Actress. Born Mary Isabelle Wickenhauser in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of a well-to-do St. Louis banker, Wickes was an excellent student, completing a political science degree at the Washington University in St. Louis by the age of 18. She originally intended becoming a lawyer. She made her Broadway debut in 1934. Wickes began acting in films in 1939. One of her earliest notable film appearances was in 'The Man Who Came to Dinner' in 1942. She first attracted attention in the film 'Now, Voyager', also released in 1942, as the nurse. The same year she had a large part in the Bud Abbott and Lou Costello comedy 'Who Done It?' She continued playing supporting roles in films during the next decade. In the 1950s she played regular roles in the television sitcoms 'Make Room for Daddy' and 'Dennis the Menace'. She appeared in the holiday classic 'White Christmas' in 1954. In the 60s and 70s she played frequent guest roles in each of her friend Lucille Ball's television series, 'I Love Lucy', 'Here's Lucy' and 'The Lucy Show'. She appeared regularly in a children's television show; 'Sigmund and the Sea Monsters'. By the 1980s her appearances in television series such as 'M*A*S*H', 'The Love Boat', 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' and 'Murder, She Wrote' made her a easily recognizable character actress. In the 1990s she appeared in 'Postcards From the Edge' and achieved the biggest success of her career in 'Sister Act' in 1992 as Sister Mary Lazarus. She reprised the role in the sequel 'Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit'. Her final film appearance was in the 1994 film version of 'Little Women'. Hospitalized in 1995, Wickes died after cancer surgery.
Bio by: Iola
Mary Isabella, daughter of Frank A.--M. Isabella Wickenhauser.