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Martine Bartlett

Martine Bartlett (April 24, 1925 – April 5, 2006) was an American actress. A life member of The Actors Studio,[1] Bartlett is best-remembered, albeit not by name, for her chilling performance as Hattie Dorsett, the seriously disturbed, abusive mother of Sally Field's title character in Sybil.

Martine Bartlett
Born (1925-04-24)April 24, 1925
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died April 5, 2006(2006-04-05) (aged 80)
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation Film, stage, television actress
Years active 1951–1983



She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of George Daniel Bartlett (1894–1971) and his wife, Martine (née Fons 1895–1983), the middle child of three siblings. Her father was an attorney. She graduated from John Burroughs School and Washington University.


She was active onstage with the former St. Louis Community Playhouse, Rooftop Players and the old Empress Theater. She received her master's degree at the Graduate Drama School at Yale. Her debut on Broadway was as a townsperson in The Devil's Disciple (1950). She was part of the ensemble cast in Saint Joan (1951), starring Uta Hagen.

Her first television appearance was in an episode of Robert Montgomery Presents titled The Man Who Vanished (1956). Her other appearances include episodes on The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, Dr. Kildare, The Virginian, Kojak, Cannon, Mission: Impossible, and Quincy, M.E. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actress for her performance as Miranda in an episode of the ABC series Arrest and Trial ("Journey Into Darkness", 1963).[citation needed]

She returned to Broadway in 1957 and played the role as Loreena Lovejoy in Carson McCullers' The Square Root of Wonderful, starring Anne Baxter. Bartlett appeared as the kindly Aunt Nonnie in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth (1959).

Her motion picture debut was as the English teacher Miss Metcalf in Splendor in the Grass (1961), starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. Other films in which she appeared include The Prize (1963) and Lord Love a Duck (1966). She played Alma Mulloy, the first victim of Rod Steiger's serial killer in No Way to Treat a Lady (1968). She played the delusional prostitute Sadie in Fuzz (1972); played Raquel Welch's mother (and Jodie Foster's grandmother) in Kansas City Bomber (1972); and appeared in Aloha, Bobby and Rose (1975).[citation needed]

Bartlett portrayed the "Secret Wife", a self-abusing mental patient, in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977). In the NBC miniseries Sybil (1976), Bartlett played Hattie Dorsett, Sybil's psychotic mother who appears in flashbacks abusing and tormenting a very young Sybil (played by Natasha Ryan), gaining acclaim for her uncompromisingly brilliant performance. A respected stage actress, Bartlett never escaped the notoriety of her role as Hattie. She made her last known appearance in an episode of the television series Remington Steele (1983).[citation needed]


Martine Bartlett died at age 80 of kidney disease in Tempe, Arizona.



  1. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 277. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 

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