Mercedes Mccambridge


Actor
Mercedes Mccambridge

About

Also Known As
Charlotte Mercedes Agnes Mccambridge
Birth Place
Joliet, Illinois, USA
Born
March 16, 1916
Died
March 02, 2004
Cause of Death
Natural Causes

Biography

A noted radio and stage performer, Mercedes McCambridge won an Oscar for her screen debut as the political hatchet woman in "All the King's Men" (1949) but subsequently made only occasional film appearances. An intense actress with piercing dark eyes and a strong, resonant voice, she specialized in forceful or domineering roles and was not afraid to play the unsympathetic role of Joan Cr...

Family & Companions

William Fifield
Husband
Married in 1939; divorced in 1946; son of a minister; father of McCambridge's son John.
Fletcher Markle
Husband
Producer, director. Married on February 19, 1950; divorced in 1962; died on May 22, 1991 of heart failure; adopted McCambridge's son.

Bibliography

"The Quality of Mercy"
Mercedes McCambridge, Berkley Books (1982)
"Two of Us"
Mercedes McCambridge (1960)

Notes

When McCambridge was hailed as "the world's greatest living radio actress" by Orson Welles, she retorted "How can you be the world's greatest dead radio actress?" -From Daily News, January 22, 1970.

Awarded certificiate for her volunteer work for the National Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Washington (1971).

Biography

A noted radio and stage performer, Mercedes McCambridge won an Oscar for her screen debut as the political hatchet woman in "All the King's Men" (1949) but subsequently made only occasional film appearances. An intense actress with piercing dark eyes and a strong, resonant voice, she specialized in forceful or domineering roles and was not afraid to play the unsympathetic role of Joan Crawford's insanely jealous and vindictive nemesis in Nicholas Ray's flamboyantly psychological Western, "Johnny Guitar" (1954). She earned a second Academy Award nomination as Rock Hudson's headstrong older sister in "Giant" (1956) and later played Elizabeth Taylor's mother in "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959). McCambridge also provided the memorable voice-over for the demon-child in "The Exorcist" (1973). A recovered alcoholic, she has served as honorary chair of the Alcoholism Information Month and has appeared before the Senate committee on Alcoholism and Narcotics.

Life Events

1936

Starred on radio series, "Big Sister"

1945

Stage debut, "Hope for the Best"

1945

Broadway debut, "A Place of Our Own"

1949

Film debut, "All the King's Men"; won Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress

1950

TV debut in "The Voice of the Cricket" on NBC's "Tele-Theatre"

1952

Hosted own radio program

1952

Traveled for Adlai Stevenson's presidential election campaign

1954

Sparred onscreen and off with Joan Crawford in "Johnny Guitar"

1956

Again campaigned for Stevenson

1956

Garnered second Oscar nomination for her performance as Rock Hudson's older sister in "Giant"

1959

Played Mrs. Holly, the mother of Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor) in "Suddenly, Last Summer"

1960

Led the crowd that stormed the Los Angeles Democratic convention to draft Adlai Stevenson

1962

Returned to Broadway as replacement in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

1972

TV-movie debut, "Killer by Night" (CBS)

1972

Earned a Tony nomination for her performance in "The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks"

1973

Provided vocals used for the possessed Regan in "The Exorcist"

1979

Portrayed the family matriarch in the NBC miniseries "The Sacketts"

1980

Final film (to date) "Echoes"

1991

Replaced Irene Worth as the grandmother in the Broadway production of Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers"; later toured in the role

Photo Collections

All the King's Men - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters for Columbia Pictures' All the King's Men (1949), starring Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, and Mercedes McCambridge.

