1921-2009) Born in White Plains, New York. Father was a park commission official. Attended Yale on a football scholarship but had to quit due to severe knee injuries. So he started acting in the Yale Drama Society instead. Planned on becoming a lawyer after graduation. Enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves during WWII, served in the Pacific, and rose to the rank of lieutenant. After the war, studied at the Actors Studio before appearing on Broadway. Made his first film in 1949. Married 4 times (but twice to the same woman) and had 3 sons with first wife Nancy Mygatt. Retired in 2005. Died of lung cancer at 87.
Famous for: American actor whose career spanned over 50 years. Notable roles are Kinnie from Battleground, Gus Minissi from The Asphalt Jungle, Slug from Kiss Me Kate, Clint Priest from The Outriders, Police Sgt. Ben Peterson from Them!, Mr. Carnes from Oklahoma!, Commander Warren Meredith from The Deep Six, President of the Assembly from Planet of the Apes, Admiral Halsey from Tora! Tora! Tora!, Grandpa from Where the Red Fern Grows,
Harry S Truman from Give Em’ Hell, Harry, Brooks Hatlen from The Shawshank Redemption, and Stan Keller from The Majestic.
Nominated for: Whitmore was nominated twice once for Best Actor and once for Best Supporting Actor in 1950 for Battleground and 1976 for Give Em’ Hell, Harry.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1994 for The Shawshank Redemption.
Reasons: Appearing in a movie with giant killer ants might’ve really hurt his chances.
Trivia: Was James Dean’s mentor at the Actors Studio. Member of Skull and Bones as well as helped found Yale’s radio station. Was an avid vegetable gardener and served as a pitchman for Miracle-Gro. Son and 2 grandchildren formed their own theater troupe called the Whitmore Electric.

124. Peter Lawford

Though Peter Lawford's decades career spanned for at least 3 or 4, he's better known as being part of the Rat Pack as well as John F. Kennedy's onetime brother-in-law. Yet, in the 1940s to 1960s he had a strong pop culture presence and starred in a number of acclaimed films.

Though Peter Lawford’s decades career spanned for at least 3 or 4, he’s better known as being part of the Rat Pack as well as John F. Kennedy’s onetime brother-in-law. Yet, in the 1940s to 1960s he had a strong pop culture presence and starred in a number of acclaimed films.

Personal Life: (1923-1984) Born in London, England. Father was a lieutenant general and an aristocrat. At the time of his birth, his parents were married to other people and his parents’ revelation resulted in a double divorce. Parents wed when he was a year old. Spent his childhood in France but was never formally educated. Made his first movie at 7. At 14, he severely injured his right arm in an accident when it went through a glass door. This compromised the use of his lower arm and hand with irreversible nerve damage. It also prevented his entry into the military to the dismay of his parents, so he decided to pursue acting resulting in him being denied an inheritance from his aunt. Became a US citizen in 1960. Married 4 times with his first wife being Pat Kennedy with whom he had 3 daughters. Years of substance abuse took a toll on him later in life, especially alcoholism. Died from cardiac arrest complicated from kidney and liver failure at 61.
Famous for: British American actor who had a strong presence in popular culture during the 1940s to 1960s and starred in a number of highly acclaimed films. Notable roles are Anthony de Canterville from The Canterville Ghost, Lord Thornley from Mrs. Parkington, David Stone from The Picture of Dorian Gray, Jonathan Harrow III from Easter Parade, Ritchie Lorgan from Julia Misbehaves, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence from Little Women, Lord John Brindale from Royal Wedding, Evan Adams III from It Should Happen to You, Jimmy Foster from Ocean’s 11, Major Caldwell from Exodus, Senator Lafe Smith from Advise and Consent, Frederic Summers from Sylvia, the Senator from Skidoo, and Montague Chippendale from Where Is Parsifal?.
Nominated for: Lawford was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1962 for Advise and Consent. Not to mention, he was in decline after the 1960s.
Reasons: Lawford was more of a hottie who usually appeared in romantic comedies
Trivia: Was romantically linked to Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, June Allyson, Lucille Ball, Anne Baxter, Judy Garland, and Lana Turner (or so it’s claimed). Member of the Rat Pack. Onetime brother-in-law to President John F. Kennedy. Did not learn of his illegitimacy until he was 27 years old.

125. Beulah Bondi

Though she never married or had children, Beulah Bondi often played mothers and wives throughout her career as well as grandmothers in her later years. She also played Jimmy Stewart's mother in 4 movies.

Though she never married or had children, Beulah Bondi often played mothers and wives throughout her career as well as grandmothers in her later years. She also played Jimmy Stewart’s mother in 4 movies.

