Science Fair Project 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, the only child of a Presbyterian minister. 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, her skill at charecter development and her range, allowed Moorehead to garner awards and accolades. Moorehead transitioned to television in a seamless fashion, and again won acclaim and accolades for her work in drama and in comedy.
Agnes Moorhead died in Rochester, Minnesota from lung cancer. While never confirmed, it is suspected that Moorhead’s cancer was a result of having been exposed to radiation while filming The Conqueror in the Nevada desert. Moorehead, and co-stars John Wayne and Susan Hayward all died from cancer. The irony of this circumstance is that three of Hollywood’s biggest stars may have literally and unknowingly sacrificed their health to make a movie that is consistently rated as one of the worst films of the 1950s. Moorehead herself believed her cancer was related to this exposure, commenting in an interview shortly before her death "I wish I'd never done that damn movie".
Though widely believed to be a lesbian, Moorehead married actor John Griffith Lee in 1930; they divorced in 1952; they had one son, Sean, born in 1949 and adopted in 1950/51. (It remains unclear whether the adoption was legal, though Moorehead did raise the child, have him educated, et cetera.) In 1953, she married actor Robert Gist but was divorced in 1958. The actress was also a devout Presbyterian and in interviews often spoke of her relationship with God.
She is interred at Dayton Memorial Park in Dayton, Ohio.
- 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
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