Shelley Winters circa 1955

Shelley Winters circa 1955

If anyone worked hard for their place in Hollywood history, it was Shelley Winters. He came from meager beginnings but, had her sights set on acting. Shelley was a Woolworth’s clerk, model, borscht belt vaudevillian and nightclub chorine, all in order to pay for her acting classes. No studio scouts came knocking at Winter’s door. After auditioning many times, in the early 40’s, director George Cukor advised Shelley to study more on stage. She took to Broadway, playing in (to name a couple) “A Hatful of Rain” and “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Shelley headed out West from her Brooklyn home, to pursue her dreams. Winters and newcomer, Marilyn Monroe were roomies, during this time! She toiled in bit parts and supporting roles, during the 1940’s , in some pretty demented movies! But, film stardom wasn’t too far away. Shelley took off the pancake make-up and won the role of the frumpy love of Monty Cliff, in “A Place in the Sun” (wonderful flick!!) Shelley earned an Oscar nomination for her role. After that she shouldve been offered many amazing roles, but things halted. Shelley returned to NY, to study at the famed Actor’s Studio. After these years, by the late ’50’s, Winters eased into “second leading lady” roles. In the “Night of the Hunter”, Shelley showed what she could do and won the role and Oscar as Mrs. Van Daan, in “The Diary of Anne Frank” (1959). Shelley played bad mama in “Lolita”. She played boozing bestie in, “Wives and Lovers”. Her role as mean mom and racist, who wasn’t above prostituting her blind daughter in, “A Patch of Blue” (with Sidney Poitier), won her another Oscar, in 1965. Shelley Winters would be THE star I personally would have loved to sit down and have a few cocktails with! Her best selling books, were tell-alls about her failed marriages and constant liaisons with A-list, actors…(including: William Holden, Errol Flynn, Brando, and Gable, just to name a few!). Shelley won an Emmy for her role as crazy, loving, fast-living, big-mouthed Grandma on the TV show, Roseanne. Shelley Winters passed away at age 85, in 2006. What a character!!


One thought on “Shelley Winters circa 1955

  1. Pingback: The Night of the Hunter (1955) | timneath

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