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Toronto Star (04/Jan/1992) - Star of film and stage dies at age 93



Star of film and stage dies at age 93

Dame Judith Anderson, a Broadway legend and feature film villain best known as the malevolent housekeeper in the 1940 classic Rebecca, died yesterday. She was 93.

She died at her home yesterday morning after being taken to hospital Thursday night, said Patricia Cartin of Welch, Ryce Haider mortuary.

Miss Anderson spent 2 1/2 weeks in St. Francis Hospital in Santa Barbara in August, where she was treated for an undisclosed ailment.

Cartin said she did not know the cause of death.

Miss Anderson's long career spanned stage, movies and television.

She was nominated for an Academy award for her role as the sinister Mrs. Danvers in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca and won an Emmy in 1954 for her Lady Macbeth in Macbeth on NBC's Hallmark Hall of Fame.

"I have not myself a very serene temperament," she said. "People seem to forget the pleasant people I have played. But I am not an ogre."

One of her last roles was as the grande dame in NBC's daytime soap opera Santa Barbara. Miss Anderson starred in the serial from its debut in 1984 until 1987. She also portrayed a pointed-eared Vulcan high priestess in the science fiction film Star Trek III; The Search for Spock.

Miss Anderson had lived in Santa Barbara, 145 kilometres (90 miles) northwest of Los Angeles, since 1950. A British subject, she was given the title dame by the Queen in 1960.

Born in Adelaide, Australia, on Feb. 10, 1898, Miss Anderson came to the United States with her mother and appeared in scores of plays before becoming known for her "heavy" roles.

Concentrating on high tragedy, she played Nina, in Strange Interlude in 1928, Lavinia, in Mourning Becomes Electra in 1931 and made her debut at the Old Vic, in London, in 1937 as Lady Macbeth.

She appeared in her first film, Blood Money, in 1933 and her other films included Lady Scarface, Kings Row, with then actor Ronald Reagan, Laura, starring Gene

Her marriage to a university professor, Dr. Benjamin Lehman, in 1937 ended in a divorce two years later. Her second marriage, to theatrical producer Luther Greene in 1946, also ended in a divorce. Tierney, The Spectre of the Rose and The Furies.