Born Thelma Ford, Shirley Booth began appearing in amateur plays at age 12, then made her professional stage debut four years later; her Broadway debut, in 1925, was opposite Humphrey Bogart in Hells' Bells. Booth toiled on Broadway for a decade before being cast in her first significant role. Ultimately, her work on stage and radio led to a lead role in Come Back, Little Sheba (1950), for which she won the Tony Award and the New York Drama Critics Award; she made her screen debut in the film version of that play (1952) and won the Best Actress Oscar for her efforts. Booth did a number of other films, but in her later years she was best-known as the maid Hazel in the TV series Hazel (1961-66). She retired after appearing in the TV series A Touch of Grace (1973).
Biography by Rovi
- Began acting at age 12.
- Honed her acting skills by appearing in some 600 plays with stock companies.
- Made her Broadway debut in 1925 in Hell's Bells, along with then-newcomer Humphrey Bogart.
- Toiled on Broadway for a decade before achieving her first major success in 1935 in the comedy Three Men on a Horse.
- Won a Tony for Come Back, Little Sheba in 1950, and won an Oscar for reprising the character in the film adaptation two years later; was the first actress to win both awards for the same role.
- Come Back, Little Sheba was her first movie, and she only appeared in three other films.