The daughter of a physician, Geraldine Page became a professional actress at 17, winning critical raves for her performance in a 1952 off-Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (which had only recently been expanded by Williams from his one-act play Eccentricities of a Nightingale). Within a year, Ms. Page was co-starring with John Wayne in the austere 3-D Western Hondo. Too offbeat, too mercurial, and much too overly selective to qualify for movie stardom in the 1950s, Page flourished on Broadway during that decade, again excelling as a Tennessee Williams heroine in the 1959 staging of Sweet Bird of Youth. When she repeated her stage roles in the film versions of Summer and Smoke and Sweet Bird of Youth, she was nominated for an Oscar on both occasions. She went on to win two Emmies for her portrayals of Truman Capote's eccentric aunt in the TV productions A Christmas Memory (1967) and The Thanksgiving Visitor (1969), and after seven nominations won a belated Oscar for her lead performance in 1985's A Trip to Bountiful. Married twice, Geraldine Page's second husband (from 1963 until her death in 1987) was actor Rip Torn; and, yes, the couple's country estate was named "Torn Page."
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Dubbed the First Lady of American Theater.
- Appeared as Alma in the 1952 revival of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke, a production that was instrumental in the birth of the off-Broadway movement in New York Theater.
- Turned down the role of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
- Taught acting at the Actors Studio and Pelican Theater in New York.
- Nominated a record seven times for an Academy Award before winning on her eighth nomination for The Trip to Bountiful.
- F. Murray Abraham stated, "I consider this woman to be the greatest actress in the English language" upon reading her name as the winner.
- Cofounded the Mirror Repertory Company; its aim is to preserve the art of repertory.