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Overview for Colleen Dewhurst
Colleen Dewhurst

Colleen Dewhurst

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Also Known As: Died: August 22, 1991
Born: June 3, 1924 Cause of Death: Cancer
Birth Place: Montreal, Quebec, CA Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

Dewhurst had been nominated for Emmy Awards six times before her first win.

Also received the Sylvania Award in 1960 and the Lola D'Annunzio Award in 1961

Served as vice-chair of the Save the Theater movement; was on board of the Actor's Fund and acted as chair of the fund's executive committee, which helps theater professionals who have AIDS; also served on board of Actors' Work Program, the American Council for the Arts, the Theater Communications Group and the Theater Development Fund

She had played Josie Hogan onstage several times (once in Italy) before her Tony Award-winning performance. In a 1988 interview, Dewhurst noted, "I always say that I am not an O'Neill expert. I feel all I really know are his women. O'Neill's women have great passion, a passion for life. Nothing is done half-way. It's not little tiny things that happen to them. These plays are not about the day you cracked up the car and didn't know how to explain it." --From New York Post obituary, August 23, 1991.

"I love the O'Neill women. They move from the groin rather than from the brain. To play O'Neill you have to be big. You can't sit around and play little moments of sadness or sweetnenss. You cannot phony up O'Neill." --Colleen Dewhurst quoted in Variety obituary, August 226, 1991.

A sampling of critical raves about Dewhurst's work:

"[Ms. Dewhurst] spoke O'Neill as if it were being spoken for the first time--and not the first time in a theater (you always hope for that) but for the first time in a certain New England farm, on a certain September night in 1923." --Clive Barnes, reviewing Jose Quintero's revival of "A Moon for the Misbegotten" in 1974

Frank Rich, meanwhile, reviewing the 1983 revival of Kaufman and Hart's "You Can't Take It With You", wrote, "It's a cameo role, but Miss Dewhurst, functioning as a cleanup hitter, knocks every laugh line clear out of the park."

"She's like an earth mother, but in real life she's not to be let out without a keeper. She's a pushover, a pussycat. She's the madonna of the birds with broken wings." --Maureen Stapleton, quoted in The New York Times obituary, August 24, 1991.

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