Agnes Moorehead (1900-74) was a graduate of Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio and went on to earn a master's degree in English and public speaking at the university of Wisconsin. She continued her studies in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and began appearing on Broadway and radio with Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles. A co-founder and charter member of Welles’ famed Mercury Theater Players, she worked in radio throughout her career and was involved in two of the most famous shows of all time: SORRY WRONG NUMBER and Welles’ War of the Worlds. She made her film debut in Orson Welles movie CITIZEN KANE and earned five nominations for Oscars in her career, often cast in acid-tongue roles in such films as THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS with Cotton and THE LEFT HAND OF GOD with Bogart. Her numerous TV guest appearances led her to play “Endora,” the overbearing mother in the 1960s TV sitcom Bewitched. She also appeared as a mute woman and the only cast member in the famous 1961 Twilight Zone episode “The Invaders.” She and several cast members (including John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Pedro Armend├íriz, as well as director Dick Powell) were exposed to radiation while making THE CONQUEROR in Nevada which led to speculation this was the cause when diagnosed with lung cancer. She worked until the very end.

1 comment:

Professional Tourist said...

Agnes Moorehead actually received a total of four Oscar nominations throughout her career, rather than five:

1) The Magnificent Ambersons, 1942
2) Mrs. Parkington, 1944
3) Johnny Belinda, 1948
4) Hush. . .Hush, Sweet Charlotte, 1964

Her character of Beryl Sigman in "The Left Hand of God" with Bogart is not an example of one of her acid-tongued roles, but her character of Madge Rapf in "Dark Passage" with Bogart would indeed be such example.

Today marks the 35th anniversary of Miss Moorehead's passing, the cause of which was not lung but uterine cancer. She indeed worked until the very end, until she could no longer stand up. Rest in peace, Aggie.