Videos

Movie Clip

Giant (1956) - You Are An Odd One Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor), new bride of Texas rancher Bick, in a forthright talk while on errands with hired hand Jett (James Dean), director George Stevens interjecting a scene with the sister-in-law (Mercedes McCambridge) teaching the downtrodden Angel (Victor Millan) a lesson, in Giant, 1956.
Giant (1956) - You're Gonna Meet Some Folks Newlywed Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor) on her first morning at Reata, with rugged sister-in-law Luz (Mercedes McCambridge) whom she’s just met, who sets up a social gauntlet, with husband Bick (Rock Hudson), featuring Monte Hale, Charles Watts and especially Jane Withers as Vashti, Jett (James Dean) brooding, in George Stevens’ Giant, 1956.
Suddenly, Last Summer - That Nice Young Doctor Mother Grace (Mercedes McCambridge) and brother George (Gary Raymond) visit Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor) at the mental hospital, her doctor (Montgomery Clift) attending, to explain a contingency in a bequest from a dead cousin, in Suddenly, Last Summer, 1959, from a Tennessee Williams play.
Cimarron (1960) - All Them Too-Sooners Rolling from Kansas for the 1889 Oklahoma Land Rush, newlyweds Yancey and Sabra (Glenn Ford, Maria Schell) meet the Wyatt’s (Arthur O’Connell, Mercedes McCambridge) and brood, and John Pickard the cavalry captain organizing the event, in producer Edmund Grainger’s Cimarron, 1960.
Touch Of Evil (1958) - Fun Is Only Beginning Crooked U.S. Lawmen (Ray Collins, Harry Shannon, Mort Mills) visiting Mexican cop Vargas (Charlton Heston), with his famous sprint upstairs, then shifting to his wife Susan (Janet Leigh) at the motel, Mercedes McCambridge leading her tormenters, in Orson Welles' Touch Of Evil, 1958.
Giant (1956) - I'm A Tough Texian Now Having fainted the day before, bride Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor) making a better show for rancher husband Bick (Rock Hudson), director George Stevens proving the scale of his shoot outside Marfa, twisted sister Luz (Mercedes McCambridge) worrying, James Dean taking orders, in Giant, 1956.
Lightning Strikes Twice (1951) - A Woman Who Held Out Liza (Mercedes McCambridge) and brother String (Darryl Hickman) are cagey, receiving vacationing actress Shelley (Ruth Roman), who's already met their notorious neighbors, at their officially closed dude ranch, in Lightning Strikes Twice, 1951.
Angel Baby (1961) - Brambles In Your Path Preacher Paul (George Hamilton) conversing with Jenny (Salome Jens), his new protege whom he's recently healed, when they're joined by his older and chillier wife Sarah (Mercedes McCambridge), early in Angel Baby, 1961.
All The King's Men (1950) - It's About A Hick! Broderick Crawford (as hung-over stooge candidate Willie Stark) winning his Academy Award, famous scene in which he throws off his masters, his handlers (Mercedes McCambridge, John Ireland) thrilled, in Robert Rossen's All The King's Men, 1950.
All The King's Men (1950) - Find A Dummy Joining mid-montage, failed politician Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) becomes a lawyer, disaster strikes at a school he warned about, and politicos led by Sadie (Mercedes McCambridge) hatch a scheme, in All The King's Men, 1950, from Robert Penn Warren's novel.
All The King's Men (1950) - Soak The Fat Guys Gubernatorial candidate Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford), who doesn't know he's being played, with reporter/adviser Jack (John Ireland), then joined by savvy operative Sadie (Mercedes McCambridge), in Robert Rossen's All The King's Men, 1950, from Robert Penn Warren's novel.
Johnny Guitar - Care To Change It? The Dancin' Kid (Scott Brady) and gang (Royal Dano, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Cooper) arrive at the saloon run by Vienna (Joan Crawford), leading Johnny (Sterling Hayden) to intervene with music in Johnny Guitar, 1954.

Trailer

Family

John Patrick McCambridge
Father
Marie McCambridge
Mother
John L Markle
Son
Brokerage executive. Born in 1941; father, William Fifield; nearly killed by thugs in 1961 and hospitalized c. 1961 again as a result of an auto accident; killed his wife and two daughters and committed suicide on November 16, 1987 within four days of being dismissed as vice president of Stephens Inc., a Little Rock (AR) brokerage company; left half of his estate (estimated $500,000) to McCambridge.

Companions

William Fifield
Husband
Married in 1939; divorced in 1946; son of a minister; father of McCambridge's son John.
Fletcher Markle
Husband
Producer, director. Married on February 19, 1950; divorced in 1962; died on May 22, 1991 of heart failure; adopted McCambridge's son.

Bibliography

"The Quality of Mercy"
Mercedes McCambridge, Berkley Books (1982)
"Two of Us"
Mercedes McCambridge (1960)

Notes

When McCambridge was hailed as "the world's greatest living radio actress" by Orson Welles, she retorted "How can you be the world's greatest dead radio actress?" -From Daily News, January 22, 1970.

Awarded certificiate for her volunteer work for the National Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Washington (1971).

She received a special citiation from United Jewish Welfare and two awards from the "City of Hope" and the Gold Key Award (Kansas City in 1972).

She has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees.