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|Also Known As:||Died:||October 12, 1991|
|Born:||May 3, 1899||Cause of Death:||pneumonia|
|Birth Place:||McKeesport, Pennsylvania, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor|
Tall, melancholy-looking character lead of exceptional versatility. MacMahon was moving in dramatic roles and, as a deft comedienne, excelled at playing wisecracking secretaries in "Five Star Final" (1931) and "The Mouthpiece" (1932). Immediately after graduating from Barnard College in 1920, she made her New York stage debut in "The Madras House" and her performance in the 1926 revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Beyond the Horizon," was acclaimed by Noel Coward as "astonishing, moving and beautiful." Although MacMahon gave memorable performances as the forgotten first wife in "Silver Dollar" (1932) and won an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn's Chinese mother in "Dragon Seed" (1944), she is best remembered for playing sassy, snappy working women such as the fraudulent "voice-culture" teacher in George S. Kaufman's and Moss Hart's Hollywood spoof "Once in a Lifetime" (1932) and as the sarcastic, unemployed comedienne in "Gold Diggers of 1933."
After reprising her stage role as the grandmother in "All the Way Home," the 1964 film version of James Agee's memoir "A Death in the Family," MacMahon retired from film and returned to the stage, joining the Lincoln Center Repertory company in the 1960s and 70s.
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