Personal Life: (1889-1981) Born Beulah Bondy in Valparaiso, Indiana. Mother was an author and father worked in real estate. Began her acting career at 7. Graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degrees in oratory at Valparaiso University in 1916 and 1918. Made her Broadway debut in 1925 and her first film in 1931. Never married or had children. Die from pulmonary complications caused by broken ribs suffered when she tripped over her cat in her home at 91.
Famous for: American actress who started her career as a young child in the theater and played supporting roles in several films during the 1930s. Played Jimmy Stewart’s mother in 4 movies. Notable roles are Emma Jones from Street Scene, Mrs. Davidson from Rain, Rachel Jackson from The Gorgeous Hussy, Lucy Cooper from Make Way for Tomorrow, Ma Smith from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mrs. Sargent from Remember the Night, Mrs. Morgan from Vivacious Lady, Aunt Charlotte from The Buccaneer, Mrs. Webb from Our Town, Miss Oliver from Penny Serenade, Anise from Watch on the Rhine, Mrs. Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life, Mrs. Greer from The Snake Pit, Mary Wilkins from Of Human Hearts, Granny Nellie from On Borrowed Time, Loma from The Baron of Arizona, and Hannah from The Big Fisherman.
Nominated for: Bondi was nominated twice for Best Supporting Actress in 1936 for The Gorgeous Hussy and 1938 for Of Human Hearts.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actress in 1937 for Make Way for Tomorrow.
Reasons: Bondi was usually typecast as mother figures throughout her career. Also was burned by the competition in both nominations.
Trivia: One of the first women nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Changed the “y” to “I” to her name so all the letters could fit on one line of a marquee.

126. Jean Hagen

Though Jean Hagen was nothing like the vain and talentless Lina Lamont, she probably should've won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Singin' in the Rain. Yet, such loss really demonstrates how little the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences respects comedy.

Though Jean Hagen was nothing like the vain and talentless Lina Lamont, she probably should’ve won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Singin’ in the Rain since she was absolutely hilarious and practically stole ever scene when she opens her mouth. Yet, such loss really demonstrates how little the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences respects comedy.

Personal Life: (1923-1977) Born Jean Shirley Verhagen in Chicago, Illinois. Father was a Dutch immigrant. Moved to Elkhart, Indiana at 12. Studied drama at Northwestern University and made her Broadway debut in 1946. Made her first film in 1949. Married to Tom Seidel and had 2 children which was a marriage full of domestic violence until their 1965 divorce. Spent her later life hospitalized and under medical care as her health declined. Died of esophageal cancer at 54.
Famous for: American actress best known for her role as Lina Lamont from Singin’ in the Rain. Notable roles are Beryl Caighn from Adam’s Rib, Doll Conovan from The Asphalt Jungle, Hariette Sinton from Side Street, Lina Lamont from Singin’ in the Rain, Freeda Daniels from The Shaggy Dog, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand from Sunrise at Campobello, and Dede Marshall from Dead Ringer.
Nominated for: Hagen was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1952 for Singin’ in the Rain.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Gloria Grahame in 1952 for the Best Supporting Actress race. Sure Grahame was supposed to be annoying in The Bad and the Beautiful but Hagen had more screen time and was simply hysterical as Lina Lamont whose voice sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.I mean Hagen was very good playing an actress who’s supposed to completely suck and she does it very well. Grahame probably won because her character died in the movie.
Reasons: Her performance as Lina Lamont was for a musical comedy while Gloria Grahame’s was for a drama so you do the math.
Trivia: Was Margaret Williams in Make Room for Daddy who was the first character to be killed off from a TV show or McLeaned as TV Tropes and Idioms would say. Was Judy Holliday’s understudy in Born Yesterday.

127. Dame Judith Anderson

Mrs. Danvers: "     [to the 2nd Mrs. de Winter] Why don't you go? Why don't you leave Manderley? He doesn't need you. He's got his memories. He doesn't love you. He wants to be alone again with her. You've nothing to stay for. You've nothing to live for really, have you? Look down there. It's easy, isn't it? Why don't you? Why don't you? Go on. Go on. Don't be afraid!" Sure Dame Judith Anderson may not have looks of a leading lady, yet she was in a lot of highly acclaimed films that have become classics. By the way, for those watching The Ten Comandments, this Holy Saturday, she's the servant of the Princess who found baby Moses in the bull rushes.

Sure Dame Judith Anderson may not have looks of a leading lady, yet she was in a lot of highly acclaimed films that have become classics. Her best known role is the manipulative ladies’ maid, Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca. By the way, for those watching The Ten Comandments, this Holy Saturday, she’s the servant of the Princess who found baby Moses in the bull rushes.

