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Mary Wickes

Mary Wickes

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Also Known As: Mary Isabelle Wickenhauser Died: October 22, 1995
Born: June 13, 1910 Cause of Death: complications following surgery
Birth Place: St Louis, Missouri, USA Profession: actor, acting teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A tall, lanky character actress, Wickes was a durable and invaluable comedy player of innumerable housekeepers, nurses and nuns. With her gawky frame, deliciously angular features and famous recessed chin, she wisecracked, busybodied and nosed her way through almost 20 Broadway plays, hundreds of stock productions, ten TV series, countless small-screen guest spots and nearly 50 feature films. Wickes began on stage in the early 1930s and acted in five plays either written or directed by George S. Kaufman. Her breakthrough came when she hilariously played Miss Preen, the endlessly harassed nurse to the vituperative Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley) in Kaufman and Hart's "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1939-40). Wickes later recreated her most famous role as her film debut in 1941, in a radio production starring Fred Allen and in a 1972 TV version with Orson Welles.

A tall, lanky character actress, Wickes was a durable and invaluable comedy player of innumerable housekeepers, nurses and nuns. With her gawky frame, deliciously angular features and famous recessed chin, she wisecracked, busybodied and nosed her way through almost 20 Broadway plays, hundreds of stock productions, ten TV series, countless small-screen guest spots and nearly 50 feature films. Wickes began on stage in the early 1930s and acted in five plays either written or directed by George S. Kaufman. Her breakthrough came when she hilariously played Miss Preen, the endlessly harassed nurse to the vituperative Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley) in Kaufman and Hart's "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1939-40). Wickes later recreated her most famous role as her film debut in 1941, in a radio production starring Fred Allen and in a 1972 TV version with Orson Welles.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (1996) Voice Of Laverne
2.
 Little Women (1994) Aunt March
3.
 Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) Sister Mary Lazarus
4.
 Sister Act (1992) Mary Lazarus
5.
 Postcards From The Edge (1990) Grandma
7.
 Christmas Gift, The (1986) Henrietta Sawyer
8.
 Touched By Love (1980) Margaret
9.
 Willa (1979) Eunice
10.
 Snowball Express (1972) Miss Wigginton
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Made stage debut at the Berkshire Playhouse in Stockbridge, MA
1935:
Appeared on Broadway in supporting role in the George S. Kaufman-Edna Ferber comedy-drama, "Stage Door" (date approximate)
:
Breakthrough role: played Miss Preen, the harassed nurse, in the popular stage comedy, "The Man Who Came to Dinner", by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
1941:
Made feature film debut recreating her acclaimed stage role as Nurse Preen in the comedy, "The Man Who Came to Dinner"
:
After acting in five films in 1943, concentrated primarily on stage work until 1948
1945:
Acted on Broadway in the play, "Hollywood Pinafore"
1950:
Played Miss Wickes, the housekeeper, on about half of the run of the NBC sitcom, "The Peter and Mary Show" (renamed "The Peter Lind Hayes Show" midway through its one-season run)
1953:
Played Martha the housekeeper on the short-lived NBC sitcom, "Bonino"
:
Played recurring role of Elizabeth O'Neal, the protagonist's press agent, on the long-running ABC and later CBS sitcom, "Make Room for Daddy/The Danny Thomas Show"
:
Played Alice the housekeeper on the CBS comedy series, "The Halls of Ivy", starring Ronald Colman and Benita Hume
1958:
Played Katie the housekeeper on the short-lived ABC comedy series, "Annette", starring Annette Funicello
:
Played Maxfield, the landlady, on the CBS comedy series, "Mrs. G. Goes to College" (a.k.a. "The Gertrude Berg Show"); received an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress on a Comedy Series
:
Played recurring role of Melba Chegley on the NBC sitcom, "Julia", starring Diahann Carroll in the title role
1969:
First TV-movie, "The Monk"
1972:
Last feature film for seven years, "Snowball Express"
1972:
Recreated her Broadway and Hollywood feature role as the nurse in an NBC TV-movie adaptation of the stage comedy, "The Man Who Came to Dinner"
:
Played Zelda Marshall, the housekeeper for the Stuart family, on the NBC Saturday morning children's show, "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters"
:
Played Nurse Beatrice Tully on the CBS sitcom, "Doc", starring Barnard Hughes in the title role
1979:
Returned to films to play a role in the feature, "Touched By Love"
:
Played one of the leading roles, Aunt Eller, in the Broadway revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Oklahoma!"
:
Hiatus from acting
:
Played housekeeper Marie Gillespie on the NBC and later ABC mystery series, "The Father Dowling Mysteries"
1990:
Returned to films regularly with her role in the comedy-drama, "Postcards from the Edge"
1992:
Played one of her most popular roles in features, Sister Mary Lazarus, in "Sister Act"; reprised the role for the 1993 sequel
1996:
Final film credit, voiced Laverne, a gargoyle in Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Washington University: St Louis , Missouri -
University of California at Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

According to CINEFANTASTIQUE (in the course of its extensive coverage of the Disney animated remake of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" in the June 1996 issue), Wickes was reportedly the live-action model for the villainess Cruella De Vil in the Disney animated classic "101 Dalmations" (1961).

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