Jo Van Fleet

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Jo Van Fleet
Jo Van Fleet in East of Eden trailer.jpg
in East of Eden (1955)
Born(1914-12-30)December 30, 1914
Oakland, California, U.S.
DiedJune 10, 1996(1996-06-10) (aged 81)
Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1954–1986
Spouse(s)William Bales (m. 1946–90)(his death)
 
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Jo Van Fleet
Jo Van Fleet in East of Eden trailer.jpg
in East of Eden (1955)
Born(1914-12-30)December 30, 1914
Oakland, California, U.S.
DiedJune 10, 1996(1996-06-10) (aged 81)
Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1954–1986
Spouse(s)William Bales (m. 1946–90)(his death)

Jo Van Fleet (December 30, 1914 – June 10, 1996) was an American theatre and film actress. Known primarily for playing roles older than she was, her career spanned over three decades, and she won an Academy Award as well as a Tony Award.[1]

Career[edit]

Van Fleet established herself as a notable dramatic actress on Broadway over several years, beginning in 1946 in Dorcas in A Winter's Tale, and played Regan in King Lear opposite Louis Calhern in 1950.[1] She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 1954 for her performance as Jessie Mae Watts in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, costarring Lillian Gish and Eva Marie Saint.

After her success on the stage, director Elia Kazan brought her to Hollywood to work on screen. Kazan, who had directed her on stage in 1952's Flight to Egypt and 1953's Camino Real, cast her as Cathy Ames in his film adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (1955); this was her film debut.[1] She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Her subsequent film work was steady through 1960, and included such films as The Rose Tattoo (1955), I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), The King and Four Queens (1956), and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). However, her career did not progress as she had hoped. Her friend and mentor, Kazan, once said "Jo stagnated, and, since she knew it, was bitter. And as she became bitter, she become more difficult."[1]

In 1958, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in Look Homeward, Angel, in which she played the acquisitive mother of Anthony Perkins' character.

Her later films included Wild River (1960) -- though only 41, Fleet would spend five hours every morning getting into her make-up and applying wrinkles[1] -- Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (1965), Paul Newman's mother in Cool Hand Luke (1967), and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968).

Her television work included Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, Bonanza and The Wild Wild West.

Personal life[edit]

Van Fleet was married to William Bales from 1946 until his death in 1990, and was survived by her son Michael Bales, and grandson, Arden Rogow-Bales.

Death[edit]

Van Fleet died in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York of undisclosed causes at the age of 81. Her interment was at Flushing Cemetery.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1955Max Liebman SpetacularsAunt Deteepisode: Heidi
Star TonightIrene Rankinepisode: Concerning Death
East of EdenKateAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated— BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer to Film Roles
The Philco Television PlayhouseShirleyepisode: A Business Proposition
The Rose TattooBessie
I'll Cry TomorrowKatie Roth
1956Kraft TheatreMaepisode: Snapfinger Creek
The King and Four QueensMa McDade
Alfred Hitchcock PresentsMrs. Shrikeepisode: Shopping for Death
1957Gunfight at the O.K. CorralKate Fisher
This Angry AgeMme. Dufresne
Alfred Hitchcock PresentsAnna Kaminskyepisode: Reward to Finder
1958Westinghouse Desilu PlayhouseMrs. Lombeepisode: The Crazy Hunter
1959Alcoa TheatreMrs. Weissepisode: 30 Pieces of Silver
G.E. True TheatreMiss Wanda Kelseyepisode: Disaster
1960Wild RiverElla Garth
Play of the WeekCaninaepisode: Volpone
1961The DuPont Show of the MonthCallieepisode: The Night of the Storm
Alfred Hitchcock PresentsMollyepisode: Servant Problem
ThrillerMrs. Cissy Hawkepisode: The Remarkable Mrs. Hawk
1962Naked CityDr. Anna Chaloupkaepisode: The Night the Saints Loss Their Halos
Frontier CircusAmelia Curtisepisode: The Courtship
1963Route 66Hazel Quineepisode: The Stone Guest
77 Sunset StripJane Pattersonepisode: Don't Wait for Me
1964Summer PlayhouseVelma Clarkeepisode: Satan's Waitin'
Kraft Suspense TheatreHildy Hesseepisode: The World I Want
1965CinderellaStepmother(TV movie)
1966The VirginianLee Calderepisode: Legacy of Hate
1967Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler TheatreEmily Cooperepisode: Verdict for Terror
Cool Hand LukeArletta
1968I Love You, Alice B. ToklasMother
1969The Wild Wild WestAmelia Bronstonepisode: The Night of the Tycoons
80 Steps to JonahNonna
1970MannixAlexandra Pulvarentiepisode: One for the Lady
Mod SquadAnnie Crabtreeepisode: 'A' is for Annie
BonanzaAmy Wilderepisode: The Trouble with Amy
1971Great PerformancesClaraepisode: Paradise Lost
BonanzaMiss Ellen Dobbsepisode: The Stillness Within
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot StraightBig Momma
Medical CenterMargaretepisode: Martyr
1972The Family RicoMama Rico(TV movie)
1973Medical CenterLeahepisode: Time of Darkness
Satan's School for GirlsHeadmistress
1976The TenantMadame Dioz
1977Police WomanIrini Karabetasepisode: The Buttercup Killer
1980PowerMother Vanda(TV movie)
1986Seize the DayMrs. Einhorn

Source: "Jo Van Fleet". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Obituary: Jo Van Fleet, The Independent, 20 June 1996, Accessed November 21, 2013