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Phyllis Thaxter ACTOR

Phyllis Thaxter was born on November 20th, 1921 in Portland, Maine with the middle name Schuyler.  Her mother was a Shakespearean actress and from a young age she developed an interest in performing.
She received her early years education at St. Genevieve School in Montreal and then at Deering High School in Portland.  At the age of seventeen she made her Broadway debut in a production of, "What a Life!" (1939).
Soon she began to add other stage credits to her resume such as, "There Shall Be No Night" (1940) and "Claudia" (1940).  By the mid 40's she had broken into the film industry working with MGM on the film, "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" (1944) starring Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker, Don DeFore and Robert Mitchum.  Other film roles soon followed such as, "Bewitched" (1945) co-starring Edmund Gwenn, Minor Watson, Will Wright, Kathleen Lockhart, Addison Richards and Stephen McNally, "Week-End at the Waldorf" (1945) starring Ginger Rogers, Walter Pidgeon, Lana Turner, Van Johnson, Edward Arnold, Robert Benchley, Keenan Wynn, Leon Ames, Rosemary DeCamp and George Zucco, "The Sea of Grass" (1947) starring alongside Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Robert Walker, Melvyn Douglas and Edgar Buchanan, "Tenth Avenue Angel" (1948) also starring Margaret O'Brien, Angela Lansbury, Rhys Williams, Warner Anderson, George Murphy and Barry Nelson and her final role with MGM was, "Act of Violence" (1948) co-starring Van Heflin, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Will Wright, Mary Astor and Connie Gilchrist.  

Phyllis then made the move to work with Warner Brothers Studio and continued working in the film industry appearing on such features as, "The Breaking Point" (1950) starring with John Garfield, Wallace Ford and Patricia Neal, "Jim Thorpe - All American" (1951) starring Burt Lancaster, Charles Bickford, Steve Cochran and Dick Wesson, "Fort Worth" (1951) starring Randolph Scott, David Brian, Dickie Jones, Bob Steele, Ray Teal and Chubby Johnson and "Springfield Rifle" (1952) starring Gary Cooper, Paul Kelly, Lon Chaney Jr., David Brian, Philip Carey, James Millican, Alan Hale Jr., Martin Milner and Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams.
Sadly, Thaxter became ill with a strange form or paralysis which luckily she was able to overcome, however, her time off caused Warner Brothers to terminate her contract.  Upon returning back to acting, she mostly focused on television work as film roles were no longer so easily available to her.

Some of the television series credits she added to her resume were appearances on, "Studio 57", "Climax!", "Wagon Train", "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "Medical Center", "Bonanza", "The Fugitive", "Marcus Welby, M.D.","The Loretta Young Show", "The Frank Sinatra Show" and "Murder, She Wrote".

She did return to the film industry in 1978 when she was cast as Ma Kent in the film, "Superman" starring Christopher Reeve as well as Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Valerie Perrine, Susannah York, Trevor Howard and Ned Beatty.  

She then for the most part retired from the industry and spends some time living in Florida.    

Phyllis Thaxter has married twice throughout her lifetime, first to James T. Aubrey in 1944 and they had three children before the marriage came to an end in 1962.  She then married Gilbert Lea in 1962 and they stayed together until he passed away.  

Phyllis Thaxter passed away on August 14, 2012 in Longwood, Florida after a nine-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.


1992   Murder, She Wrote 

1985   American Playhouse
1978   Superman

1977   Visions

1976   Once an Eagle
1975   Barnaby Jones 

1974   Marcus Welby, M.D. 

1973   Love Story 
1972   Cannon 

1972   The Longest Night

1971   Incident in San Francisco
1967-1971  The F.B.I. 

1970   Medical Center

1969   Bonanza
1968   Lancer 

1968   The Invaders

1967   Coronet Blue 
1964   The Fugitive

1964   The Defenders

1963-1964  The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
1964   The World of Henry Orient 

1964   Kraft Suspense Theatre

1962   Twilight Zone
1961   Rawhide 

1961   Thriller

1953-1961  The United States Steel Hour

1961   Special for Women: The Trapped Housewife

1960   Outlaws

1956-1960  Alfred Hitchcock Presents

1959-1960  Wagon Train 

1960   Playhouse 90
1954-1959  G.E. True Theater 

1959   Lux Playhouse

1957-1958  Suspicion
1958   The Frank Sinatra Show

1955-1957  Climax! 

1957   Man Afraid
1957   Studio One in Hollywood 

1956   Studio 57 

1955-1956  Schlitz Playhouse
1956   Kraft Theatre

1953-1956  Lux Video Theatre 

1955-1956  The Loretta Young Show
1956   Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre 

1955   Stage 7 

1955   Women's Prison 
1954   The Motorola Television Hour 

1954   Robert Montgomery Presents

1954   The Ford Television Theatre 
1953   Willys Theatre Presenting Ben Hecht's Tales of the City 

1952   Operation Secret 
1952   Springfield Rifle 

1952   She's Working Her Way Through College

1951   Come Fill the Cup

1951   Jim Thorpe - All American 

1951   Fort Worth 
1950   The Breaking Point

1950   No Man of Her Own

1948   Act of Violence 
1948   Blood on the Moon 

1948   The Sign of the Ram 

1948   Tenth Avenue Angel 
1947   Living in a Big Way 

1947   The Sea of Grass 

1945   Week-End at the Waldorf 
1945   Bewitched

1944   Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo  

Matinee Classics - The Sea of Grass starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Robert Walker, Melvyn Douglas, Phyllis Thaxter, Edgar Buchanan, Ruth Nelson, William 'Bill' Phillips, Robert Armstrong, James Bell, Robert Barrat, Charles Trowbridge, Russell Hicks and Trevor Bardette
Matinee Classics - The World of Henry Orient starring Merrie Spaeth, Tippy Walker, Peter Sellers, Paula Prentiss, Angela Lansbury, Tom Bosley, Phyllis Thaxter, Bibi Osterwald, John Fiedler, Al Lewis, Peter Duchin, Fred Stewart, Philippa Bevans and Jane Buchanan
Matinee Classics - Springfield Rifle starring Gary Cooper, Phyllis Thaxter, David Brian, Paul Kelly, Lon Chaney Jr., James Millican, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Alan Hale Jr., Martin Milner, Wilton Graff and Jerry O'Sullivan
Matinee Classics - Springfield Rifle starring Gary Cooper, Phyllis Thaxter, David Brian, Paul Kelly, Lon Chaney Jr., James Millican, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Alan Hale Jr., Martin Milner, Wilton Graff and Jerry O'Sullivan
Matinee Classics - Holiday Affair starring Scott Brady, Phyllis Thaxter, Elliott Reid, Herb Butterfield, Mary Adams, George Baxter, Charles B. Cane, Paul Bryan and Chris Olsen

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