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Mildred Dunnock

Mildred Dunnock
Mildred Dunnock, 1956.jpg
Dunnock in 1956
Mildred Dorothy Dunnock

(1901-01-25)January 25, 1901
DiedJuly 5, 1991(1991-07-05) (aged 90)
Resting placeLambert's Cove Cemetery, West Tisbury, Massachusetts, U.S.
EducationGoucher College
Johns Hopkins University
Columbia University
Years active1932–1987
Keith Merwin Urmy
(m. 1933)

Mildred Dorothy Dunnock (January 25, 1901 – July 5, 1991) was an American stage and screen actress. She was twice nominated for an Academy Award: first Death of a Salesman in 1951, then Baby Doll in 1956.

Early life

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Dunnock graduated from Western High School. She developed an interest in theater while she was a student at Goucher College where she was a member of Alpha Phi sorority and the Agora dramatic society. After graduating, she taught English at Friends School of Baltimore and helped with productions of plays there.

While teaching school in New York, she earned her master's degree at Columbia University and acted in a play while she was there.


After roles in Broadway productions of Life Begins (1932) and The Hill Between (1938), Dunnock won praise for her performance as a Welsh school teacher in The Corn is Green[according to whom?] in 1940 — a role that she performed while she was a full-time teacher at Brearley School. The 1945 film version marked her screen debut.[citation needed] During the 1940s she performed mainly on stage, in such dramas as Another Part of the Forest (1946) and Death of a Salesman (1949) and in the musical Lute Song (1946). She also performed in regional theatrical productions, including those of the Long Wharf Theatre and the Yale Repertory Theatre.

In 1947, she became a founding member of the Actors Studio.

Dunnock reprised her role as Linda Loman, Willy's wife, in the 1951 film version of Death of a Salesman. She originated for the role of Big Mama in Tennessee Williams' play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, although she lost to Judith Anderson. Several of her films include The Trouble with Harry (1955), Love Me Tender (1956), Baby Doll (1956), Peyton Place (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), Butterfield 8 (1960), Something Wild (1961) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). She was the woman in the wheelchair pushed down a flight of stairs to her death by the psychotic villain Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) in Kiss of Death (1947). She also appeared in guest roles on numerous TV series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Ponds Theater, and later in her career, several television movies.[citation needed]

Dunnock was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for Death of a Salesman in 1951, and for Baby Doll in 1956. She was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for Baby Doll, as well as Viva Zapata! in 1952 and Peyton Place in 1957.

In 1966, she played Linda Loman for the third time in the television film adaptation of Death of a Salesman, alongside her original Broadway co-star, Lee J. Cobb. This earned Dunnock a nomination for an Emmy Award in 1967, in the category of Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama.

Her final film was The Pick-up Artist (1987), which starred Robert Downey, Jr. and Molly Ringwald.

Dunnock has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to motion pictures, at 6613 Hollywood Boulevard. She is also a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, which she was inducted into in 1983.

Personal life and death

Dunnock was married to Keith Urmy, an executive at Chemical Bank in Manhattan, from 1933 until her death. The couple had one child. In 1991, at age 90, Dunnock died from natural causes in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, although at that time she was a resident of nearby West Tilsbury.

Film appearances


  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1957) "The West Warlock Time Capsule" 14
  • Thriller(1960) - S1 E15 “The Cheaters”
  • The Tom Ewell Show (1960) – episode "The Friendly Man"
  • The Investigators (1961) – episode "The Mind's Own Fire"[citation needed]

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1952 Grand Central Station Seed of Doubt

See also

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