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Filmography

1943      

There’s Something About a Soldier

What a Woman!

 

1944      

Sailor’s Holiday

Knickerbocker Holiday

Cover Girl

She’s a Sailor Too

Dancing in Manhattan

Together Again

 

1945      

Tonight and Every Night

Escape in the Fog

A Thousand and One Nights

 

1946      

The Fighting Guardsman

Two Smart People

Susie Steps Out

Abie’s Irish Rose

 

1947      

New Orleans

Living in a Big Way

The Gangster

Killer McCoy

A Double Life

 

1948      

Red River

Larceny

Cry of the City

 

1949      

Take One False Step

The Great Gatsby

Johnny Stool Pigeon

 

1950      

Winchester ’73

South Sea Sinner

Frenchie

 

1951      

A Place in the Sun

He Ran All the Way

Behave Yourself!

The Raging Tide

Meet Danny Wilson

 

1952      

Phone Call from a Stranger

Untamed Frontier

My Man and I

 

1954      

Tennessee Champ

Saskatchewan

Executive Suite

Playgirl

Mambo

To Dorothy a Son

 

1955      

I Am a Camera

The Night of the Hunter

The Big Knife

The Treasure of Pancho Villa

I Died a Thousand Times

 

1959      

The Diary of Anne Frank

Odds Against Tomorrow

 

1960      

Let No Man Write My Epitaph

 

1961      

The Young Savages

 

1962      

Lolita

The Chapman Report

 

1963      

The Balcony

Wives and Lovers

 

1964      

A House Is Not a Home

Time of Indifference

 

1965      

The Greatest Story Ever Told

A Patch of Blue

 

1966      

Harper

Alfie

The Three Sisters

 

1967      

Enter Laughing

 

1968      

The Scalphunters

Wild in the Streets

Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell

 

1969      

The Mad Room

Arthur! Arthur!

 

1970      

Bloody Mama

How Do I Love Thee?

Flap

 

1971      

What’s the Matter with Helen?

Revenge

 

1972      

Something to Hide

Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?

The Poseidon Adventure

 

1973      

Blume in Love

Cleopatra Jones

The Stone Killer

 

1975      

Poor Pretty Eddie

That Lucky Touch

Journey Into Fear

Diamonds

 

1976      

Next Stop, Greenwich Village

The Tenant

Mimì Bluette… fiore del mio giardino

La dahlia scarlatta

 

1977      

Tentacles

An Average Little Man

Pete’s Dragon

Black Journal

 

1978      

King of the Gypsies

 

1979      

The French Atlantic Affair

Elvis

The Visitor

 

1979      

City on Fire

The Magician of Lublin

 

1981      

S.O.B.

Looping

 

1983      

Fanny Hill

 

1984      

Over the Brooklyn Bridge

Ellie

 

1985      

Déjà Vu

 

1986      

The Delta Force

Witchfire

Very Close Quarters

 

1988      

Purple People Eater

 

1989      

An Unremarkable Life

 

1990      

Touch of a Stranger

 

1991      

Stepping Out

 

1992      

Weep No More, My Lady

 

1993      

The Pickle

 

1994      

The Silence of the Hams

 

1995      

Heavy

Backfire!

Jury Duty

Mrs. Munck

Raging Angels

 

1996      

The Portrait of a Lady

 

1998      

Gideon

 

1999      

La bomba

 

2006

A-List

Awards

Shelley Winters won Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards for The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and A Patch of Blue (1965), and received nominations for A Place in the Sun (1951) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972).

All marriages are happy. It’s trying to live together afterwards that causes all the problems. ~ Shelley Winters
 

Shelley Winters: Learn more about her, review her filmography and more

Actress, Biographies

Shelley Winters was born Shirley Schrift in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 18, 1920. She was the daughter of Rose (née Winter), a singer with the Muny, and Jonas Schrift, a designer of men’s clothing.

Her family moved to Brooklyn, New York when she was 9 years old, and she grew up partly in Queens, New York as well. As a young woman, she worked as a model.Her sister Blanche Schrift later married George Boroff, who ran the Circle Theatre (now named El Centro Theatre) in Los Angeles. At age 16, Winters relocated to Los Angeles, California, and later returned to New York to study acting at the New School.

