Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 19 Jun 1977 (aged 51)
Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York, USA
Burial Mount Sinai, Suffolk County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 6627364 · View Source
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Actress. She is best remembered for her supporting roles in numerous films and television shows from the 1940s through the 1970s. Born Geraldine Stroock in New York City, her father, James Stroock, owned a costume company that provided costumes to stage theaters. Her mother, Bianca, was a costume designer and stylist. Her aunt was a Ziegfeld Follies girl, and another aunt was a singer with the Metropolitan Opera. As a young teen, she attended the Hunter Modeling School, and graduated in 1942 from Julia Richman High School, where she was president of her drama club. Her older sister, Gloria, also became an actress. After high school, she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and began her career in a Broadway play, "Follow the Girls" in 1944. After playing the role of Perdita in "A Winter's Tale," she signed with Warner Brothers Studio, and made her film debut in the mystery film, "Cry Wolf" (1947), which starred Errol Flynn and Barbara Stanwyck. For this film, she adopted a stage name, Brooks, which was the name of her father's costume shop. Her acting was considered very good, and her next film, "Possessed" (1947), had her acting with star Joan Crawford in the role of Carol. Very quickly, she was becoming an actress to be noticed, and her next film, "Embraceable You" (1948), opposite Dane Clark, she was cast in her first lead role, playing Maria Willens. Adding to that critical role, she played the daughter Ellie to lead husband and wife acting team of Frederic March and Florence Eldridge in "An Act of Murder" (1948), which dealt with the controversial topic of euthanasia. Her next two roles were probably career missteps, playing the feminine lead in the B Western "The Younger Brothers" (1949) and loaned her acting skills to MGM for "Challenge to Lassie" (1949). Both roles, while well acted, did nothing to aid her career. She decided to try Europe, and made a couple of quick movies there, but they also failed to get audience notice, so she soon returned to the United States to try her hand at stage and television. She played several guest star roles in television, but nothing seemed to make her well wanted by the audience, and her career, while steady, seemed destined to slowly fade. Over the next ten years, she appeared in only two films, similar roles of hard-luck women, in "Street of Sinners" (1957) and "Johnny Tiger" (1966), while supplementing her income with guest appearances on a number of television dramas. She was nominated for an Emmy for her appearance as Katherine Barnes in the television drama of "Bus Stop" (1961). She married television scriptwriter Herbert Sargent in 1958, but divorced him three years later in 1961. She then married author Budd Schulberg, best known for his screenplay of "On the Waterfront" (1954), in June 1964; they were remain married for the rest of her life. She moved to Los Angeles with her second husband to open a writer's workshop. She also worked with her husband on a book, "Swan Watch" (1975), for which she took the photographs. She died in 1977 at the age of 51 from a heart attack, while she was fighting cancer.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Kenneth McNeil
  • Added: 22 Jul 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6627364
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Geraldine Brooks (29 Oct 1925–19 Jun 1977), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6627364, citing Washington Memorial Park, Mount Sinai, Suffolk County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .