Patty McCormack

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Patty McCormack
1962 Peter Fonda Patty McCormack New Breed.jpg
McCormack (right) with Peter Fonda in the photo release of the television series The New Breed, 1962
BornPatricia Ellen Russo
(1945-08-21) August 21, 1945 (age 68)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1951–present
Spouse(s)Bob Catania (1967–1973)
 
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Patty McCormack
1962 Peter Fonda Patty McCormack New Breed.jpg
McCormack (right) with Peter Fonda in the photo release of the television series The New Breed, 1962
BornPatricia Ellen Russo
(1945-08-21) August 21, 1945 (age 68)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1951–present
Spouse(s)Bob Catania (1967–1973)

Patricia "Patty" McCormack (born August 21, 1945) is an American actress with a career in theater, films and television.

She achieved critical acclaim on Broadway as a child actress in Maxwell Anderson's shocking psychological drama The Bad Seed, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Mervyn LeRoy's classic film adaptation in 1956.[1] Her acting career has continued with both starring and supporting roles in film and television, including Helen Keller in the original Playhouse 90 production of The Miracle Worker[2] and a more recent performance as Pat Nixon in Frost/Nixon (2008).[3]

Life and career[edit]

The cast of Peck's Bad Girl. From left: Wendell Corey, McCormack, Ray Farrell, Marsha Hunt.

McCormack was born Patricia Ellen Russo in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Elizabeth (née McCormack), a professional roller skater, and Frank Russo, a fireman. She attended New Utrecht H.S.[4] She is an aunt of fellow actor and New York City lawmaker Alfred Cerullo.[5]

She was a child model at the age of four and began appearing on television at the age of seven. She made her motion picture debut in Two Gals and a Guy (1951) and appeared in the television series Mama with Peggy Wood from 1953 to 1956.

Her Broadway debut was in Touchstone (1953), and the following year she created the iconic role of Rhoda Penmark, an eight-year-old sociopath and fledgling serial killer, in the original stage version of Maxwell Anderson's The Bad Seed (1954)[6] with Nancy Kelly. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film version, The Bad Seed (1956). She created the role of Helen Keller in the original 1957 Playhouse 90 production of William Gibson's The Miracle Worker (play) opposite Teresa Wright.[7]

Also in 1957, she was cast by Orson Welles in his film of Don Quixote, but filming had to be abandoned for budgetary reasons, and was never fully completed. When a version was edited together in 1992, some years after Welles's death, it did not include any of McCormack's scenes even though they had been central to the framing of the plot. She had the role of a pampered child star in the 1958 comedy Kathy O' and recorded the title song for Dot Records.

McCormack briefly starred in her own series, Peck's Bad Girl with Marsha Hunt and Wendell Corey in 1959, and had a leading role in MGM's remake of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960 film) with Eddie Hodges.

In the early 1960's, she starred in a series of popular teenage delinquent films including The Explosive Generation with William Shatner and The Young Runaways.

She married restaurateur Bob Catania in 1967, and they had two children before their marriage was dissolved. After a half-dozen teen roles during the 1960s, her film career declined but she continued to work in television. In 1970 she played Linda Warren on the soap opera The Best of Everything.[8] She guest starred on The Streets of San Francisco, Season 2, episode Blockade. She also portrayed a San Francisco paramedic on the season 7 1 1/2 hour Emergency! films What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing...? and The Convention. She resumed her cinema career with Bug in 1975.

She had recurring roles in popular television series, including The Ropers, Dallas, Murder, She Wrote and The Sopranos. When Kathryn Hays left the CBS soap opera As the World Turns for an extended period of time, McCormack took Hays' role until she returned.

McCormack starred as a psychotic mother in the cult thriller Mommy (1995 film) and it's 1997 sequel Mommy 2: Mommy's Day.

In 2008, McCormack played First Lady Pat Nixon in the feature film Frost/Nixon.

McCormack continues to work regularly and she co-starred in the 2012 series Have You Met Miss Jones?. Her most recent film appearance is in the 2014 release Chicanery[9] and she guest-starred in a 2013 episode of the series Heart of Dixie.[10]

Awards[edit]

In addition to her Oscar nomination, McCormack also received a Golden Globe nomination for The Bad Seed.[11] In 1956, she received the Milky Way "Gold Star Award" as the most outstanding juvenile performer.

Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6312 Hollywood Boulevard.[12]

McCormack was a guest for the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention where her films were screened, and she received an award during the closing ceremonies.

Filmography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]