Gale Sondergaard


Actor
Gale Sondergaard

About

Also Known As
Edith Holm Sondergaard
Birth Place
Litchfield, Minnesota, USA
Born
February 15, 1899
Died
August 14, 1985

Biography

Gifted, successful NY stage actress in Hollywood from 1934, primarily as Hollywood's premiere scene-stealing exotic villainess. A tall, dark-haired performer capable of displaying the haughty disdain of a New England Puritan ("Maid of Salem" 1937), the suspicious sneer of a haunted mansion's housekeeper ("The Cat and the Canary" 1939) or the feline deception of a cat-turned-human ("The B...

Photos & Videos

The Wizard of Oz - Makeup Test Stills
The Cat and the Canary (1939) - Publicity Stills
Anthony Adverse - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Herbert Biberman
Husband
Director. Married 1930 until his death in 1971; second husband; one of the Hollywood Ten summoned by HUAC to be questioned about possible past membership in the American Communist Party; perhaps best known for the banned film, "Salt of the Earth" (1954), about poor Mexican workers.

Biography

Gifted, successful NY stage actress in Hollywood from 1934, primarily as Hollywood's premiere scene-stealing exotic villainess. A tall, dark-haired performer capable of displaying the haughty disdain of a New England Puritan ("Maid of Salem" 1937), the suspicious sneer of a haunted mansion's housekeeper ("The Cat and the Canary" 1939) or the feline deception of a cat-turned-human ("The Bluebird" 1940) with equal ease, Sondergaard also performed very well in such occasional sympathetic parts as Mrs. Dreyfus in "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937). She was memorable as one of Sherlock Holmes's most cunning nemeses in "Spider Woman" (1944). Politically active, and married to "Hollywood Ten" member Herbert Biberman, Sondergaard was blacklisted in the late 1940s but returned to act in several films of the late 60s and 70s as well as star in a one-woman off-Broadway show, "Woman." Her 1936 best supporting actress Academy Award (for "Anthony Adverse," her first film) was the first to be given in that category.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Echoes (1983)
Mrs Edmonds
The Return Of A Man Called Horse (1976)
Elk Woman
Pleasantville (1976)
Ora
Hollywood On Trial (1976)
Herself
The Cat Creature (1973)
Hester Black
Slaves (1969)
New Orleans lady
East Side, West Side (1950)
Nora Kernan
Road to Rio (1947)
Catherine Vail
Pirates of Monterey (1947)
SeƱorita de Sola
Anna and the King of Siam (1946)
Lady Thiang
The Time of Their Lives (1946)
Emily
The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946)
Zenobia Dollard
A Night in Paradise (1946)
Queen Attossa
The Climax (1944)
Luise
Follow the Boys (1944)
Gypsy Wildcat (1944)
Rhoda
The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944)
Irene, Lady Herrick
Christmas Holiday (1944)
Mrs. Manette
Enter Arsene Lupin (1944)
Cousin Bessie Seagrave
The Spider Woman (1944)
Adrea Spedding
Appointment in Berlin (1943)
Gretta Van Leyden
Crazy House (1943)
Isle of Forgotten Sins (1943)
Marge
The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943)
Anna Huber
Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen (1942)
Mrs. Van Dorn
A Night to Remember (1942)
Mrs. DeVoe
My Favorite Blonde (1942)
Mme. Stephanie Runick
Paris Calling (1942)
Colette
The Black Cat (1941)
Abigail Doone
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Inez Quintero
The Blue Bird (1940)
Tylette
The Letter (1940)
Mrs. Hammond
Juarez (1939)
Empress Eugenie
Never Say Die (1939)
Juno [Markoff]
The Cat and the Canary (1939)
Miss Lu
The Llano Kid (1939)
Lora Travers
Dramatic School (1938)
Madame Charlot
Lord Jeff (1938)
Doris Clandon
Maid of Salem (1937)
Martha, his wife
Seventh Heaven (1937)
Nana
The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
Lucie Dreyfus
Anthony Adverse (1936)
Faith Paleologus

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Hollywood On Trial (1976)
Other

Cast (Short)

The Making of a Great Motion Picture (1936)
Herself

Life Events

1936

Made screen debut in "Anthony Adverse"

1949

Last film before being blacklisted, "East Side, West Side"

1969

Returned to screen after blacklisting in "Slaves" (written and directed by husband)

1970

Played Amanda Key on the ABC serial drama, "The Best of Everything"

1976

Appeared as herself in the documentary film, "Hollywood on Trial"

1980

Last film, "Echoes"

Photo Collections

The Wizard of Oz - Makeup Test Stills
Here are a few Makeup and wardrobe test stills taken during production of MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939). Such test stills were taken prior to principal photography to approve the look and design of makeup and costumes.
The Cat and the Canary (1939) - Publicity Stills
The Cat and the Canary (1939) - Publicity Stills
Anthony Adverse - Scene Stills
Here are some scene stills from Warner Bros' Anthony Adverse (1936), directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Fredric March and Olivia de Havilland.

