Shelley Winters, Tough-Talking Oscar Winner in 'Anne Frank' and 'Patch of Blue,' Dies
Shelley Winters, who once described her life as a "rocky road out of the Brooklyn ghetto to one New York apartment, two Oscars, three California houses, four hit plays, five Impressionist paintings, six mink coats and 99 films," died yesterday. She was 83, although some sources says she was 85.
Ms. Winters died of heart failure at the Rehabilitation Centre of Beverly Hills, her publicist, Dale Olson, said. She had been hospitalized in October after suffering a heart attack.
A major movie presence for more than five decades, Shelley Winters turned herself from a self-described "dumb blond bombshell" in B pictures to a widely respected actress who was nominated four times for Academy Awards.
Her first Oscar, for best supporting actress, was for her performance in "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959) as the middle-age Mrs. Van Daan, one of eight Dutch Jews hiding from the Nazis in an attic.
She won again for best supporting actress as the vicious mother of a blind girl in "A Patch of Blue" (1965).
After a series of bit parts, Ms. Winters received her first big break as the waitress who was strangled by Ronald Colman's jealous actor in "A Double Life" in 1947.
Four years later, she dyed her hair brown, rubbed the polish off her fingernails, and convinced the director George Stevens that she could play the mousy factory girl who was made pregnant and then drowned by Montgomery Clift so that he could marry the rich Elizabeth Taylor in "A Place in the Sun." She was nominated for an Academy Award as best actress for that performance.
Tough-talking and oozing sex appeal, Ms. Winters was blowzy, vulgar and often pathetically vulnerable in her early films. In movie after movie, she played working-class women who were violently discarded by men who had used them.
Read the rest of the obituary here.Shelley Winters, Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Nicholas Ray, Film, Movies, Books