Edith Evanson

During the Golden Age of Hollywood there were an array of character actors who came out and perfected their craft alongside some of the era’s most popular stars. Within that category is one Edith Evanson.

She was born on April 28, 1896 in Tacoma, Washington, the daughter of a Protestant minister. In the the 1910s she was educated at the historic Stadium High School in which she appeared in various drama productions. In the 1910s and 1930s she appeared in various stage productions through a stock company.

In 1939 she came to Hollywood to begin work as a supporting actress in motion pictures; she made her debut the following year in The Man Who Wouldn’t Talk (1940). She soon made a name for herself in films often appearing as spinsters, landladies, wealthy widows, maids, town gossips, middle-aged secretaries, and snobs.

During her film career she appeared in such classics as Citizen Kane (1941), Woman of the Year (1942), Reunion in France (1942), The Strange Woman (1946), Rope (1948), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks with a Circus (1960). With the advent of TV, she expanded in her career and made guest appearances on such programs as Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre (1955), The Loretta Young Show (1953), Lassie (1954), Bachelor Father (1957), and, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955).

In her later years work became harder to find due to old age and she retired from acting in 1974 following a guest role in the TV show Apple’s Way (1974). Upon retirement she moved to Riverside Country, California, where she lived until her death from natural causes on November 29, 1980, aged 84. As she had no close family, she left money to her church, to the Democratic National Committee, and to the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital.

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