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Shelley Winters

Mostly Credited As: Shelley Winters
Sometimes Credited As: Shelley Winter

Birth Name: Shirley Schrift
Date Of Birth: August 18, 1920 (Age 85)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: St. Louis, Missouri
Date Of Death: January 14, 2006
Cause Of Death: Heart Failure (Beverly Hills, California)
Height: 5' 4" (1.62 m)

Shelley Winters


A woman with a zest for living and a loud, brassy attitude to match her appetites, Winters was born Shirley Schrift in East St. Louis, IL, and started her career as a chorus girl before moving on to stage parts in New York; she would later study at the legendary Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg. Signed to a contract with Columbia in the 40s, the actress received her new name and a number of unmemorable, and mostly uncredited, supporting parts before returning to Broadway. She was lured back to Hollywood, though, by Universal, which transformed her into a stunning blonde bombshell, and her first memorable role was opposite Oscar winner Ronald Colman in A Double Life. Her reputation as an actress was cemented with her amazing performance in 1951's A Place in the Sun alongside Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor; her heart-wrenching role, which forced her to tone down her glamorous image, earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination and put her on the Hollywood map. Other films in the 50s included the classic The Night of the Hunter, I Am a Camera, and Executive Suite. She capped the decade with The Diary of Anne Frank, and her turn as Mrs. Van Daan won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, which she later donated to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

As Winters' fame in movies grew, so did her reputation as a life-loving, outspoken, lustful, political, provocative woman. Her romances were as legendary as any male star of the era, and she counted William Holden, Burt Lancaster, Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, Sean Connery, Sterling Hayden and Errol Flynn among her conquests. She was married three times, first to businessman Paul Meyer, then to actors Vittorio Gassman (with whom she had a daughter) and Anthony Franciosa; both marriages to the Italian actors were notoriously volatile. In 1962, Winters played the mother of the nymphet Lolita in the Stanley Kubrick film, a turning point at which her performances would become broader and more outrageous. She won her second Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1965's A Patch of Blue, and her hateful role as the mother of a blind woman was in stark contrast to her previous Oscar-winning performance. (Aside from Winters, the only other actress to win two Best Supporting Actress Oscars is Dianne Wiest.) Winters also appeared in Alfie, Harper, and A House is Not a Home in the 60s, and the 70s brought on such movies as Bloody Mama, Who Slew Auntie Roo and Cleopatra Jones, though her sentimental and winning performance in The Poseidon Adventure, as an overweight woman whose swimming talents help lead her fellow passengers to safety, received yet another Oscar nomination. (Winters gained 30 pounds for the role, which she often commented she never lost again.) Talk show appearances, TV films and lesser-known movies dotted the rest of her career, though she made memorable appearances in S.O.B. and The Portrait of a Lady, and had a recurring role on the sitcom Roseanne as the star's overbearing grandmother. Winters also wrote two best-selling autobiographies, Shelley: Also Known as Shirley and Shelley II: The Middle of My Century.

Winters died of heart failure early Saturday morning on January 14th, 2006. Following hospitalization at the Rehabilitation Center in Beverly Hills after suffering a heart attack in October. She is survived by her daughter, Vittoria, two grandchildren, and her longtime companion, Jerry DeFord. She was 85.

TV Appearances

Main cast 
Alice in Wonderland (1985)As: The Dodo Bird
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)As: Crystal -- [Voice]
Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976)As: Crystal -- [Voice]
Episode Cast Credits 

Biography (1987) 
  Shelley Winters: Full Disclosure 15x07: (Mar/13/2001) As Herself 

American Masters (1986) 
  On Cukor 14x03: (Nov/22/2000) As Herself 

Charlie Rose (1991) 
  Episode dated 5 August 1998 08x??: (Aug/05/1998) As Herself 

Politically Incorrect (1993) 
  Episode dated 23 March 1998 05x01: (Mar/23/1998) As Herself 
  Episode dated 9 September 1997 05x??: (Sep/09/1997) As Herself 

