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Sada Carolyn Thompson (September 27, 1927 – May 4, 2011) was an American stage, film, and television actress.

Sada Thompson
James Broderick and Sada Thompson.JPG
James Broderick and Sada Thompson on Family (1976)
Born Sada Carolyn Thompson
(1927-09-27)September 27, 1927
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Died May 4, 2011(2011-05-04) (aged 83)
Danbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1955–2000
Spouse(s) Donald Stewart (1949–2011; her death); 1 child

Contents

Life and careerEdit

Born in Des Moines, Iowa,[1] in 1927 to Hugh Woodruff Thompson and his wife Corlyss (née Gibson), and raised in Fanwood, New Jersey,[2][3] where she attended Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, graduating in the class of 1945.[4] Thompson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre at the Carnegie Institute of Technology,[3] after which she worked steadily in regional theatre in such plays as The Seagull, Pygmalion, Our Town, Arms and the Man, and Blithe Spirit.[1] She received training at Pittsburgh Playhouse, where she appeared in numerous productions.[5]

She made her Off-Broadway debut in a 1955 production of Under Milkwood,[3] and the following year she appeared on television in a Goodyear Television Playhouse production. She made her Broadway debut in the 1959 musical Juno. Her additional New York City stage-credits include The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Tartuffe, and Twigs. Her stage performances won her an Obie Award, a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, three Drama Desk Awards and two Sarah Siddons Awards (the last presented for outstanding performances in Chicago theatre). She was elected to the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2005.[6]

On the strength of her success in Twigs, Thompson was signed to play neighbor Irene Lorenzo on All in the Family. After taping her first episode, however, she was replaced by Betty Garrett, when it became obvious that she and producer Norman Lear had different opinions about how the character should be played.[3] Her portrayal of matriarch Kate Lawrence on Family won her the 1978 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and garnered her three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama.

She was nominated for the Emmy Award nine times, winning once. Thompson's additional television credits included Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, The Love Boat, Father Dowling Mysteries, Andre's Mother, Cheers, Indictment: The McMartin Trial, ER and Law & Order. Her feature films included The Pursuit of Happiness, Desperate Characters, and Pollock.

Personal lifeEdit

Thompson was married to Donald E. Stewart from December 18, 1949, until her death.[1] She and her husband lived in Southbury, Connecticut. They had one daughter, costume designer Liza Stewart.[7]

DeathEdit

Sada Thompson died on May 4, 2011, in Danbury, Connecticut, of lung disease, aged 83. In addition to her daughter, Liza, she is survived by her husband (a former executive for Pan American Airways) and a brother, David.[7]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Pursuit of Happiness Ruth Lawrence
1971 Desperate Characters Claire
1976 The Entertainer Phoebe Rice Television movie
1977 Our Town Mrs. Gibbs Television movie
1983 Princess Daisy Masha Television movie
1986 My Two Loves Dorothea
1987 Father Dowling Mysteries Maria Pello Television movie
1989 Home Fires Burning Pastine Tibbetts
1989 Fear Stalk Pearl
1995 Indictment: The McMartin Trial Virginia McMartin Television movie
1997 Any Mother's Son Gertie Television movie
1998 The Patron Saint of Liars Sister Evangeline Television movie
2000 Pollock Stella Pollock

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1961 Camera Three Rosalyn Episode: "The Cracked Looking Glass"
1963 The Nurses Mrs. Mitchell Episode: "The Helping Hand"
1964 The DuPont Show of the Week Judy Episode: "The Missing Bank of Rupert X. Humperdinck"
1973 Love Story Mamma Cassalini Episode: "Joie"
1974–76 Lincoln Mary Todd Lincoln 5 episodes
1976–80 Family Kate Lawrence 86 episodes
1982 Marco Polo Aunt Flora 2 episodes
1986 The Love Boat Laura Jameson 2 episodes
1991 Cheers Mama Lozupone Episode: "Honor Thy Mother"
1993 Alex Haley's Queen N/A 3 episodes
1995 Law & Order Elaine Nicodos Episode: "Jeopardy"

Awards and nominationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c FilmReference.com
  2. ^ McLellan, Dennis. "Sada Thompson dies at 83; stage and TV actress known for playing matriarch on Family", Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2011. Accessed June 18, 2016. "Born Sada Carolyn Thompson in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 27, 1927, she moved with her family to Fanwood, N.J., several years later."
  3. ^ a b c d AllMovie.com
  4. ^ Staff, "New inductees to Scotch Plains-Fanwood H.S. Hall of Fame", Suburban News, October 9, 2014. Accessed June 18, 2016. "Sada Thompson. Class of 1945. Now deceased, Sada starred as an actress in productions off-Broadway, Broadway, TV and films."
  5. ^ Conner, Lynne (2007). Pittsburgh In Stages: Two Hundred Years of Theater. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 152. ISBN 978-0-8229-4330-3. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  6. ^ "Theater Hall of Fame inducts Thompson, Lithgow, others". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Weber, Bruce (May 5, 2011). "Sada Thompson, Actress Known for Maternal Roles, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 

External linksEdit