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Famous Like Me > Actress > M > Mercedes McCambridge

Profile of Mercedes McCambridge on Famous Like Me

Name: Mercedes McCambridge  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 16th March 1916
Place of Birth: Joliet, Illinois, USA
Profession: Actress
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Carlotta "Mercy" Mercedes Agnes McCambridge (born March 16, 1916 in Joliet, Illinois; died March 2, 2004 in La Jolla, California) (although she falsely claimed to have been born on March 17, 1918, for many years) to Irish Catholic immigrant parents.

McCambridge began as a radio performer in the 1940s and also performed on Broadway. Her big break in Hollywood came when she was cast opposite Broderick Crawford in the 1949 film All the King's Men. McCambridge cemented her fame when she won the 1950 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film, which also won Best Picture for that year. McCambridge also won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer - Female for that film.

In 1954, McCambridge co-starred with Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden in the offbeat western drama, Johnny Guitar, now a cult classic. McCambridge and Hayden publicly declared their dislike of Crawford, with McCambridge labeling Crawford "a bad egg". The cast also included a fresh faced, but close to 40 years old, actor named Ernest Borgnine.

Her performance in "Johnny Guitar" led to her co-starring with Burt Lancaster and Walter Matthau in "The Kentuckian", in which she played, yet again a woman of evil intent.

McCambridge was also well-known for providing the dubbed-in voice of the demonically possessed character in The Exorcist, acted by Linda Blair. McCambridge, however, was not originally credited for the voice in the film's initial release, probably so as to heighten the film's initial mystique. McCambridge later went public in the 70s in her dispute with the film's creator William Friedkin and the Warner Bros. brass over her exclusion, and with the help of the Screen Actors Guild, she was ultimately properly credited for her vocal work in future releases of the film. In interviews with E!'s True Hollywood Story regarding the supposed "Curse of the Exorcist", it was said that McCambridge's already deep voice was made raspy and frightening-sounding and it "really became the Devil's" via sleep deprivation, cigarettes, and drinking raw egg yolks and booze.

McCambridge has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures, located at 1722 Vine Street, and one for television located 6243 Hollywood Boulevard.

She died on March 2, 2004 in La Jolla, California, of natural causes aged 87.

She told the story of her life in an autobiography entitled The Quality of Mercy (ISBN 0812909453), which must have included the greatest tragedy of her life, when her only child, her son, John Lawrence Fifield, who later adopted his step-father's surname, and became known as John Markle, killed his family and then himself in a murder/suicide in 1987.


  • All the King's Men (1949)
  • Inside Straight (1951)
  • The Scarf (1951)
  • Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)
  • Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Awards (1951)
  • Johnny Guitar (1954)
  • The Kentuckian (1955)
  • Giant (1956)
  • A Farewell to Arms (1957)
  • Touch of Evil (1958) (Cameo)
  • Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
  • Cimarron (1960)
  • Angel Baby (1961)
  • Run Home Slow (1965)
  • 99 Women (1969)
  • Justine (1969)
  • The Last Generation (1971)
  • The Other Side of the Wind (1972) (unfinished)
  • Sixteen (1973)
  • The Exorcist (1973) (voice only)
  • Thieves (1977)
  • The Concorde: Airport '79 (1979)
  • Echoes (1983)

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