Personal Life: (1897-1992) Born Frances Margaret Anderson in Adelaide, South Australia, in Australia. Began acting in her home country in 1915 before moving to New York in 1918. Made her first film in 1933. Joined the Old Vic in 1937. Married twice. Retired in 1987. Died of pneumonia at 94.
Famous for: Australian actress who had a successful career for over 70 years. Notable roles are Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca, Madame from All Through the Night, Mrs. Ivers from The
Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Emily Brent from And Then There Were None, Ann Treadwell from Laura, Mrs. Harriet Gordon from Kings Row, Gerd Bjarnesen from Edge of Darkness,
Maggie Shoemaker from Why Bother to Knock, Memmet from The Ten Commandments, Buffalo Cow Head from A Man Called Horse, Ida “Big Momma” Pollitt from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, T’Lar from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and The Sister of Purgatory from Impure Thoughts.
Nominated for: Anderson was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1940 for Rebecca.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1958 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. It would be hard to say whether losing the Oscar to Jane Darwell was crushing since Darwell’s performance of Ma Joad was pretty good, too. Yet, it wouldn’t be hard to say that she was robbed of a nomination as Big Momma.
Reasons: As for her Oscar nomination, Anderson was just burned by the competition
Trivia: Never took the name Judith as a legal name. Became a dame in 1960.

128. Marjorie Main

Marjorie Main is best known as Ma Kettle which she played in 10 movies. Of course, what you don't know is that Ma Kettle was a break out character from The Egg and I and she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for it.

Marjorie Main is best known as Ma Kettle which she played in 10 movies. Of course, what you don’t know is that Ma Kettle was a break out character from The Egg and I and she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for it.

Personal Life: (1890-1975) Born Mary Tomlinson in Acton, Indiana. Father was a minister and adopted her stage name for this reason. Attended Franklin College. Worked in vaudeville on the Chautauqua and Orpheum Circuits, debuting on Broadway in 1916. Made her first film in 1931. Married to Stanley LaFerve Krebs for 14 years yet they may have separated long before his death in 1935. Retired in the 1960s. Died of lung cancer at 85.
Famous for: American actress and contract player at MGM. Best known for her portrayal as Ma Kettle in a series of 10 movies. Made 6 films with Wallace Beery. Notable roles are Mrs. Martin from Stella Dallas, Katie Matthews from Penitentiary, Mrs. Dolley, Landlady Chestevere Apartments from Another Thin Man, Miss Kitty Wayne from Too Hot to Handle, Lucy, Dude Ranch Owner from The Women, Mrs. Varner from Honky Tonk, Mrs. Maude Fisher from Tennessee Johnson, Mrs. Strable from Heaven Can Wait, Katie from Meet Me in St. Louis, Sonora Cassidy from The Harvey Girls, Ma Kettle from The Egg and I and 9 other films, Esme from Summer Stock, Mrs. Hittaway from The Long, Long Trailer, Lady Jane Dunstock from Rose Marie, and The Widow Hudspeth from Friendly Persuasion.
Nominated for: Main was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1947 for The Egg and I.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1956 for Friendly Persuasion for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.
Reasons: Main was typecast first as upper class dowagers and then as abrasive, domineering salty roles for which her voice was well suited. Also, best known as Ma Kettle in a series that hasn’t aged well. Also may have confided in an interview that she might’ve had 2 lesbian affairs, particularly with Spring Byington.
Trivia: Romantically linked to Spring Byington and Ginger Rogers. Said to sometimes wear a surgical mask and white gloves for fear of germ contamination.

129. Elsa Lanchester

Despite playing the title character in Bride of Frankenstein, Elsa Lanchester was denied any billing or credit as the Monster's Mate which might've been due to a personality dispute. Nevertheless, her character still remains a popular Halloween costume.

Despite playing the title character in Bride of Frankenstein, Elsa Lanchester was denied any billing or credit as the Monster’s Mate which might’ve been due to a personality dispute. Nevertheless, her character still remains a popular Halloween costume.