The Late Late Show With Tom Snyder (1995) 
  Episode dated 23 February 1998 04x??: (Feb/23/1998) As Herself 
  Episode dated 29 January 1996 02x??: (Jan/29/1996) As Herself 

Roseanne (1988) 
  Mothers and Other Strangers 09x11: (Dec/03/1996) As Nana Mary 
  Home is Where the Afghan Is 09x10: (Nov/26/1996) As Nana Mary 
  The Wedding 08x23: (May/07/1996) As Nana Mary 
  Out of the Past 08x15: (Feb/06/1996) As Nana Mary 

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) 
  960321 04x02: (Mar/21/1995) As Herself 

Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993) 
  Shelley Winters, Bob Berkowitz, Wedding Present 02x55: (Dec/02/1994) As Herself 
  Shelly Winters, Daniel Baldwin, Ruth Brown 01x63: (Dec/08/1993) As Herself 

Inside the Actors Studio (1994) 
  Shelley Winters 01x05: (Nov/13/1994) As Herself 

Late Night With David Letterman (1982) 
  Show #1630 11x46: (May/12/1992) As Herself 
  Show #1194 08x109: (Sep/08/1989) As Herself 
  Show #1187 08x102: (Aug/15/1989) As Herself 

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) 
  Show #4318 29x88: (Mar/28/1991) As Herself 
  Show #4315 29x85: (Mar/25/1991) As Herself 
  Show #4116 28x71: (Feb/20/1990) As Herself 
  Show #4101 28x56: (Jan/24/1990) As Herself 

Omnibus (1967) 
  The Last Moguls 20x07: (May/23/1986) As Herself 

Hawaiian Heat (1984) 
  Andy's Mom 01x09: (Nov/23/1984) As Florence Senkowski 

Hotel (1983) 
  Trials 01x21: (May/02/1984) As Adele Ellsworth 

Wogan (1982) 
  Series 3, Show 10 03x10: (Mar/17/1984) As Herself 
  Series 3, Show 8 03x08: (Mar/03/1984) As Herself 

Russell Harty (1980) 
  Series 3, Show 15 (Christmas Show) 03x15: (Dec/21/1982) As Herself 

The Love Boat (1977) 
  Italian Cruise: Venetian Love Song/Arrangement/Arrividerci, Gopher/Gigolo (2) 06x02: (Oct/02/1982) As Actress 
  Italian Cruise: Venetian Love Song/Arrangement/Arrividerci, Gopher/Gigolo (1) 06x01: (Oct/02/1982) As Actress 

Fridays (1980) 
  Shelley Winters / The Plasmatics 02x15: (Jan/16/1981) As Herself, [Guest Hosts]

Vega$ (1978) 
  The Macho Murders 02x08: (Nov/28/1979) As J.D. Fenton 

Hollywood Greats (1977) 
  Ronald Colman 01x??: (Aug/10/1978) As Herself 

Kojak (1973) (1973) 
  The Captain's Brother's Wife 05x16: (Feb/04/1978) As Evelyn McNeil 

Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1973) 
  Dennis Weaver 01x36: (Apr/19/1976) As Herself 
  Valerie Harper 01x33: (Nov/20/1975) As Herself 

Chico and the Man (1974) 
  Ed Steps Out 01x17: (Feb/07/1975) As Shirley Schrift 

McCloud (1970) 
  The Barefoot Girls of Bleecker Street 05x01: (Sep/22/1974) As Thelma 

Match Game (1973) 
  MG-4 01x04: (Jul/23/1973) As Herself 

The Golden Globes (1944) 
  The 30th Annual Golden Globe Awards 30x01: (Jan/28/1973) As Winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (for 'The Poseidon Adventure') 

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968) 
  Episode #36 02x22: (Mar/03/1969) As Herself 

Here's Lucy (1968) 
  Lucy and Miss Shelly Winters 01x04: (Oct/14/1968) As Shelley Summers 

Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre (1963) 
  Wipeout 04x24: (Apr/26/1967) As Clarry Golden, [Special Guest Stars]
  Back to Back 03x05: (Oct/27/1965) As Edith 
  Two is the Number 01x16: (Jan/31/1964) As Jenny Dworak 

The Academy Awards (1953) 
  The 39th Annual Academy Awards 15x01: (Apr/10/1967) As Presenter, [Featuring]
  The 38th Annual Academy Awards 14x01: (Apr/18/1966) As Winner: Best Supporting Actress (for 'A Patch of Blue') 
  The 35th Annual Academy Awards 11x01: (Apr/08/1963) As Presenter, [Featuring]
  The 34th Annual Academy Awards 10x01: (Apr/09/1962) As Presenter, [Featuring]

Batman (1966) 
  Ma Parker (2) 02x10: (Oct/06/1966) As Ma Parker (Special Guest Villianess), [Special Guest Stars]
  The Greatest Mother of Them All (1) 02x09: (Oct/05/1966) As Ma Parker (Special Guest Villianess), [Special Guest Stars]

What's My Line? (US) (1950) 
  EPISODE #825 17x49: (Aug/07/1966) As Mystery Guest 
  EPISODE #506 11x30: (Mar/27/1960) As Mystery Guest 
  EPISODE #371 08x46: (Jul/14/1957) As Mystery Guest 
  EPISODE #340 08x15: (Dec/09/1956) As Mystery Guest 

Thirty-Minute Theatre (1965) 
  Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat 01x09: (Dec/02/1965) As Mrs. Bixby 

Ben Casey (1961) 
  A Disease of the Heart Called Love 04x10: (Nov/23/1964) As Lydia Mitchum 

The Emmy Awards (1949) 
  The 16th Annual Emmy Awards 16x01: (May/25/1964) As Winner: Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (for 'The Chrysler Theatre:Two Is The Number') 

Alcoa Premiere (1961) 
  The Long Walk Home 02x11: (Dec/13/1962) As Meg Fletcher 
  The Cake Baker 01x11: (Dec/26/1961) As Millie Norman 

The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) 
  Lee Remick, James Stewart, Shelley Winters 12x28: (Mar/29/1959) As Herself 
  Fred MacMurray, Jane Russell 12x25: (Mar/08/1959) As Herself 
  8th Anniversary Show 09x40: (Jun/24/1956) As Herself 
  Pearl Bailey, Red Skelton, Robert Mitchum 09x01: (Sep/25/1955) As Herself 

Kraft Television Theatre (1947) (1947) 
  Polka 11x12: (Dec/18/1957) As Helen 

The DuPont Show Of The Month (1957) 
  Beyond This Place 01x03: (Nov/25/1957) As Louisa Burt 

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (1951) 
  Smarty 07x03: (Oct/11/1957) As Mildred Corrigan 

Wagon Train (1957) 
  The Ruth Owens Story 01x04: (Oct/09/1957) As Ruth Owens, [Special Guest Stars]

The Steve Allen Show (1956) 
  Season 2, Episode 41 02x41: (Jul/28/1957) As Herself 

Climax! (1954) 
  Don't Touch Me 03x27: (Apr/04/1957) As Carol 
  Dark Wall 02x45: (Aug/30/1956) As Margaret Corey/Ethel/Lillian/Ann 
  Sorry, Wrong Number 01x04: (Nov/04/1954) As Leona Stevenson 

The United States Steel Hour (1953) 
  Inspired Alibi 04x13: (Feb/13/1957) As Evvie 

Alcoa Hour (1955) 
  A Double Life 02x08: (Jan/06/1957) As Pat 

The Perry Como Show (1948) 
  Episode dated 7 April 1956 08x??: (Apr/07/1956) As Herself 

Producers' Showcase (1954) 
  The Women 01x06: (Feb/07/1955) As Crystal Allen 

The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950) 
  Jimmy Durante 04x31: (May/09/1954) As Herself 
  Martin & Lewis 04x30: (May/02/1954) As Herself 

() 
  ??x??: (Unknown/Unaired) As Sally Marland 
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