Fay Bainter: Wikis


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Fay Bainter

in Jezebel (1938)
Born Fay Okell Bainter
December 7, 1893(1893-12-07)
Los Angeles, California,
United States
Died April 16, 1968 (aged 74)
Los Angeles, California,
United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1910—1965
Spouse(s) Reginald Venable (1921-1964) (his death)

Fay Okell Bainter (December 7, 1893 – April 16, 1968) was an American actress. She is the aunt of actress Dorothy Burgess and sister-in-law to actress Grace Burgess.


Early life

She was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Charles F. Bainter and Mary Okell. In 1910, she was a traveling stage actress. Her Broadway debut was in the role as Celine Marinter in The Rose of Panama (1912). In 1926 she appeared with Walter Abel in a Broadway production of Channing Pollock's The Enemy. In 1918, her portrait was painted by Robert Henri, the artist who was known for the style of Ashcan School.


Her movie debut was in This Side of Heaven (1934), the same year she appeared in Dodsworth on Broadway.

Bainter quickly achieved success, and in 1938 she became the first performer nominated for both the Oscar for Best Actress, for White Banners (1937), and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Jezebel (1938), winning for the latter. Since then, only nine other actors have won dual nominations in a single year.

She was again nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Children's Hour (1961).

Personal life

She and Reginald Venable were married on June 3, 1921, in Riverside, California.[1]

Fay Bainter died at age 74 of pneumonia in Los Angeles. Because her husband, Reginald Venable, was a military officer, the couple are interred at Arlington National Cemetery. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.


Year Film Role Notes
1934 This Side of Heaven Francene Turner
1937 Quality Street Susan Throssel
The Soldier and the Lady Strogoff's Mother
Make Way for Tomorrow Anita Cooper
1938 White Banners Hannah Parmalee Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Jezebel Aunt Belle Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Mother Carey's Chickens Mrs. Margaret Carey
The Arkansas Traveler Mrs. Martha Allen
The Shining Hour Hannah Linden
1939 Yes, My Darling Daughter Ann "Annie" Murray
The Lady and the Mob Hattie Leonard
Daughters Courageous Nancy "Nan" Masters
Our Neighbors - The Carters Ellen Carter
1940 Young Tom Edison Mrs. Samuel (Nancy) Edison
Our Town Mrs. Julia Hersey Gibbs
A Bill of Divorcement Margaret "Meg" Fairfield
Maryland Charlotte Danfield
1941 Babes on Broadway Miss "Jonesy" Jones
1942 Woman of the Year Ellen Whitcomb
The War Against Mrs. Hadley Stella Hadley
Journey for Margaret Trudy Strauss
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch Mrs. Elvira Wiggs
1943 The Human Comedy Mrs. Macauley
Presenting Lily Mars Mrs. Thornway
Salute to the Marines Jennie Bailey
Cry 'Havoc' Captain Alice Marsh
1944 The Heavenly Body Margaret Sibyll
Dark Waters Aunt Emily
Three Is a Family Frances Whittaker
1945 State Fair Melissa Frake
1946 The Kid from Brooklyn Mrs. E. Winthrop LeMoyne
The Virginian Mrs. Taylor
1947 Deep Valley Ellie Saul
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Mrs. Eunice Mitty
1948 Give My Regards to Broadway Fay Norwick
June Bride Paula Winthrop
1951 Close to My Heart Mrs. Morrow
1953 The President's Lady Mrs. Donaldson
1961 The Children's Hour Mrs. Amelia Tilford Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture


  1. ^ Los Angeles Times, Nov. 24, 1921, "Marriage Of Star Is Declared --- Wedding of Fay Bainter and Navy Man Revealed by Mother of Actress," p. 17.

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