Raised in Bronxville, N.Y., the granddaughter of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Anne Baxter took up acting at the age of 11 with Maria Ouspenskaya, debuting on Broadway two years later (in Seen but Not Heard); she continued working on Broadway until her screen debut at age 17 in Twenty-Mule Team (1940), a minor Western featuring Wallace Beery and Marjorie Rambeau. Charming if not beautiful, she tended to play shy and innocent types and gave a few outstanding performances, such as that with Bette Davis in All About Eve (1950); she and Davis were both nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, but it went to Judy Holliday. Her "breakthrough" film was Orson Welles's The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), leading to many more roles in the next few years. At home in a variety of parts, she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1946 for her work in The Razor's Edge. Although she has worked with many of Hollywood's most celebrated and accomplished directors (Welles, Hitchcock, Lang, Mankiewicz, Wilder Wellman), after the mid-'50s she tended to get poor roles in mediocre movies. Baxter left Hollywood in 1961 for an isolated cattle station in Australia, an experience she described in her critically-acclaimed book Intermission: A True Story. She made a few more films, but her major work was as Lauren Bacall's replacement as Margo Channing in Applause, the musical version of All About Eve; having played Eve in the film, she now assumed the role earlier held by Davis. Baxter also did some TV work, including a part in the early '80s series Hotel. She was married from 1946-53 to actor John Hodiak, whom she met while filming Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (1944).
by Rovi biography