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Agnes Moorehead

Agnes Moorehead



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Also Known As: Died: April 30, 1974
Born: December 6, 1900 Cause of Death: lung cancer
Birth Place: Clinton, Massachusetts, USA Profession: Cast ... actor teacher


She made her reputation in Hollywood playing heartless characters whose faces were frozen in masks of thin-lipped venality, but Agnes Moorehead received her start with comic roles on radio that emphasized her bottomless versatility. After being hired to provide the voice of sidekick Margo Lane to Orson Welles' "The Shadow," the actress joined the ensemble of Welles' fledgling Mercury Theatre on the Air. Together the pair transitioned from New York to Hollywood for "Citizen Kane" (1941), Welles' innovative feature film debut. Moorehead's tightly-coiled turn as the young Kane's cruelly pragmatic mother stamped the template for many of her subsequent film roles: the callous guardian of the young "Jane Eyre" (1943), the distant and disapproving aunt of traumatized "Johnny Belinda" (1948), and the unrepentant murderess who frames Humphrey Bogart in "Dark Passage" (1947) and dares him to prove it. Moorehead excelled in sympathetic roles as well, playing a reform-minded prison warden in "Caged" (1950) and Jayne Wyman's protector in "Magnificent Obsession" (1954), but her comic talents went largely untested until she was picked to play Endora, the witchy mother of suburban sorceress Elizabeth Montgomery on the long-running ABC sitcom "Bewitched" (1964-1972). Active in films, television, and radio, Moorehead weathered two failed marriages and a stab at adoptive motherhood before settling into eccentric solitude. Her death from cancer in 1974 halted a diverse career while immortalizing Moorehead in the pantheon of American pop culture icons.


Stephenray ( 2007-05-08 )

Source: see contribution

Agnes Moorehead actually never played Lady MacBeth, although Orson Welles had wanted her to.* The role she played on Broadway in "Gigi" (Aunt Alicia) was orginally played on film by Isobel Jeans, not Hermione Gingold's role.
* "Agnes' contract with MGM and Warner Brothers as well as her radio work - which was extensive, kept her from accepting McBeth, in the pivotal role of Lady McBeth." - Charles Transberg "'I Love The Illusion' The Life and Career of Agnes Moorehead"

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