Phyllis Thaxter

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Phyllis Thaxter

From the film Bewitched (1945)
BornPhyllis St. Felix Thaxter
(1921-11-20)November 20, 1921
Portland, Maine, U.S.
DiedAugust 14, 2012(2012-08-14) (aged 90)
Longwood, Florida, U.S.
Cause of deathAlzheimer's disease
Resting placeCremated
OccupationActress
Years active1940–1992
Known forMa Kent in Superman,
Ellen Lawson in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Spouse(s)
ChildrenSkye Aubrey, James Aubrey
 
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Phyllis Thaxter

From the film Bewitched (1945)
BornPhyllis St. Felix Thaxter
(1921-11-20)November 20, 1921
Portland, Maine, U.S.
DiedAugust 14, 2012(2012-08-14) (aged 90)
Longwood, Florida, U.S.
Cause of deathAlzheimer's disease
Resting placeCremated
OccupationActress
Years active1940–1992
Known forMa Kent in Superman,
Ellen Lawson in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Spouse(s)
ChildrenSkye Aubrey, James Aubrey

Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter (November 20, 1921 – August 14, 2012) was an American actress.

Contents

Early life

Phyllis Thaxter was born in Portland, Maine to Sidney St. Felix Thaxter, who would later be a Justice of the Maine Supreme Court, and his wife, a former actress.

Career

Phyllis Thaxter smiling and looking off to her left in a press head shot from 1955.
Phyllis Thaxter in a public press photo from 1955.

She worked on Broadway at the beginning of the 1940's. In 1944, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her movie debut was opposite Van Johnson in the war-time film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.[1] In 1948, she played a cattle owner's daughter alongside Barbara Bel Geddes in Blood on the Moon. At MGM, she routinely portrayed the ever-patient wife to a number of leading men. She moved to Warner Brothers in the 1950s, but usually played the same type of roles.

Thaxter's career stalled after an attack of polio in 1952. She made a comeback in television series such as Rawhide, Wagon Train, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1978, Thaxter was cast along with Glenn Ford as Ma and Pa Kent in Superman.

Personal life

Author Patricia Bosworth, in her biography of Montgomery Clift, tells of Thaxter's close relationship with Clift in the early 1940s, writing that they "seemed so close that a great many people assumed they would eventually marry."[2] While at MGM, Thaxter married James T. Aubrey, Jr., who later became president of CBS-TV and MGM. They divorced in 1962. They had two children: Skye Aubrey, an actress, and James Aubrey.

In 1962, Thaxter married Gilbert Lea. They were married for 46 years until his death on May 4, 2008.[3]

Death

Thaxter died on August 14, 2012, in Longwood, Florida, after an eight- or nine-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.[4][1] She was 90 years old. In keeping with her wishes, she was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea.

Partial filmography

References

  1. ^ a b Denise Grady (August 18, 2012). "Phyllis Thaxter, Actress Who Played Superman’s Mother, Dies at 92". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/movies/phyllis-thaxter-actress-who-played-supermans-ma-kent-dies-at-92.html?src=recg. Retrieved 2012-08-22. "Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Skye Aubrey, who said that Ms. Thaxter had had Alzheimer’s disease for the last eight years. ..." 
  2. ^ Bosworth, Patricia (2004). Montgomery Clift: A Biography. Limelight Editions. pp. 80. ISBN 978-0879101350. 
  3. ^ "Obituary: Gilbert Lea". Town Topics: Princeton's Weekly Newspaper. 2008-05-21. http://www.towntopics.com/may2108/obits.html#obit3. 
  4. ^ Actress Phyllis Thaxter, Superman's Mom, Dies at 90, The Hollywood Reporter, August 15, 2012

External links