Videos

Movie Clip

Blue Bird, The (1940) - I Always Knew You Were A Fool! Just now transformed from the family cat and dog, Gale Sondergaard and Eddie Collins don’t agree on whether to aid the children (Shirley Temple as Mytyl, Johnny Russell as Tyltyl), guided by the spirit “Light” (Helen Ericson), in their search, in The Blue Bird, 1940, from a Maurice Maeterlinck story.
Lord Jeff (1938) - Darjeeling Is Not Hot Early events, young Lord Geoffrey (Freddie Bartholomew) from India is visited by Inspector Scott (Matthew Boulton), after a trip with his governess to a London jeweler ended strangely, the first sign of funny business, with Gale Sondergaard and George Zucco on the phone, in MGM's Lord Jeff, 1938.
Letter, The (1940) - Mrs. Hammond Wind chimes augment the near-silent Mrs. Hammond (Gale Sondergaard) as she demands her money and something more from Leslie (Bette Davis), lawyer Howard (James Stephenson) and his aide (Sen Yung) in The Letter, 1940.
Mark Of Zorro, The (1940) - I Toy With A Sword Just introduced Captain Pasquale (Basil Rathbone) receives Don Diego (Tyrone Power, also the title character), just back to California from Spain, and not tipping his hand, as he meets the new governor and his wife (J. Edward Bromberg, Gale Sondergaard), in The Mark Of Zorro, 1940.
Mark Of Zorro, The (1940) - I Take Only Your Money We know only that California nobleman Don Diego (Tyrone Power) is alarmed at the corruption he has found on his return from Spain, when this masked rider appears, then robs the crooked governor and his wife (J. Edward Bromberg, Gale Sondergaard), in Rouben Mamoulian's The Mark Of Zorro, 1940.
Anthony Adverse (1936) - Into Sturdy Manhood Text advances the story at least ten years and introduces leads Fredric March and Olivia de Havilland 40 minutes into the picture, as the title character and ward of merchant Bonnyfeather (Edmund Gwenn), and the daughter of his servants, in Livorno ca. 1800, in Anthony Adverse, 1936.
Anthony Adverse (1936) - He's Won The Lottery! Much tumult in Napoleonic-era Italy, as lovers Fredric March (title character) and Olivia De Havilland (as "Angela") learn that her servant father (Luis Alberni) has won the lottery, irritating his employer Bonnyfeather (Edmund Gwenn), in Anthony Adverse, 1936.
Cat And The Canary, The (1939) - There Are Spirits All Around You Bob Hope as Wally joins fellow potential heirs at the spooky Louisiana mansion, George Zucco the lawyer, Gale Sondergaard the housekeeper, with Elizabeth Patterson, Nydia Westman, Douglass Montgomery and John Beal, then Paulette Goddard's entrance, in the horror-comedy The Cat And The Canary, 1939.
Cat And The Canary, The (1939) - Is He A Dangerous Maniac? After the reading of their ancestor's will in his bayou home, Bob Hope as Wally, with Nydia Westman, George Zucco the lawyer, John Beal, Elizabeth Patterson, Paulette Goddard who got the money, Douglass Montgomery and John Wray, the guard bringing scary news, in the horror spoof The Cat And The Canary, 1939.
Time Of Their Lives, The (1946) - It's You They're After Revolutionary War ghosts Horatio (Lou Costello) and Melody (Marjorie Reynolds), stirred to action by the arrival of Bud Abbott (as a descendant of Lou's old romantic rival) and friends at their Long Island estate, discovering their powers, Gale Sondergaard an attuned servant, in The Time Of Their Lives, 1946.
East Side, West Side (1949) - Tempo Of The City Opening sequence, Barbara Stanwyck as "Jessie" narrates, introducing her husband Brandon (James Mason), mother Nora (Gale Sondergaard) and her second husband Horace (Raymond Greenleaf), setting up the complex melodrama East Side, West Side, 1950, co-starring Ava Gardner and Van Heflin.

Trailer

Family

Mrs John Campos
Daughter
Daniel Hans Biberman
Son
Talent agent. Served as mother's agent in the 1970s.

Companions

Herbert Biberman
Husband
Director. Married 1930 until his death in 1971; second husband; one of the Hollywood Ten summoned by HUAC to be questioned about possible past membership in the American Communist Party; perhaps best known for the banned film, "Salt of the Earth" (1954), about poor Mexican workers.

Bibliography