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Shirley Booth

Biography

b. Thelma Booth Ford, 30 August 1898, NEW YORK, USA, d. 16 Oct 1992, North Chatham, Massachusetts, USA. A recognized actress and vocalist, who was simply once referred to by the brand new York Post as ‘one from the wonders from the American stage; an excellent actress, an impressive comedienne, and an all-round performer of apparently endless range’, Booth began to act young, and produced her professional stage debut in 1923 and her first Broadway appearance 2 yrs later. Within the Broadway musical theater she performed a gossip columnist in Hollywood Pinafore (1945), and excelled because the wonderfully wistful Aunt Cissy with ‘Like Is The Cause’ as well as the wonderful ‘He Acquired Refinement’, within a Tree Increases In Brooklyn (1951). She was a vaudeville star-turned theatrical boarding home proprietor in By THE STUNNING Sea (1954), had taken the title function in Juno (1959), a musical edition of Sean O’Casey’s play Juno AS WELL AS THE Paycock, using a Marc Blitzstein rating, and played mom Superior within the short-lived TURN TO The Lilies (1970). Within the last mentioned, she presented Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne’s ‘I, Yes, Me! That’s Who!’ with Al Freeman Jnr. In nonmusical areas, Booth gained Tony and Academy Honours for her assignments both in stage and film variations of KEEP COMING BACK, Small Sheba, and two even more Tonys on her behalf function in Goodbye, My Luxury and Period Of The Cuckoo. She also made the function of Dolly Levi within the Matchmaker, the play that Jerry Herman musicalized into Hello, Dolly! She was most likely most widely known to the general public at large on her behalf performance because the gossipy maid Hazel Burke within the sitcom Hazel (1961-66), that she gained two Emmys. The to begin her two husbands was professional Edward Gardner, with whom she made an appearance in the favorite radio series Duffy’s Tavern. Until her loss of life, most reference functions recorded her time of delivery as 1907, but since that time sources state that she was created nine years previous, and was 94 when she passed away.

Quick Facts


Full Name Shirley Booth
Died October 16, 1992, Chatham, Massachusetts, United States
Height 1.58 m
Profession Actor
Nationality American
Spouse William Baker, Ed Gardner
Parents Virginia Martha Wright, Albert James Ford
Siblings Jean Valentine Ford
Awards Academy Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture – Drama, Cannes Best Actress Award, Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play, Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play, National Board of Review Award for Best Actress, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Series
Music Songs He Had Refinement, Love Is the Reason, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: He Had Refinement, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Look Who's Dancing, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Love is the Reason, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Is That My Prince?, Song of the Ma, On a Day Like This, Old Sayin's, Is That My Prince, I'm Like a New Broom, Make The Man Love Me, I'll Buy You a Star, If You Haven't Got a Sweetheart, Payday Mine Till Monday, Growing Pains, Finale, Bird Upon the Tree, Don't Be Afraid, Look Who's Dancing, That's How It Goes, Lottie Gibson Speciality, Kiss The Boys Goodbye, Payday / Mine 'Til Monday, The Sea Song, Dance Halloween Interlude, Where, I'd Rather Wake Up By Myself, Coney Island Boat
Albums By The Beautiful Sea, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Nominations Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Golden Globe Award for Best TV Star - Female, TV Land Favorite Made for TV Maid Award
Movies The Year Without a Santa Claus, The Glass Menagerie, The Matchmaker, Hot Spell, About Mrs. Leslie, Come Back, Little Sheba, The Smugglers
TV Shows A Touch of Grace, Hazel


