Anne Revere was an American stage, film, and television actress born on June 25, 1903, in New York City. Coming from a well-to-do family, she could afford an excellent education, which included attending Wellesley College where she graduated in 1926.
While initially planning to become a teacher, Revere switched her focus to acting and began her career on stage. She honed her craft in summer stock and touring companies before making her Broadway debut in 1931. Throughout the 1930s, she established herself as a prominent stage actress.
Her transition to films came in 1934, but it wasn't until the 1940s that she gained significant recognition. With her solemn, authoritative presence and a rich, resonant voice, Revere became known for her portrayals of matriarchs, family friends, and strong-willed women in a wide range of movies. She often played roles that were older than her actual age.
Revere's notable film work includes:
- The Song of Bernadette (1943), in which she portrayed Bernadette's mother and received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
- National Velvet (1944), where she played Elizabeth Taylor's mother and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
- Gentleman's Agreement (1947), Eli Kazan's film about antisemitism, for which she earned another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
However, her film career abruptly slowed down in the late 1940s. Revere was a victim of the Hollywood blacklist during the McCarthy era. In 1951, she was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) but refused to name names and subsequently found herself blacklisted in Hollywood.
Despite being blacklisted, Revere continued acting in the theater and started appearing on television in the 1950s and 1960s. Her film work during these decades was sparse, mostly because of the blacklist, but she returned to the big screen in 1970 with a role in Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon.
Anne Revere's later years saw her take to the stage again, with roles in productions like "A Place To Stay" and "The Crucible." Her television appearances included roles in series such as "The Waltons" and "Ryan's Hope."
She died of pneumonia on December 18, 1990, in Locust Valley, New York, leaving behind a legacy as a respected character actress both on stage and on screen. Revere's career reflects both the opportunities and the challenges actors faced during the mid-20th century, particularly during the politically tumultuous McCarthy era. Despite the setbacks, she is still remembered for her strong performances and her Academy Award win.
For more detailed information about her career and life, you can refer to theatre and film databases, biographies, and historical accounts of Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s.