Rosemary Murphy

Rosemary Murphy (January 13, 1925 – July 5, 2014) was an American actress of stage, film, and television. She was nominated for three Tony Awards for her stage work, as well as two Emmy Awards for television work, winning once, for her performance in Eleanor and Franklin (1976).[1][2]

Rosemary Murphy
Murphy in 1970
Born(1925-01-13)January 13, 1925
DiedJuly 5, 2014(2014-07-05) (aged 89)
Years active1949–2010

Biography and career

Murphy was born in Munich, Germany in 1925, the daughter of American parents Mildred (née Taylor) and Robert Daniel Murphy, a diplomat.[3] The family left Germany in 1939 due to the onset of World War II.


Murphy, whose résumé came to include French and German films, attended Manhattanville College and trained as an actress at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and in New York at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio with Sanford Meisner before beginning her career on stage.[4]


She made her stage debut in Germany, in a 1949 production of Peer Gynt. She made her Broadway debut in 1950 in The Tower Beyond Tragedy. She went on to appear in some 15 Broadway productions, most recently in Noël Coward's Waiting in the Wings (1999).[1]

Film and television

She also acted in films and on TV, most notably portraying Sara Delano Roosevelt in the TV miniseries Eleanor and Franklin (1976) and Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977). She played Maudie Atkinson in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) as well as Callie Hacker in Walking Tall (1973). The following year, in 1974, she appeared in the television film A Case of Rape, playing a ruthless defense attorney who brutally cross-examines a rape victim (played by Elizabeth Montgomery) and wins an acquittal for the man who attacked her. Her first soap opera role was Nola Hollister #2 on The Secret Storm from 1969-1970. In 1977, she appeared on All My Children as Maureen Teller Dalton, Eric Kane's former mistress, and the mother of his son, Mark Dalton. In 1988, she played Loretta Fowler for several months, the kleptomaniac mother of Mitch Blake and Sam Fowler on Another World. The following year, she appeared on As the World Turns as Gretel Aldin #2 (a role previously played by Joan Copeland) when her character's son, James Stenbeck, was allegedly murdered. She also appeared in episodes of Columbo and Murder, She Wrote.[2]


Murphy won an Emmy Award for her role in Eleanor and Franklin. She also won a Clarence Derwent Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award and was nominated for two Tony awards.[5]


She died on July 5, 2014 in Manhattan, from esophageal cancer. She was married to the actor Reginald Marsh until his death in 2001 and had four children and two stepchildren.[6]



  1. Rosemary Murphy at the Internet Broadway Database
  2. Rosemary Murphy on IMDb
  3. Rosemary Murphy profile,; accessed July 10, 2014.
  4. Emmy-Winning Legend Rosemary Murphy Dies at 89,; July 10, 2014; accessed July 10, 2014.
  5. Mahan, Bill (December 21, 1972). "Rosemary Murphy Moves into Spotlight". Valley News. p. 85. Retrieved May 3, 2015 via
  6. "'To Kill a Mockingbird' Actress Rosemary Murphy Dies at 89". Retrieved 2014-07-09.
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