Filmography

1934      

Evelyn Prentice

The President Vanishes

Forsaking All Others

 

1935      

The Night Is Young

The Casino Murder Case

West Point of the Air

Reckless

China Seas

Rendezvous

 

1936      

It Had to Happen

Under Two Flags

Trouble for Two

Craig’s Wife

 

1937      

Night Must Fall

Live, Love and Learn

 

1938      

Man-Proof

Four’s a Crowd

The Citadel

 

 

1939      

Fast and Loose

The Women

 

1940      

His Girl Friday

Hired Wife

No Time for Comedy

This Thing Called Love

 

1941      

They Met in Bombay

The Feminine Touch

Design for Scandal

 

1942      

Take a Letter, Darling

My Sister Eileen

 

1943      

Flight for Freedom

What a Woman!

 

1945      

Roughly Speaking

She Wouldn’t Say Yes

 

1946      

Sister Kenny

 

1947      

The Guilt of Janet Ames

Mourning Becomes Electra

 

1948      

The Velvet Touch

 

1949      

Tell It to the Judge

 

1950      

A Woman of Distinction

 

1953      

Never Wave at a WAC

 

1955      

The Girl Rush

Picnic

 

1958      

Auntie Mame

 

1961      

A Majority of One

 

1962      

Five Finger Exercise

Gypsy

 

1966      

The Trouble with Angels

 

1967      

Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad

Rosie!

 

1968      

Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows

 

1971      

Mrs. Pollifax – Spy

Awards

She was nominated for four Best Actress In A Leading Role Academy Awards

1943 My Sister Eileen

1947 Sister Kenny

1948 Mourning Becomes Electra

1959 Auntie Mame

I’ll match my flops with anybody’s but I wouldn’t have missed ’em.  ~ Rosalind Russell  

Rosalind Russell: Learn more about her, review her filmography and more

Actress, Biographies

After receiving a Catholic school education, she went to the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York, having convinced her mother that she intended to teach acting. In 1934, with some stock company work and a little Broadway experience, she was tested and signed by Universal. She also tested with MGM and they made her a better offer. When she plead ignorance of Hollywood, Universal released her and she signed a seven year contract with MGM. She made her on-screen debut in  Evelyn Prentice (1943).

Knowing she was right for comedy, she tested five times for the role of Sylvia Fowler in The Women (1939). George Cukor told her to “play her as a freak.” She did and got the part. Her “boss lady” roles began with the part of reporter Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday (1940).

Russell earned Academy Award nominations for her roles in the comedy “My Cousin Eileen” (1942), for the historical biopic “Sister Kenny” (1946), and for “Mourning Becomes Electra” (1947), an adaptation of the grim Eugene O’Neill play that proved a disastrous for RKO-Radio Pictures.

Russell found greater job satisfaction by returning to the stage. She toured with a 1951 production of “Bell, Book and Candle” and won a Tony for starring in the 1953 Broadway production of “Wonderful Town” and George Abbott’s musical adaptation of “My Cousin Eileen.” She stayed with the hit show through 556 performances and reprised the role of Ruth Sherwood for a 1958 television adaptation broadcast by CBS. In the interim, the 47-year-old actress accepted a supporting role as a small town spinster in Joshua Logan’s “Picnic” (1955) but refused a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination when Columbia denied her top billing. In 1956, Russell returned to Broadway for the last time to star as the free-spirited “Auntie Mame,” another box office smash that ran for over 600 performances at the Broadhurst Theater.

Russell reprised her role as Mame Dennis in Morton DaCosta’s film adaptation of “Auntie Mame” (1958). The film garnered six Oscar nominations, among them one for Russell as Best Actress, but she did not win. After the diagnosis of breast cancer in 1959 required Russell to undergo a double mastectomy, she worked less often. She played Mama Rose to Natalie Wood’s budding burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee in “Gypsy” (1962) and appeared as a Mother Superior in the convent comedy “The Trouble with Angels” (1966) and its sequel, “Where Angels Go, Trouble Follow” (1968).

Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1969, Russell refused to acknowledge her disability publicly and acted very little .She devoted herself to charity work, for which she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 1973 Academy Awards. The metastasis of her cancer brought about Russell’s death on Nov. 28, 1976. Her autobiography, Life is a Banquet (was published a year after her death). In 1978, the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis was founded at UCLA-San Francisco.

In 2000, “His Girl Friday” and “Auntie Mame” were included in the American Film Institute;s Top 100 comedies. In 2009, Jonathan Gruber’s documentary “Life Is a Banquet: The Rosalind Russell Story” was exhibited at film festivals nationwide.