Sandy Dennis

Sandy Dennis

Active - 1961 - 1999  |   Born - Apr 27, 1937 in Hastings, Nebraska, United States  |   Died - Mar 2, 1992   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

Sandy Dennis was a distinctive actress with a flighty demeanor who enjoyed popularity during the '60s and early '70s. The Nebraska-born Dennis began her career in local stock companies, then studied at New York's Actors' Studio, where she embraced method acting. She debuted onscreen in Splendor in the Grass (1961) with Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. On Broadway, she won two Tony Awards in successive years, for A Thousand Clowns (1963) and Any Wednesday (1964). For her second screen performance, as George Segal's academic wife in the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), Dennis won the "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar. She went on to get leads and co-starring roles in a number of films, but remained primarily a stage actress; after 1971 her film work was sporadic. She died of cancer in 1992.

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  • Was a high-school classmate of TV talk-show host Dick Cavett.
  • Moved to New York City following high school and made her Broadway debut in the 1957 play The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.
  • Followed up her 1961 film debut, Splendor in the Grass, with an Oscar-winning performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
  • Became known for an off-beat style of acting that lent itself to eccentric roles.
  • Was a longtime animal lover known to house numerous cats in her Connecticut home.