Frances Sternhagen

Active - 1959 - 2014  |   Born - Jan 13, 1930 in Washington, DC  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Frances Sternhagen was still in her teens when she made her first professional stage appearance as the thirtyish Laura in a 1948 summer-stock production of The Glass Menagerie. After graduating from Vassar with a BA degree in drama, Frances attended the Perry-Mansfield School of the Theatre and New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. She briefly worked as a teacher at Massachussett's Milton Academy before her off-Broadway debut as Juliette in Girardoux' Thieves' Carnival--one of the last times that this dynamic character actress would ever portray a flighty ingenue. She went on to spend several seasons at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Back in New York, Sternhagen won two Obie Awards for her performances in Admirable Bashville and The New Pinter Plays, and in 1973 received the Tony Award for her multiple characterizations in Neil Simon's Good Doctor 1973. She followed this personal triumph by creating two of her all-time favorite stage roles: Dora in Equus (1974) and Ethel Thayer in On Golden Pond (1979). Launching her film career in 1967, Sternhagen has been seen in an exhausting variety of movie roles; among the best of these was no-nonsense Dr. Marion Lazarus in Outland (1982), matching wits and witticisms with outer-space peacekeeper Sean Connery. On television, Frances Sternhagen enjoyed sizable roles on such daytime dramas as Love of Life, One Life to Live, Secret Storm, and was seen on a regular basis in the prime-time series Spencer (1985, as Millie Sprague), Stephen King's the Golden Years (1991, as Gina Williams) and The Road Home (1994, as Charlotte Babineaux).

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