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 Shirley was originally penciled in to be Carol's mother on The Brady Bunch but the role was re-cast by Sherwood Schwartz.
2 Is one of 22 Oscar-winning actresses to have been born in the state of New York. The others are Alice Brady, Teresa Wright, Anne Revere, Celeste Holm, Claire Trevor, Judy Holliday, Susan Hayward, Patty Duke, Anne Bancroft, Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Lee Grant, Beatrice Straight, Whoopi Goldberg, Mercedes Ruehl, Marisa Tomei, Mira Sorvino, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Connelly, Melissa Leo and Anne Hathaway.
3 In 1960 Shirley Booth was announced for the role of Melissa Frake in the forthcoming 20th Century-Fox Picture "State Fair", eventually released in March 1962, with Alice Faye having replaced Shirley Booth.
4 Is one of 4 actresses to win the Best Actress Oscar for her film debut (for Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)). The others are Julie Andrews (for Mary Poppins (1964)), Barbra Streisand (for Funny Girl (1968)), and Marlee Matlin (for Children of a Lesser God (1986)).
5 Was the 38th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Come Back, Little Sheba (1952) at The 25th Annual Academy Awards (1953) on March 19, 1953.
6 Shirley Booth was the first actress to win the Oscar, the New York Film Critics Circle Award, and the National Board of Review Award as Best Actress all for the same performance as Lola Delaney in "Come Back, Little Sheba".
7 Is one of 15 actresses to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony); the others in chronological order are Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Liza Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Audrey Hepburn, Anne Bancroft, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Ellen Burstyn, Helen Mirren, Frances McDormand and Jessica Lange.
8 Campaigned for the lead roles in Summertime (1955) and Desk Set (1957), both of which she originated on stage, but lost both parts to Katharine Hepburn.
9 Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 67-70. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
10 Her father, Albert J. Ford, was a "martinet," a salesman for I.B.M. Corporation, and was a stern taskmaster. She was closer to her mother, Virginia Wright Ford. Her parents separated when Shirley was in her teens, and her mother died in 1933. Her father remarried and lived his life out in Brooklyn. When Shirley decided to act for a living, her father forbade her to use the family name, thereby losing the "Ford" and the "Thelma" in her name and becoming "Shirley Booth." After her parents' divorce, Shirley never saw or spoke to her father again out of the cruelties he inflicted on both her and her mother.
11 At age 12 she joined the Hartford Stock Company. For the next six years she did up to three plays a week, sometimes walk-ons, touring road and stock companies.
12 Divorced from Ed Gardner in the 1940s, the marriage was a rocky one as Gardner was a drinker and inveterate womanizer. She remarried in 1943 to William H. Baker, a kindly investment banker. The union was a happy but relatively short one. She was in rehearsals for "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" when he died suddenly of a heart ailment. She had no children from either marriage.
13 Later auditioned for but did not win the title role of radio's "Our Miss Brooks", the role that made Eve Arden a star in 1948.
14 Lived next to Julie Harris.
15 Died at her home in North Chatham, Massachusetts.
16 Three actresses earned Academy Awards nominations for playing the same character in motion picture versions of her plays: Ruth Hussey in The Philadelphia Story (1940), Rosalind Russell in My Sister Eileen (1942) and Katharine Hepburn in Summertime (1955).
17 Is mentioned by Jason Alexander's character "George Constanza" on the Seinfeld (1989) episode "The Subway" (1992).
18 First actress to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival and an Oscar for the same role (Come Back, Little Sheba (1952))
19 Won three Tony Awards: in 1949, as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "Goodbye, My Fancy;" in 1950, as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "Come Back, Little Sheba," a role she recreated in an Oscar-winning performance in the film version of the same name, Come Back, Little Sheba (1952); and in 1953, as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "Time of the Cuckoo."
20 Became the fourth performer to receive the Triple Crown of Acting, winning an Academy Award in 1953, three Tony Awards (1949, 1950 and 1953) and two Emmy Awards (1962, 1963).
21 One of only eight actors to have won both the Tony and the Oscar for the same role on stage and film. The others are Yul Brynner (The King and I (1956)), Joel Grey (Cabaret (1972)), Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady (1964)), Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker (1962)), Paul Scofield (A Man for All Seasons (1966)), José Ferrer (Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)) and Jack Albertson for The Subject Was Roses (1968).
22 Portrayed Miss Duffy on "Duffy's Tavern" (CBS Radio: 1941-1942; NBC-Blue Radio: 1942-1943).
23 Is interred in Mount Hebron Cemetery, Montclair, New Jersey.
24 Known for a while as Thelma Booth Ford.
25 Made her Broadway debut in the play "Hell's Bells" opposite Humphrey Bogart (26 January 1925).
26 Born to Albert James Ford and his wife Virginia Martha Wright, she had one sister, Jean Valentine Ford (born in 1914).


Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Year Without a Santa Claus 1974 TV Movie Mrs. Santa (voice)
A Touch of Grace 1973 TV Series Grace Simpson
The Ghost & Mrs. Muir 1969 TV Series Madame Tibaldi
The Smugglers 1968 TV Movie Mrs. Hudson
CBS Playhouse 1967 TV Series Heloise Michaud
CBS Playhouse: The Glass Menagerie 1966 TV Movie Amanda Wingfield
Hazel 1961-1966 TV Series Hazel Burke
The United States Steel Hour 1954-1961 TV Series Eunice / Jenny Libbert
The Matchmaker 1958 Dolly 'Gallagher' Levi
Hot Spell 1958 Alma Duval
Playhouse 90 1957 TV Series Perle Mesta
About Mrs. Leslie 1954 Mrs. Vivien Leslie
Main Street to Broadway 1953 Shirley Booth
Come Back, Little Sheba 1952 Lola Delaney
Strawhat Cinderella 1949 Short Shirley Booth

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Year Without a Santa Claus 1974 TV Movie performer: "Anyone Can Be Santa"
Hazel 1961-1965 TV Series performer - 11 episodes
The Andy Williams Show 1964 TV Series performer - 1 episode
About Mrs. Leslie 1954 performer: "KISS THE BOYS GOODBYE", "I'M IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE" - uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The David Frost Show 1970 TV Series Herself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1970 TV Series Herself
The Dean Martin Show 1970 TV Series Herself
The 22nd Annual Tony Awards 1968 TV Special Herself - Presenter: Best Performance by Featured Actor in a Musical
The Andy Williams Show 1964 TV Series Herself
The Jack Paar Program 1964 TV Series Herself
The Bob Hope Show 1963 TV Series Herself
The Merv Griffin Show 1963 TV Series Herself
What's My Line? 1953-1963 TV Series Herself - Mystery Guest
The 14th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1962 TV Special Herself - Winner: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Lead Actress in a Series
Here's Hollywood 1961-1962 TV Series Herself
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall 1958-1961 TV Series Herself
The 13th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1961 TV Special Herself - Presenter
The 15th Annual Tony Awards 1961 TV Special Herself - Presenter: Special Awards
The Garry Moore Show 1960 TV Series Herself
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show 1958 TV Series Herself
The Ed Sullivan Show 1955 TV Series Herself
The 26th Annual Academy Awards 1954 TV Special Herself - Presenter: Best Actor
The 25th Annual Academy Awards 1953 TV Special Herself - Best Actress Winner (New York)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Best of the Dean Martin Show 1979 TV Movie Herself / Closet Sketch

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1963 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) Hazel (1961)
1962 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) Hazel (1961)
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Motion Picture On 8 February 1960. At 6850 Hollywood Blvd.
1954 Woman of the Year Hasty Pudding Theatricals, USA
1954 Diploma of Merit Jussi Awards Foreign Actress Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
1953 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actress in a Leading Role Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
1953 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Actress - Drama Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
1953 Special Mention Cannes Film Festival Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
1952 NBR Award National Board of Review, USA Best Actress Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
1952 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actress Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2006 TV Land Award TV Land Awards Favorite Made-for-TV Maid Hazel (1961)
2004 TV Land Award TV Land Awards Favorite Made for TV Maid Hazel (1961)
1967 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama The Glass Menagerie (1966)
1964 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best TV Star - Female Hazel (1961)
1964 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) Hazel (1961)
1955 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Foreign Actress About Mrs. Leslie (1954)
1954 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Foreign Actress Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

2nd place awards

2nd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1958 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actress Hot Spell (1958)


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#Quote
1 Burt Lancaster advised me against doing Hazel (1961). "Don't do television," he warned. "It'll ruin you! Burt is a doll and a heck of an actor, but I'm glad I didn't follow his advice. Everybody under 40 knows me better from "Hazel", not from my movies!
2 Acting is a way to overcome your own inhibitions and shyness. The writer creates a strong, confident personality, and that's what you become - unfortunately, only for the moment.


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