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On this Day in Movie History, July 15, 2012: Celeste Holm dead at 95

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Hospitalized with dehydration after a fire in her Manhattan apartment building, Oscar winner and Broadway star Celeste Holm died Sunday., July 14, 2012. She was 95. She had come home to spend her final days with her husband, Frank Basile, and other relatives and close friends by her side.

Holm had won an Academy Award in 1947 for best supporting actress for her performance in “Gentlemen’s Agreement.” She played fashion editor Anne Dettry. She had received Oscar nominations for “Come to the Stable” (1949) and “All About Eve” (1950).

Debuting on Broadway in 1939′s “The Time of Your Life”, her career took off four years later, when she played Ado Annie “OKlahoma!,” which was a box-office smash.

She began her film career in 1945, after she toured Europe at the end of World War II entertaining troops with the USO, by signing on with Twentieth Century Fox. “Gentlemen’s Agreement” was Holm’s third film.

In 1949 Holm earned another best supporting actress Oscar nomination in which she was cast as a tennis-playing French nun in “Come to the Stable.”

In 1950 Holm was suspended briefly “for refusing other roles she felt were beneath her.” She feuded with Fox over what sort of roles were right for her. She came back later that year as Karen Richards in “All About Eve,” and was nominated again for as Oscar for best supporting actress. After “All About Eve” Holm bought out her Fox contract to return to Broadway, a maneuver unheard of at the time.

On television, however, she found more success. After appearing in “All Star Revue” in 1950, she had her own short-lived series “Honestly, Celeste!” in 1954. She played the fairy godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” in 1965.

Holm did something not many film stars do. She went the soap opera route. She was a regular on ABC’s “Loving,” appearing first in 1986 in the role of Lydia Woodhouse and again as Isabelle Dwyer Alden from 1991-92.

She suffered a heart attack on July 13at New York's Roosevelt Hospital and died at her Manhattan home, where she chose to spend her final days, on July 15. She was survived by husband Frank Basile and her sons and grandchildren

Holm won an Academy Award for her performance in Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and was Oscar nominated for her roles in Come to the Stable (1949) and All About Eve (1950). She originated the role of Ado Annie in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! (1943).

Birthdays
1903 - Ken Murray (Don Court) (actor: Follow Me, Boys!, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Marshall’s Daughter; died Oct 12, 1988)

1911 - Terry-Thomas (Thomas Terry Hoar Stevens) (actor: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River; died Jan 8, 1990)

1918 - Ingmar Bergman (Academy Award-winning director: Through a Glass Darkly [1961]; The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers, Fanny and Alexander; died July 30, 2007)

1923 - Dale Robertson (actor: The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang, Melvin Purvis: G-Man, Kansas City Massacre, Son of Sinbad, Tales of Wells Fargo, J.J. Starbuck, Death Valley Days; died Feb 27, 2013)

1926 - Harry Dean Stanton (actor: Down Periscope, Never Talk to Strangers, Against the Wall, Wild at Heart, Twister, The Last Temptation of Christ, Red Dawn, Christine, Paris, Texas, Repo Man, Young Doctors in Love, Escape from New York, Private Benjamin, Death Watch, The Rose, Alien, The Godfather, Part 2, Kelly’s Heroes, Cool Hand Luke, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Two-Lane Blacktop)

1928 - Nancy Olson (actress: Sunset Boulevard, The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Snowball Express)

1930 - Polly Bergen (Nellie Burgin) (actress: The Winds of War, Cry-Baby, Escape from Fort Bravo; TV panelist: To Tell the Truth)

1931 - Robert Stephens (actor: The Secret Rapture, Chaplin, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Henry V, Empire of the Sun, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, A Taste of Honey; died Nov 12, 1995)

1952 - Jerry Houser (actor: A Very Brady Christmas, Slap Shot, Class of ’44, Summer of ’42)

1970 - Missy Gold (actress: Little Mo, Benson, Twirl)

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