Frances Sternhagen, ‘Sex and the City’ Actress and Tony Winner, Dies at 93 newsfragment


Frances Sternhagen, the Tony Award-winning actress who performed well-known roles in level productions of “Driving Miss Daisy” and “On Golden Pond” as ambitious used girls when she was once so younger that she needed to put on getting old make-up, died on Monday at her house in Brandnew Rochelle, N.Y. She was once 93.

Her son Tony Carlin showed the loss of life.

Ms. Sternhagen gained Tonys as featured actress in a play games for her performances in two very other productions. In a 1995 Broadway revival of “The Heiress,” in line with Henry James’s magazine “Washington Square,” she was once Cherry Jones’s well-meaning, matchmaking Aunt Lavinia. In “The Good Doctor,” Neil Simon’s 1973 tackle Chekhov, she performed more than one roles in comedy sketches.

Ms. Sternhagen got here into her personal in mature Off Broadway roles: because the strong-willed 70-something-and-up Southern widow in Alfred Uhry’s “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1988, when she was once nonetheless in her 50s, and the involved retirement-age spouse in Ernest Thompson’s “On Golden Pond” in 1979, when she was once 49.

She gained Tony nominations for her roles within the actual productions of “On Golden Pond,” “Equus” and the musical “Angel” and in revivals of “Morning’s at Seven” and “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window.”

Nation who by no means noticed a Broadway display and even was at the films can have identified Ms. Sternhagen’s face from tv. Starting within the Eighties, when she performed the controlling working-class mom of the oddball postal provider Cliff Clavin on “Cheers,” she sailed via a length of taking part in maternal figures in memorable routine roles in plenty of collision form.

On “ER,” she was once Dr. John Carter’s aristocratic Chicago grandmother. On “Sex and the City,” she was once Trey MacDougal’s affluent prosperous however extraordinary mother. Maximum just lately she performed the mummy of Kyra Sedgwick’s Southern personality at the police procedural “The Closer.” She gained 3 Emmy Award nominations, two for “Cheers” and one for “Sex and the City.”

Ms. Sternhagen was once identified to show unwell film roles as a result of they’d remove her clear of her people for too lengthy, however through the years she did seem in some two accumulation motion pictures. She was once Burt Reynolds’s intensely worrying sister-in-law in “Starting Over” (1979), a perfectionist booklet researcher in “Bright Lights, Big City” (1988), and the cookbook writer Irma Rombauer in “Julie & Julia” (2009). Her alternative motion pictures integrated “The Hospital” (1971), “Independence Day” (1983) and “Misery” (1990).

However level was once her first house, and her occupation flourished in Off Broadway productions. She made her Brandnew York level debut at 25 in Jean Anouilh’s “Thieves’ Carnival” on the Cherry Lane Theater, and she or he gained her first Obie Award the after week, for George Bernard Shaw’s “The Admirable Bashville” (1956). She gained once more in 1965 for 2 performances (“The Room” and “A Slight Ache”) and gained an entire life fulfillment Obie in 2013.

Her opinions have been certain from the start. “When an intellectual comedy is about to be staged, it is always a wise notion to send for Frances Sternhagen,” Brooks Atkinson wrote in The Brandnew York Instances in 1959, reviewing “The Saintliness of Margery Kempe,” an Off Broadway comedy. “She is the mistress of sardonic fooling.”

Frances Hussey Sternhagen was once born on Jan. 13, 1930, in Washington, D.C. She was once the one kid of John Meier Sternhagen, a United States tax court docket pass judgement on, and Gertrude (Hussey) Sternhagen, a Global Battle I baby sitter who turned into a homemaker.

Frances attended the Potomac College and the Madeira College, each in Virginia. At Vassar Faculty, she in the beginning studied historical past however was once confident via an abettor to offer drama a struggle.

Nearest commencement in 1951, Ms. Sternhagen taught in short on the Milton Academy in Milton, Pile. When she auditioned on the Brattle Boulevard Theater in within sight Cambridge, she was once unwelcome. “They said I read every part as if I was leading a troop of Girl Scouts out onto a hockey field,” she instructed The Toronto Famous person many years nearest.

Turning back Washington, she took theater lessons on the Catholic College of The united states and began to appear in Area Degree productions.

On the identical while she started operating in Brandnew York theater, Ms. Sternhagen additionally ventured into tv paintings; she made her small-screen debut in 1955 in Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth,” along Helen Hayes, at the form “Producers’ Showcase.” However she didn’t assemble her attribute movie debut till a decade nearest, with a supporting function as a highschool librarian in “Up the Down Staircase” (1967). Like many operating actors, she seemed on cleaning soap operas, together with “Love of Life,” and in tv ads.

She persevered operating into her 80s. Her terminating Broadway look was once in a 2005 manufacturing of Edward Albee’s “Seascape.” Her terminating Brandnew York level look was once Off Broadway in “The Madrid” (2013) at Town Middle, taking part in the mummy of a kindergarten educator, performed via Edie Falco, who up and leaves her process and people.

In Ms. Sternhagen’s ultimate movie, “And So It Goes” (2014), a comic book drama with Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, she performed a sensible, snarky and chain-smoking actual property agent.

Ms. Sternhagen married Thomas Carlin, a fellow actor, in 1956, they usually had six kids. The couple had met in short at Catholic College, acted in combination in “The Skin of Our Teeth” in Maryland and fell in love when each have been within the solid of “Thieves’ Carnival” in Brandnew York. Mr. Carlin died in 1991.

Along with their son Tony, she is survived via 3 alternative sons, Paul, Peter and John; two daughters, Amanda Carlin Sanders and Sarah Carlin; 9 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She lived in Brandnew Rochelle for greater than 60 years.

In 2001, Ms. Sternhagen talked to drama scholars at Vassar and gave an interview to the varsity’s alumni e-newsletter. She clear that as an actress she preferred operating from the out of doors in, creation with how a personality speaks and walks in lieu than together with her internal motivation. And she or he attributed a excellent offer of her non-public emotional building to performing.

“It’s through working on characters in plays that I’ve learned about myself, about how people operate,” she mentioned.

As for younger determined actors who glance unwell on paying their dues via showing in ads, Ms. Sternhagen advised, “Think of it as children’s theater.”

Alex Traub contributed reporting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *