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Marian Seldes

Marian Seldes, as Bertha in Giraudoux's Ondine
Born August 23, 1928 (1928-08-23) (age 81)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s) Julian Claman (1953-1961)
Garson Kanin (1990-1999)

Marian Hall Seldes (born August 23, 1928) is an American award-winning stage, film, radio, and television actress whose career has spanned six decades and who was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Contents

Biography

Seldes was born in New York City, the daughter of Alice "Amanda" Wadham Hall, a socialite, and Gilbert Seldes, a journalist, author, and editor.[1] Her uncle was journalist George Seldes. Seldes's paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, and her mother was from a "prominent WASP family," the "Episcopalian blue-blooded Halls."[2][3] Seldes had a brother, Timothy, and grew up in a creative environment, studying acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Her mother's sister, Marian Wells Hall (died 1972), was a prominent American interior decorator.[4]

Trained for the stage, Seldes made her Broadway theatre debut in 1948 in a production of Medea. She went on to an illustrious career in which she has earned five Tony Award nominations, winning her first time out in 1967 for A Delicate Balance. From 1967 to 1991, Seldes was a faculty member of the Juilliard School of Drama, and in 2002 she began teaching at Fordham University, Lincoln Center. In addition to performing in live theatre, Seldes began acting in television in 1952 in a Hallmark Hall of Fame production that marked the first of many guest star roles. She also has performed in a number of motion pictures and in radio plays. In the mid-sixties, Seldes recorded five albums for Folkways Records of famous works of literature.[5] Between 1974 and 1982, she appeared in 179 episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. In 1992 she appeared as Aunt Brooke to tv's Murphy Brown.

Seldes was married to screenwriter/playwright Garson Kanin (Ruth Gordon's widower) from 1990 until his death in 1999. She has a daughter, Katharine, by her first marriage to Julian Claman. They were divorced in 1961.

She is very well respected and liked by the Broadway theater community. Actors boast about having had her for a teacher. Forbidden Broadway often refers to her the same way.

Seldes appeared in every one of the 1,809 Broadway performances of Ira Levin's play Deathtrap - a feat that earned her a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records as "most durable actress."[6][7]

Seldes is also well-known for her readings of short stories in the "Selected Shorts" series hosted by Isaiah Sheffer at New York City's Symphony Space.

Selected credits

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Theatre

Guest Starred on Sex and the City season 1 as Mr Big's Mother

Films

Discography

Awards and nominations

Awards
  • 1967 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play – A Delicate Balance
  • 1971 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance – Father's Day
  • 1983 Outer Circle Critics Award for Best Actress in a Play - Painting Churches
Nominations
  • 1971 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play – Father's Day
  • 1978 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play – Deathtrap
  • 1998 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – Ivanov
  • 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – Ring Round the Moon
  • 1999 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play – Ring Round the Moon
  • 2001 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – The Butterfly Collection
  • 2001 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play – The Play About the Baby
  • 2003 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play – Dinner at Eight
  • 2006 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams

References

External links


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