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Famous Like Me > Actress > M > Agnes Moorehead

Profile of Agnes Moorehead on Famous Like Me

Name: Agnes Moorehead  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 6th December 1900
Place of Birth: Clinton, Massachusetts, USA
Profession: Actress
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Moorehead as Endora on Bewitched

Agnes Robertson Moorehead (December 6, 1900 – April 30, 1974) was an American character actress. She was born in Clinton, Massachusetts of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry, the only child of a Presbyterian minister. She later shaved 6 years off her age by claiming to have been born in 1906. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri.

Moorehead was a graduate of Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. She was also part of Orson Welles' Mercury Theater on the Air radio program in the 1930s and appeared in a Broadway production of Don Juan in Hell in 1950.

While never a headlining star in films, Mooreheads skill at character development and range earned her one Emmy, two Golden Globes, and four Oscar nominations and six Emmy nominations. Moorehead transitioned to television, and again won acclaim and accolades for her work in drama and in comedy.

Moorehead died in Rochester, Minnesota from uterine cancer, at the age of 73. While never confirmed, some suspect that Moorehead’s cancer was a result of having been exposed to radiation while filming The Conqueror in Utah, at a site previously used for nuclear testing. Moorehead believed her cancer was related to this exposure, and commented in an interview shortly before her death, "I wish I'd never done that damn movie". The director Dick Powell and co-stars John Wayne, Susan Hayward and Pedro Armendariz also died from cancer, and Dr Robert Pendleton, Professor of Biology at the University of Utah, has described the incidence of cancer among cast and crew of The Conqueror as an "epidemic". Noting that 91 members of the cast and crew had contracted cancer by 1984, with more than half of them dying, Dr Pendleton stated "With these numbers, this case could qualify as an epidemic. The connection between fallout radiation and cancer in individual cases has been practically impossible to prove conclusively. But in a group this size you'd expect only 30 some cancers to develop...I think the tie-in to their exposure on the set of The Conqueror would hold up in a court of law."

Though widely believed to be a lesbian, Moorehead married actor John Griffith Lee in 1930 and they divorced in 1952; they adopted one son, Sean, in 1949, but it remains unclear whether the adoption was legal, although Moorehead did raise the child until he ran away from home. In 1953, she married actor Robert Gist, and they later divorced in 1958. The actress was also a devout Presbyterian and, in interviews, often spoke of her relationship with God.

Moorehead willed her 1965 Emmy for The Wild, Wild West, her Oscar nominations and her private papers to Muskingum College, including her home in Rix Mills, Ohio.

She is interred at Dayton Memorial Park in Dayton, Ohio.

Notable roles

Mary Kane, Citizen Kane, 1941
Fanny, The Magnificent Ambersons, 1942, New York Film Critics Circle Award, Academy Award nomination
Aspasia Conti, Mrs Parkington, 1944, Golden Globe, Academy Award nomination
Aggie McDonald, Johnny Belinda, 1948, Academy Award nomination
Mrs Snow, Pollyanna, 1960,
The woman, The Twilight Zone episode: "The Invaders" (1961)
Endora, Bewitched, 1964-1972, six Emmy nominations
Velma Cruther, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, 1964, Golden Globe, Academy Award nomination

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Agnes Moorehead