Winters originally broke into Hollywood films as a Blonde Bombshell type, but quickly tired of the role’s limitations. She claims to have washed off her makeup to audition for the role of Alice Tripp, the factory girl, in A Place in the Sun, directed by George Stevens, which is still a landmark film.

On December 29, 1942 in Brooklyn, she married Captain Mack Paul Mayer ; they divorced in October 1948. Mayer was unable to deal with Shelley’s “Hollywood lifestyle” and wanted a “traditional homemaker” for a wife. Winters wore his wedding ring up until her death, and kept their relationship very private.

Her first film appearance was in What a Woman! (1943). Working in films (in mostly bit roles) through the 1940s, Winters first achieved stardom with her breakout performance as the victim of insane actor Ronald Colman in George Cukor’s A Double Life, in 1947. She quickly ascended in Hollywood with leading roles in The Great Gatsby (1949) with Alan Ladd, and in Winchester 73 (1950), opposite James Stewart. Her performance in A Place in the Sun (1951), a departure from the sexpot image that her studio, Universal Pictures, was grooming her for at the time, brought Winters her first acclaim, earning her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She married Vittorio Gassman on April 28, 1952 in Juarez, Mexico; they divorced on June 2, 1954. They had one child: Vittoria, born February 14, 1953, a physician who practices internal medicine at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut. She is Winters’ only child.

Throughout the 1950s, Winters continued in films, including Meet Danny Wilson (1952) as Frank Sinatra’s leading lady, notably in Charles Laughton’s 1955 Night of the Hunter with Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish, and the less successful I Am a Camera starring opposite Julie Harris and Laurence Harvey. She also returned to the stage on various occasions during this time, including a Broadway run in A Hatful of Rain, in 1955–1956, opposite future husband Anthony Franciosa. She won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for The Diary of Anne Frank in 1960, and another, in the same category, for A Patch of Blue in 1966. She donated her Oscar for The Diary of Anne Frank to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

She married Anthony Franciosa, on May 4, 1957; they divorced on November 18, 1960.

Notable later roles included her lauded performance as the man-hungry Charlotte Haze in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita; starring opposite Michael Caine in Alfie; and as the fading, alcoholic former starlet Fay Estabrook in Harper (both 1966). In The Poseidon Adventure (1972), she was the ill-fated Belle Rosen (for which she received her final Oscar nomination), and also appeared in Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976). She returned to the stage during the 1960s and 1970s, most notably in Tennessee Williams’ Night of the Iguana. She appeared in such cult films as 1968’s Wild in the Streets and 1971’s Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?. She also starred in the 1970 Broadway musical Minnie’s Boys as Minnie Marx, the mother of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, and Gummo Marx.

As the Associated Press reported, “During her 50 years as a widely known personality, Winters was rarely out of the news. Her stormy marriages, her romances with famous stars, her forays into politics, and feminist causes kept her name before the public. She delighted in giving provocative interviews and seemed to have an opinion on everything.” That led to a second career as a writer. Though not a conventional beauty, she claimed that her acting, wit, and “chutzpah” gave her a love life to rival Monroe’s. Her alleged “conquests” included William Holden, Sean Connery, Burt Lancaster, Errol Flynn, and Marlon Brando.

Winters made an appearance at the 1998 Academy Awards telecast, which featured a tribute to Oscar winners past and present including Gregory Peck, Claire Trevor, Jennifer Jones, and Luise Rainer.

Later audiences knew her primarily for her autobiographies and for her television work, in which she usually played a humorous parody of her public persona. In a recurring role in the 1990s, Winters played the title character’s grandmother on the ABC sitcom Roseanne. Her final film roles were supporting ones: she played a restaurant owner and mother of an overweight cook in Heavy (1995) with Liv Tyler and Debbie Harry, as an aristocrat in The Portrait of a Lady (1996), starring Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich, and as an embittered nursing home administrator in 1999’s Gideon.

Winters died at the age of 85 on January 14, 2006, of heart failure at the Rehabilitation Center of Beverly Hills having married Gerry DeFord, with whom she had lived for 19 years, just hours before her death even though Winters’ daughter objected to the marriage.

Her body was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City. Her third former husband, Anthony Franciosa, had a stroke on the day she died and died five days later.