skip navigation
Geraldine Page

Geraldine Page

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (2)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Blue And The Gray DVD The darkest chapter in American history, the Civil War, is dramatized in this... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

White Nights DVD Ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov dances up a storm with tap icon Gregory Hines... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Hondo DVD Special Collector's EditionApache war drums sound an ominous warning for an... more info $8.99was $8.99 Buy Now

The Happiest Millionaire... What could be better than a million dollars? How about a man who uses his money... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Toys In The Attic DVD Hailed by critics, this award-winning Lillian Hellman drama stars Dean Martin... more info $19.95was $19.95 Buy Now

Summer And Smoke DVD Receiving four Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Actress,... more info $24.95was $24.95 Buy Now



Also Known As: Geraldine Sue Page Died: June 13, 1987
Born: November 22, 1924 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Kirksville, Missouri, USA Profession: actor, lingerie model, factory worker, hat-check girl

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Described by playwright Tennessee Williams, whose troubled heroines she often portrayed on stage and screen, as "the most disciplined and dedicated of actresses," Geraldine Page burst upon the NYC theatrical scene as the Southern spinster hoping for one last chance at love in a highly celebrated 1952 revival of Williams' "Summer and Smoke", which put both Page and off-Broadway on the map. On the strength of that performance, she secured roles in two movies released in 1953, "Taxi" and "Hondo", receiving her first of eight Oscar nominations for her supporting turn as an abandoned ranch wife who falls for John Wayne in the latter.Despite this formidable introduction to movies, Page returned to her first love to make her Broadway debut in "Midsummer" in 1953. The following year, she appeared in Broadway productions of "The Immoralist" (with James Dean and Louis Jordan) and "The Rainmaker" (opposite Darren McGavin). No great beauty, Page displayed an unparalleled repertoire of tics and mannerisms that sometimes marred otherwise fine performances and other times enhanced them. After an eight-year absence from features, Page's highly-strung, eccentric persona finally broke through in the 1961 film version...

Described by playwright Tennessee Williams, whose troubled heroines she often portrayed on stage and screen, as "the most disciplined and dedicated of actresses," Geraldine Page burst upon the NYC theatrical scene as the Southern spinster hoping for one last chance at love in a highly celebrated 1952 revival of Williams' "Summer and Smoke", which put both Page and off-Broadway on the map. On the strength of that performance, she secured roles in two movies released in 1953, "Taxi" and "Hondo", receiving her first of eight Oscar nominations for her supporting turn as an abandoned ranch wife who falls for John Wayne in the latter.

Despite this formidable introduction to movies, Page returned to her first love to make her Broadway debut in "Midsummer" in 1953. The following year, she appeared in Broadway productions of "The Immoralist" (with James Dean and Louis Jordan) and "The Rainmaker" (opposite Darren McGavin). No great beauty, Page displayed an unparalleled repertoire of tics and mannerisms that sometimes marred otherwise fine performances and other times enhanced them. After an eight-year absence from features, Page's highly-strung, eccentric persona finally broke through in the 1961 film version of her star-making "Summer and Smoke", which she followed by reprising her Broadway success as Williams' fading screen star Alexandra Del Lago in "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1962), earning back-to-back Best Actress Oscar nominations.

Offered the female lead in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" on Broadway in the 60s, the Method-trained Page insisted that Lee Strasberg be present during the rehearsals, a demand which cost her the role and branded her with the reputation as somewhat difficult. Choosy about what parts she accepted, Page frequently turned down work that did not suit her taste. Her forte was sexually guarded and/or repressed women or women who just hadn't had a chance at the brass ring, and her ability to project the deep emotions of these characters guaranteed her standing as one of the best actresses of her generation. Brilliant as the spinster sister whose love for brother Dean Martin borders on the incestuous in "Toys in the Attic" (1963), she was a desperate wooer of Glenn Ford in "Dear Heart" (1965) before earning her fourth Oscar nomination (as Best Supporting Actress) as the doting mother (opposite husband Rip Torn) of Peter Kastner in Francis Ford Coppola's "You're a Big Boy Now" (1966). Memorable (and Oscar-nominated) for her no-holds barred, comic fight with friend Carol Burnett in "Pete 'n' Tillie (1972), she also contributed a performance of exquisite, enclosed self-pity to Woody Allen's first dramatic effort, the Bergmanesque "Interiors" (1978), earning her third Academy Award nomination as Best Actress.

Like many New York actors, Page was a regular performer during television's Golden Age in the 50s, but she became more selective regarding small screen roles after her movie career took off. She played Xantippe in NBC's "Hallmark Hall of Fame" adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Barefoot in Athens" (1966), about the early days of Socrates, and a month later delivered an Emmy-winning performance as Aunt Sookie in ABC's "A Christmas Memory" (adapted from the story by Truman Capote), a role she would reprise for "A Thanksgiving Visitor" (ABC, 1968) earning a second Emmy Award. She appeared infrequently during the 70s (i.e., "Live Again, Die Again" ABC, 1974; "Something For Joey" CBS, 1977) but stepped up her output considerably during the 80s, acting in acclaimed vehicles like the miniseries "The Blue and the Gray" (CBS, 1982) and "The Dollmaker" (ABC, 1984). She also portrayed Sally Phelps in the "American Playhouse" presentation of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (PBS, 1986) and closed out her TV career impressively as a concentration camp survivor in "Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfield Story" (ABC, 1986).

