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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Monday, August 28, 2006


Agnes MooreheadThe first time I saw AGNES MOOREHEAD (1900-1974), born Agnes Robertson Moorehead, she played Endora in the television show "Bewitched". It was later that I learned how many films she had done. Actually, Agnes Moorehead's acting began at the age of three when she first appeared on stage. She made her professional debut at eleven both in the ballet and chorus of the St. Louis Opera. In her teens, she sang regularly on radio. She attended Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio; The Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York; and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. After she graduated, she taught oratory (speech) and dramatic arts in high schools in Wisconsin and appeared in stock during her summer vacations. She went on to Broadway and then shows on radio, one of which was a soap opera series. In the thirties, she toured Vaudeville with Phil Baker, but her career truly took off when she joined Orson Welles' Mercury Theater in 1940. The very next year, she played Charles Foster Kane's mother in Orson Welles' first film, Citizen Kane. The next year she was nominated for her first Oscar for another Welles' feature, The Magnificent Amersons. She played in numerous films after that in a wide range of roles. She continued to do radio in the forties and stage in the fifties and toured readings and plays, one of which was a one-woman show in 1954 called The Fabulous Redhead, which played in some 200 cities worldwide. She went on to television and appeared on numerous television shows. I saw her in episodes of "The Twilight Zone"; "Love American Style"; "Marcus Welby, MD"; and her larger television role as Endora in "Bewitched." She also did the voice of the goose in the 1973 animated feature Charlotte's Web. Agnes Moorehead was a true actress.

Citizen Kane (1941)Haven't you seen Citizen Kane (1941)? Agnes makes her screen debut in one of the best films ever made as Charles Foster Kane's mother, Mary Kane. She was in so many truly good and well-known films that it was hard to recommend only five to start you off, so I decided to choose films that made my all-time favorites list. Even that was tough, there were more than ten that fit that bill.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Johnny Belinda (1944) Here, she played Johnny Belinda's aunt, Aggie McDonald.
Pollyanna (1960) She played Mrs. Snow.
How the West Was Won (1962) She played Rebecca Prescott.
All That Heaven Allows (1955) She played Sara Warren.

*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve Randolph" Date: Mon, Aug 28, 2006 / 6:00:28 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1942 Nominated Best Actress in a Supporting Role: THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS
1944 Nominated Best Actress in a Supporting Role: MRS. PARKINGTON
1948 Nominated Best Actress in a Supporting Role: JOHNNY BELINDA
1964 Nominated Best Actress in a Supporting Role: HUSH…HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE