Over her long career, character actress Eileen Heckart has distinguished herself on stage, television, and in feature films. Tall and thin with sharp angular features, she often plays outspoken, strong-willed, and highly intelligent women. Fans of The Mary Tyler Moore show from the 1970s will remember Heckart for playing Mary's brassy Aunt Flo. Trained at the American Theater Wing following studies at Ohio State University, Heckart was on Broadway in the early '40s and appeared in numerous major productions. For the 1957-1958 theater season, Heckart earned a New York Drama Critics Award for her work in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. She has won six Tony nominations during her stage career and in the late '90s was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. Heckart began her sporadic television career in 1952 and made her feature-film debut with Miracle in the Rain (1956). She earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination that year for her work in The Bad Seed (1956); she was also awarded a Golden Globe for the film. In 1972, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1976 for her role in Butterflies Are Free. In 1967, Heckert received an Emmy for Win Me a Place at Forest Lawn. She won her second one in 1994 for a 1993 appearance on the sitcom Love & War. In addition to her many kudos, Heckart has also been awarded three honorary doctorates.
by Sandra Brennan biography