Personal Life: (1902-1986) Born in London. Parents were unmarried bohemian socialists. Studied dance in Paris as a child but had to return to Great Britain due to WWI. Taught dancing at 12 to earn some money for her household. After the war she started the Children’s Theatre and a nightclub called the Cave of Harmony where modern plays and cabaret were performed. Made her first film in 1925. Married to Charles Laughton for 23 years yet never had children (though there were rumors that Laughton was gay {according to her} and she had at least one abortion while performing in burlesque {according to Maureen O’Hara}). Retired in 1980. Suffered 2 strokes within a 30 month timespan which left her totally incapacitated. Died of bronchopneumonia at 84.
Famous for: British character actress whose career spanned 55 years. Made 12 films with husband Charles Laughton. Notable roles are Therese from Potiphar’s Wife, Clickett from David Copperfield, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley / The Monster’s Mate from Bride of Frankenstein, Hendrickje Stoffels from Rembrandt, Anne of Cleves from The Private Life of Henry VIII, Emily Creed from Ladies in Retirement, Mrs. Oates from The Spiral Staircase,
Mrs. Carraclough from Lassie Come Home, Miss Keith from The Razor’s Edge, Martha from The Secret Garden, Madame Magloire from Les Miserables, Megaera from Androcles and the Lion, Amelia Potts from Come to the Stable, Aunt Queenie Holroyd from Bell, Book, and Candle, Miss Plimsoll from Witness for the Prosecution, Katie Nanna from Mary Poppins, and Jessica Marbles from Murder by Death.
Nominated for: Lanchester was nominated for Best Supporting Actress twice in 1949 for Come to the Stable and 1957 for Witness for the Persecution.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1935 for Bride of Frankenstein since the award didn’t exist. Yet, it would’ve been awesome for her to receive recognition for it for she’s just referred to as “?” in the credits as “The Monster’s Mate.”
Reasons: Lanchester was best known for 2 things such as being Charles Laughton’s wife and playing the Bride of Frankenstein for which she was denied any form of billing or credit, possibly over a personality dispute. Sure she doesn’t appear until the end but still.
Trivia: Brother was a puppeteer with his own marionette company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Studied dance in Paris under Isadora Duncan. In the 1920s, made a few studio recordings for Columbia Records. Appeared on stage with Laughton in a production of Peter Pan in which she played the title role and he portrayed Captain Hook at the London Palladium. They also played a father and daughter on stage as well.

130. Spring Byington

Spring Byington was said to possess one of Hollywood's gentlest faces and warmest voices, which is a main reason why she was usually cast as moms. Also like to travel and was a fan of George Orwell's 1984.

Spring Byington was said to possess one of Hollywood’s gentlest faces and warmest voices, which is a main reason why she was usually cast as moms. Also like to travel and was a fan of science fiction, particularly George Orwell’s 1984.

Personal Life: (1886-1971) Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Father was an educator and Superintendent of Schools in Colorado who died when she was 5. Mother would later become a doctor and spent part of her elder daughter’s childhood in Canada. Raised by relatives in Denver. Became a professional actress at 14 with the Elitch Garden Stock Company. Mother died in 1907 and she was legally adopted by her aunt. Said she tried reporting for a newspaper but headed to New York City as soon as she could with her inheritance. Joined a repertory company that performed Spanish translated plays in Buenos Aires between 1908 and 1916. Made her first film in 1930. Married to Roy Chandler and had 2 daughters. Retired in 1968. Died of rectal cancer at 84.
Famous for: American actress who was a key MGM contract player appearing in about 60 films between the 1930s and 1960s. Notable roles are Marmee from Little Women, Mrs. Byam from Mutiny on the Bounty, Essie from Ah, Wilderness!, Matey Pearson from Dodsworth, Lady Octavia Warrenton from The Charge of the Light Brigade, Rebecca Perry from Theodora Goes Wild, Dolly Madison from The Buccaneer, Mrs. Kendrick from Jezebel, Penny Sycamore from You Can’t Take It With You, Mrs. Hubbard from The Story of Alexander Graham Bell, Mrs. Mitchell from Meet John Doe, Mary Sunshine from Roxie Hart, Bertha Van Cleve from Heaven Can Wait, Magda from Dragonwyck, Nellie Burke from In the Good Old Summertime, Sister Edwitha from Angels in the Outfield, Justice Amelia Brown from The Rocket Man, and Suzie Robinson from Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.
Nominated for: Byington was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1938 for You Can’t Take It With You.
Most Crushing Loss: Possibly losing to Fay Bainter for Best Supporting Actress in 1938 since she played a more original character in You Can’t Take It With You. Also, not receiving nominations for playing against type.
Reasons: Byington was typecast as gentle and adoring middle aged women, particularly mothers.
Trivia: Spoke Spanish she picked up from her performing days in Argentina and later studied Brazilian Portuguese. Acquired a small coffee plantation in Brazil during her later years. Was fascinated by metaphysics and science fiction novels as well as displayed knowledge of Earth’s satellites and constellations of the night sky. Starred in the TV and radio show December Bride.

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