Friday, March 16, 2012

Mercedes McCambridge & Conrad Nagel

Who was born on this date:

Actress Mercedes McCambridge was born Carlotta Mercedes Agnes McCambridge on March 16, 1916 in Joliet, Illinois. In 1936, while studying English and theater at Mundelein College in north suburban Chicago, Mercedes caught the eye of an NBC radio program director. During the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, McCambridge had roles in numerous popular radio programs such as Dick Tracy, Inner Sanctum, The Thin Man, and Bulldog Drummond. Throughout the middle 1940’s, she appeared in numerous Broadway productions of varying success.
In 1949, she got her big break in motion pictures and in her debut performance won an Oscar for best supporting actress in the role of the hardnosed and manipulative political aide, Sadie Burke in All the Kings Men. In a career that spanned nearly four decades from 1949 to 1988, she appeared in over twenty feature films and numerous television programs, her feature film credits include: Johnny Guitar (1954), A Farewell to Arms (1957), Touch of Evil (1958), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Cimarron (1960), The Other Side of the Wind (1972), and Airport 79’ (1979). In 1956, she was nominated for a second best supporting actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Liz Benedict the strong willed older sister of Rock Hudson’s character in Giant (1956). She worked continuously in film, television, and Broadway her entire adult life and even earned a Tony Award nomination in 1972 for The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks. While her film career did not live up to the high levels of expectations that were initially promised with her debut Oscar win, she remained quite satisfied with how her career evolved.
In 1987, tragedy struck, when her only son John Lawrence Markle killed his wife and two daughters in a murder suicide. She would battle alcoholism her entire adult life, and even testified before the U.S. Senate subcommittee on alcoholism and narcotics in 1969. She was married and divorced twice. In the mid-1980’s she retired from show business. McCambridge then moved to the seaside town of La Jolla, California. She died on March 2, 2004 of natural causes while living at a local assisted living facility. McCambridge had no known survivors. Mercedes McCambridge’s remains were cremated and scattered at sea near San Diego. 

Actor Conrad Nagel was born on March 16, 1897(1897-03-16) in Keokuk, Iowa. He was an actor of the (1970-02-24)silent film era and founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He died on February 24, 1970 and is buried at the Lutheran Cemetery in Warsaw, Illinois (which is in dispute).


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