Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Teresa Wright

Teresa Wright was born Murial Teresa Wright on October 27, 1918 in Harlem and grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey. The daughter of the daughter of Martha Espy and Arthur Wright, who was an insurance agent.

While in highschool at Columbia High School, Teresa became seriously interested in acting and spent her summers working in Provincetown theater productions, appearing in such plays as such plays as "The Vinegar Tree" and "Susan and God." Following her high school graduation in 1938, she returned to New York and was hired to be the understudy of Dorothy McGuire and later Martha Scott in the role of Emily in the Broadway production of Our Town.

In the fall of 1939, she appeared in the Broadway play Life with Father, playing the role of Mary Skinner for two years. It was there that she was discovered by a talent scout hired by Samuel Goldwyn.

She was cast in the role of Bette Davis' daughter in the film Little Foxes (1941). Teresa was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her film debut.

In 1942, she would play the wife of Lou Gehrig in The Pride of the Yankees and earn her second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

That same year, she won Best Supporting Actress as the daughter-in-law of Greer Garson's character in Mrs. Miniver.

She is one of the elite ten thespians to have been nominated for both a Supporting and Lead Acting Academy Award in the same year for their achievements in two different movies.

No actor has ever duplicated her accomplishment of receiving an Oscar nomination for each of her first three films.

Teresa Wright also appeared in such films as Shadow of a Doubt (1943), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), The Imperfect Lady (1947), Something to Live For (1952), The Actress (1953), Escapade in Japan (1957).

Teresa Wright rebelled against the studio system of the time. When Samuel Goldwyn fired her citing her refusal to publicize the film Enchantment (1948). She would say "The type of contract between players and producers is, I feel, antiquated in form and abstract in concept... We have no privacies which producers cannot invade, they trade us like cattle, boss us like children."

After 1959, she worked mainly in television and on Broadway. She was in the 1975 Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman and the 1980 revival Morning's at Seven, for which she won the Drama Desk Award as a a member of the Outstanding Ensemble Performance.

She would earn Emmy nominations for The Miracle Worker (1957) and The Margaret Bourke White Story (1960).

She also appeared on classic television shows as Robert Montgomery Presents, Your Show of Shows, General Electric Theater, Four Star Playhouse, Bonanza, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Defenders, The Guiding Light and The Love Boat.

Teresa Wright would return to the silver screen in The Rainmaker (1997), her final acting performance before officially retiring.

Teresa Wright has two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for television and one for motion pictures.

Teresa Wright passed away on March 5, 2005 at the age of 86 due to a heart attack.

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