Mildred Dunnock

Mildred Dorothy Dunnock (January 25, 1901 – July 5, 1991) was an American stage and screen actress. She received two Academy Award nominations for her supporting performances in Death of a Salesman (1951) and Baby Doll (1956). Dunnock was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award in her career.

Mildred Dunnock
Dunnock in a trailer for BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Mildred Dorothy Dunnock

(1901-01-25)January 25, 1901
DiedJuly 5, 1991(1991-07-05) (aged 90)
Resting placeLambert's Cove Cemetery, West Tisbury, Massachusetts, U.S.
EducationWestern High School
Goucher College
Johns Hopkins University
Columbia University
Years active1932–1987
Keith Merwin Urmy (m. 1933)

Early life

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Dunnock graduated from Western High School.[1] She developed an interest in theater while she was a student at Goucher College[2] where she was a member of Alpha Phi sorority and the Agora dramatic society. After graduating, she taught English at Friends School of Baltimore and helped with productions of plays there.[1]

While teaching school in New York, she earned her master's degree at Columbia University and acted in a play while she was there.[2]


After roles in Broadway productions of Life Begins (1932) and The Hill Between (1938),[3] Dunnock won praise for her performance as a Welsh school teacher in The Corn is Green in 1940 — a role that she performed while she was a full-time teacher at Brearley School.[1] The 1945 film version marked her screen debut. During the 1940s she performed mainly on stage, in such dramas as Another Part of the Forest (1946) and Death of a Salesman (1949) and in the musical Lute Song (1946).[3]

Dunnock also performed in regional theatrical productions, including those of the Long Wharf Theatre and the Yale Repertory Theatre.[4]

In 1947, Dunnock became a founding member of the Actors Studio.[5]

Dunnock reprised her Salesman role in the 1951 film version. She originated the role of Big Mama in the Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, although she lost the movie role to Judith Anderson. Her films include The Trouble with Harry (1955), Love Me Tender (1956), Baby Doll (1956), Peyton Place (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), Butterfield 8 (1960), Something Wild (1961) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). She was the woman in the wheelchair pushed down a flight of stairs to her death by the psychotic villain Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) in Kiss of Death (1947).

She appeared frequently in guest roles on numerous TV series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Ponds Theater, and later in her career, several television movies, including a 1966 remake of Death of a Salesman in which she played Linda Loman for the third time, opposite her original Broadway co-star, Lee J. Cobb.[6]

Dunnock was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for Death of a Salesman in 1951, and for Baby Doll in 1956. She was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for Baby Doll, as well as Viva Zapata! in 1952 and Peyton Place in 1957.

Her final film was The Pick-up Artist (1987), which starred Robert Downey, Jr. and Molly Ringwald.

Dunnock has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to motion pictures, at 6613 Hollywood Boulevard.[7] She is also a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, which she was inducted into in 1983.[8]

Personal life

Dunnock was married to Keith Urmy, an executive at Chemical Bank in Manhattan, from 1933 until her death, and had one child. She died in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts at age 90 from natural causes. At the time of her death she was living in West Tisbury, Massachusetts. [9]

Film appearances

Radio appearances

1952Grand Central StationSeed of Doubt[10]

See also


  1. Winn, Mary Day (June 12, 1949). "The Triple Player". The Baltimore Sun. Maryland, Baltimore. p. 141. Retrieved 18 July 2019 via
  2. Backalenick, Irene (November 19, 1967). "Mildred Dunnock in 'Menagerie' Enjoys Challenge of Williams". The Bridgeport Post. Connecticut, Bridgeport. p. E 3. Retrieved 17 July 2019 via
  3. "("Mildred Dunnock" search results)". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  4. Holley, Tim (February 8, 1970). "Mildred Dunnock Ignores Status And Performs Where the Action Is". The Bridgeport Post. Connecticut, Bridgeport. p. 57. Retrieved 18 July 2019 via
  5. Garfield, David (1980). "Birth of The Actors Studio: 1947-1950". A Player's Place: The Story of the Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 52. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. Lewis' class included Herbert Berghof, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Mildred Dunnock, Tom Ewell, John Forsythe, Anne Jackson, Sidney Lumet, Kevin McCarthy, Karl Malden, E.G. Marshall, Patricia Neal, William Redfield, Jerome Robbins, Maureen Stapleton, Beatrice Straight, Eli Wallach, and David Wayne.
  6. Lowry, Cynthia (May 8, 1966). "A Rare Treat: 'Death of a Salesman'". The Tampa Tribune. Florida, Tampa. Associated Press. p. 116. Retrieved 18 July 2019 via
  7. "Mildred Dunnock". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  8. "Theater Hall of Fame Gets 10 New Members". New York Times. May 10, 1983.
  9. Eric Pace (7 July 1991). "Mildred Dunnock, 90, Acclaimed As Broadway's First Mrs. Loman". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  10. Kirby, Walter (February 17, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 40. Retrieved June 1, 2015 via
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