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Sylvia Sidney

Sylvia Sidney



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Also Known As: Sylvia Sydney,Sophia Kosow Died: July 1, 1999
Born: August 8, 1910 Cause of Death: throat cancer
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: Cast ... actor


During the Great Depression, actress Sylvia Sidney was said to possess the saddest eyes in Hollywood. The native New Yorker had only just debuted on Broadway when the movies lured her westward, where she cornered a devalued market playing little ladies with big problems in "City Streets" (1930) and "An American Tragedy" (1930). Her real life love affair with Paramount executive B. P. Schulberg kept Sidney working but typecast as victims, prompting the actress to crack that the studio paid her by the tear. In time, she enjoyed more varied roles, among them "Madame Butterfly" (1932), while Fritz Lang made expressionistic use of her in "Fury" (1936) and "You Only Live Once" (1937). Acquiring the reputation in Hollywood for being choosy and difficult, Sidney found sanctuary on the stage, performing with the Group Theatre on Broadway and touring as Jane Eyre and Eliza Doolittle. Having weathered three failed marriages and all but given up on film, Sidney was drawn out of retirement to play Joanne Woodward's elderly mother in "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" (1973), for which she received an Oscar nomination. The attention propelled Sydney towards a comeback, in which the diminutive, weathered, yet wholly indomitable actress was a bracing presence in such films as "Damien: Omen II" (1978), "Beetlejuice" (1988), "Used People" (1992), and "Mars Attacks!" (1998). A lifelong smoker, Sydney succumbed to throat cancer in 1999, her death capping the picaresque career of a leading lady whose star shone brightest the farther she got from the camera.

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