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 Eileen Heckart

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Eileen Heckart

Birth
Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Death 31 Dec 2001 (aged 82)
Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 6522146 View Source
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Actress. She is best remembered for her portrayal of the over bearing, and over protective, Florence Baker in "Butterflies Are Free" (1972). Born Anna Herbert, she was raised in a family of wealth and position; after attaining her B.A. in Dramatics from Ohio State University, she settled in New York City, New York, and furthered her education at The HB Studio. In 1943, she made her stage debut in "The Voice of the Turtle" and went on to headline on the Broadway stage appearing in lead roles within such productions as "Picnic," "The Bad Seed," "A View from the Bridge," "A Memory of Two Mondays," "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs," "A Family Affair," "And Things That Go Bump in the Night," "Barefoot in the Park," "You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running," "The Cemetery Club" and "The Waverly Gallery". After meeting director Robert Wise while attending a dinner party at the prestigious Sardis restaurant, he was so taken by professionalism, wit, and sensibility, that he arranged for her to begin a career in the film industry beginning with her being under his direction in "Somebody Up There Likes Me" (1956). For the next 40 years, she went on to flourish as a character actress, appearing in over 100 features, often typecast as either a wife, mother, old maid, nurse, nun, doctor, businesswoman, secretary, snob, villainous, secretary, educator, clergywoman, retail clerk, governess, best friend, kindly neighbor, and, in her later years, matriarch. In motion pictures, she appeared in leading roles in "Miracle in the Rain" (1956), "Bus Stop" (1956), "Hot Spell" (1958), "Heller in Pink Tights" (1960), "My Six Loves" (1963), "Up the Down Staircase" (1967), "No Way to Treat a Lady" (1968), "The Tree" (1969), "Zandy's Bride" (1974), "The Hiding Place" (1975), "Burnt Offerings" (1976), "Seize the Day" (1986), "Heartbreak Ridge" (1986), and "The First Wives Club" (1996). With the advent of television, she became a familiar face appearing in various guest spots on such syndicated sitcoms as "Studio One in Hollywood," "Kraft Theatre," "Playhouse 90," "Play of the Week," "Dr. Kildare," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The New Breed," "Naked City," "The Eleventh Hour," "Ben Casey," "The Fugitive," "CBS Playhouse," "Gunsmoke," "Corwin," "The Streets of San Francisco," "Banyon," "Barnaby Jones," "Rhoda," "Hawaii Five-O," "Alice," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Switch," "Flying High," "Little House on the Prairie," "Out of the Blue," "Backstairs at the White House," "Lou Grant," "Trauma Center," "Partners in Crime," "Trapper John, M.D.," "Highway to Heaven," "One Life to Live," "The Cosby Show," "Tales from the Darkside," "Annie McGuire," "Love & War," "The 5 Mrs. Buchanans," "Murder One," "Ellen," "Home Improvement," and "Cybill". During her career, she presided on the Theatre Guild, was a regular parishioner of the Catholic church, was active with the New York State Democratic Committee, was a chairwoman for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and The American Red Cross, and she was married to prosperous insurance broker John Yankee, Jr. from 1942 until his death in 1997 (their union produced three sons). In addition, she received more accolades than any actress in theatrical history having won the Theatre World Award, Drama Desk Award, Tony Award, Academy Award, and Lucille Lortel Award. In 2000, she retired from acting due to her advanced age and settled into her country home in Fairfield County, Connecticut. A lifelong smoker, she died from complications of lung cancer.

Bio by: Lowell Thurgood


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ron Moody
  • Added: 18 Jun 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6522146
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6522146/eileen-heckart : accessed ), memorial page for Eileen Heckart (29 Mar 1919–31 Dec 2001), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6522146, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.