Despite her screen success, Page never turned her back on the theater. She was a great proponent of off-Broadway and regional theater, appearing throughout her career with repertory companies like the Academy Festival Theatre (Lake Forest, Illinois), where she was able to play another choice Williams' role in 1974, that of Blanche in "A Streetcar Named Desire". She performed in two Actors Studio productions ("Strange Interlude" 1963 and "Three Sisters" 1964, which was filmed) and continued to appear on Broadway in such productions as "Black Comedy" (1967), "Absurd Person Singular" (1974) and "Agnes of God" (1982). She smoked like a chimney for her Oscar-nominated role as the mother of a slain policeman in "The Pope of Greenwich Village" (1984) and finally took home a Best Actress statue for "A Trip to Bountiful" (1985), luminously portraying an elderly woman who fulfills her fervent desire of visiting the small Texas town of her youth. Page capped her big screen career as the maid of the house in which Bigger Thomas goes to work in "Native Son" (1986) and was appearing on Broadway as the eccentric medium Madame Arcati in a revival of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" at the time of her death.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Flanagan (1987) Mama
2.
 My Little Girl (1986) Grandmother Molly
3.
 Native Son (1986) Peggy
4.
 Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story (1986) Itta Halaunbrenner
5.
 Bride, The (1985) Mrs Baumann
6.
 White Nights (1985) Anne Wyatt
7.
 The Trip To Bountiful (1985) Mrs Carrie Watts
8.
 Pope Of Greenwich Village, The (1984) Mrs Ritter
9.
 Parade, The (1984) Sarah
10.
 Dollmaker, The (1983) Mrs Kendrick
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1940:
Stage debut in Chicago production of "Eat My Dust"
1947:
Feature film debut in "Out of the Night"
1952:
Stage revival of Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke" (directed by Jose Quintero) put both off-Broadway and Page on the map, securing for her a place among America's finest actors; received raves playing heroine Alma Winemuller
1952:
Made early TV appearance in episode of "Lux Video Theatre"
1953:
Appeared in the feature films "Taxi" and "Hondo"; for her sensitive portrayal of an abandoned ranch wife who falls in love with John Wayne in the latter received first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress
1953:
Broadway debut in "Midsummer"
1954:
Acted on Broadway in "The Immoralist", with James Dean and Louis Jordan
1954:
Starred opposite Darren McGavin in Broadway production of "The Rainmaker"
1956:
London debut, reprising role of Lizzie Curry in "The Rainmaker"
1959:
Portrayed Alexandra Del Lago in Broadway production of Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth", acting with Paul Newman and future husband Rip Torn; all three reprised roles in the 1962 movie version directed by Richard Brooks
1961:
Returned to films after nearly a decade in breakthrough turn reprising stage role of Alma in "Summer and Smoke"; earned first Oscar nomination as Best Actress
1962:
Picked up another Best Actress Oscar nomination for "Sweet Bird of Youth"
1963:
Reteamed with Quintero for NYC revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude"
1964:
Acted in Actors Studio production of Anton Chekov's "The Three Sisters", first play directed by Lee Strasberg in 13 years; filmed and released theatrically
1966:
Received first Emmy Award for leading role in ABC's "Stage 67" production of "A Christmas Memory", adapted from Truman Capote's short story; played Aunt Sookie
1968:
Reprised role of Aunt Sookie in another Capote adaptation, "A Thanksgiving Visitor", snagging second Emmy Award
1973:
Played Mary Todd Lincoln in short-lived Broadway production of "Look Away"
1974:
Made TV-movie debut in "Live Again, Die Again" (ABC)
1978:
Earned Best Actress Oscar nomination for her emotionally tormented mother in Woody Allen's Bergmanesque "Interiors"
1982:
Played the Mother Superior in "Agnes of God" on Broadway
:
Joined the Mirror Repertory Theatre Company in NYC
1984:
Delivered an Oscar-nominated supporting performance in "The Pope of Greenwich Village", combining humor and pathos in a showy pair of scenes as the mother of a dead cop
1985:
Won Academy Award as Best Actress as a woman determined to return to her hometown for a final visit in "The Trip to Bountiful", written by Horton Foote and directed by Peter Masterson
1985:
Acted Off-Broadway in the all-star production of Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind", directed by the playwright
1987:
Was playing the eccentric spiritualist Madame Arcarti in a Broadway revival of "Blithe Spirit" at time of death
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

The Goodman School of Drama: Chicago , Illinois - 1942 - 1945

Notes

On being told that her husband Rip Torn had become the father of a child by actress Amy Wright: "Of course Rip and I are still married. We've been married for years. We're staying maried. What's the big fuss?" --Geraldine Page, to gossip columnist Cindy Adams in June of 1983

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Alexander Schneider. Violinist. Married in 1954; divorced in 1957.
husband:
Rip Torn. Actor. Married from 1961 until her death.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Leon Elwin Page. Osteopathic physician and surgeon.
mother:
Edna Pearl Page.
daughter:
Angelica Torn. Actor. Born in 1964; father, Rip Torn.
son:
Tony Torn. Actor, director. Twin; born in 1965; father, Rip Torn.
son:
Jonathan Torn. Twin of Anthony; born in 1965; father, Rip Torn.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute