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Favourite Performances by an Actress in a Supporting Role


Bogie56
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I'm sure this thread has existed before.  But if we are sharing our views may I offer some of my favourites:

 

1) Shelley Winters, Lolita (1962)

2) Margaret Rutherford, Blithe Spirit (1945)

3) Jane Darwell, The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

4) Kim Hunter, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

5) Mieko Harada, Ran (1985)

6) Mercedes McCambridge, All the King's Men (1949)

7) Marie Dressler, Anna Christie (1930)

8) Susan Tyrell, Fat City (1972)

9) Fay Bainter, Jezebel (1938)

10) Bibi Andersson, Scenes From a Marriage (1973)

11) Lila Kedrova, Zorba the Greek (1964)

12) Claire Trevor, Key Largo (1948)

 

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I really don't care for Mary Astor but in the film Dodsworth, even though she didn't have that many scenes I thought she was outstanding. And ever since this movie I can't stand any film Ruth Chatterton is in. I despised her character so much that it's actually very difficult for me to get passed her persona in Dodsworth, I know she's just acting but I have known a couple people who mirrored her character in real life. Just keep telling myself it's just a movie.

 

OBJ

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Great list. There are way too many performances I love to remember them all. This one comes to mind: love Thelma Ritter in everything, but REAR WINDOW wouldn't be a classic without her performance.rear-window.jpg

It's hard to believe she was nominated for six Oscars and didn't win one. I always felt like she wasn't playing a role but just being herself. That's what I like about classic movies, the good actors don't seem to be actors they seem like they are real.

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I define "supporting" roles by Carrie Fisher's (& Bruno Kirby's) performance in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. 

 

The story would have been flat and one dimensional with just the two leading charactor's stories.

 

Carrie Fisher is likable & amusing but never stale with her repeated line, "You're right, you're right....I KNOW you're right." The role supports the story showing another aspect of dating angst. 

You cheer when she finally leaves the married man and laugh when she throws Kirby's wagon wheel coffee table to the curb. 

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I'm sure this thread has existed before.  But if we are sharing our views may I offer some of my favourites:

 

1) Shelley Winters, Lolita (1962)

2) Margaret Rutherford, Blithe Spirit (1945)

3) Jane Darwell, The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

4) Kim Hunter, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

5) Mieko Harada, Ran (1985)

6) Mercedes McCambridge, All the King's Men (1949)

7) Marie Dressler, Anna Christie (1930)

8) Susan Tyrell, Fat City (1972)

9) Fay Bainter, Jezebel (1938)

10) Bibi Andersson, Scenes From a Marriage (1973)

11) Lila Kedrova, Zorba the Greek (1964)

12) Claire Trevor, Key Largo (1948)

I think the best is Thelma Ritter in PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET

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Margaret Dumont, Duck Soup

Agnes Moorhead, The Magnificent Ambersons

Margaret O'Brien, Meet me in St. Louis

Martha Raye, Monsieur Verdoux

Setsuko Hara, Tokyo Story

Nanette Fabray, The Band Wagon

Isuzu Yamada, Throne of Blood

Bibi Andersson, The Seventh Seal

Barbara Bel Geddes, Vertigo

Shelly Winters, Lolita

Claudia Cardinale, The Leopard

Anne Wiazemsky, Au Hasard Baltazar

Francoise Dorleac, The Young Girls of Rochefort

Lauren Bacall, Murder on the Orient Express

Grun Wallgren, Fanny and Alexander

Lena Olin, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Christina Ricci, The Addams Family

Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Secrets and Lies

Melora Walters, Magnolia

Charlotte Gainsborough, Melancholia

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Margaret Dumont, Duck Soup

Agnes Moorhead, The Magnificent Ambersons

Margaret O'Brien, Meet me in St. Louis

Martha Raye, Monsieur Verdoux

Setsuko Hara, Tokyo Story

Nanette Fabray, The Band Wagon

Isuzu Yamada, Throne of Blood

Bibi Andersson, The Seventh Seal

Barbara Bel Geddes, Vertigo

Shelly Winters, Lolita

Claudia Cardinale, The Leopard

Anne Wiazemsky, Au Hasard Baltazar

Francoise Dorleac, The Young Girls of Rochefort

Lauren Bacall, Murder on the Orient Express

Grun Wallgren, Fanny and Alexander

Lena Olin, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Christina Ricci,

The Addams Family

 

I'm sure this thread has existed before.  But if we are sharing our views may I offer some of my favourites:

 

1) Shelley Winters, Lolita (1962)

2) Margaret Rutherford, Blithe Spirit (1945)

3) Jane Darwell, The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

4) Kim Hunter, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

5) Mieko Harada, Ran (1985)

6) Mercedes McCambridge, All the King's Men (1949)

7) Marie Dressler, Anna Christie (1930)

8) Susan Tyrell, Fat City (1972)

9) Fay Bainter, Jezebel (1938)

10) Bibi Andersson, Scenes From a Marriage (1973)

11) Lila Kedrova, Zorba the Greek (1964)

12) Claire Trevor, Key Largo (1948)

 

Eleonora Brown, Two Women (1960) I still well up when watching this movie.

 

Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Secrets and Lies

Melora Walters, Magnolia

Two

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I would say Olivia De Havilland in Gone With The Wind (but some would say she was a co-star even with the Oscar nomination for best supporting).

 

So for someone that was a clearly in a supporting role I would say Mary Astor in Act of Violence.

Interesting, because I would say that the best performance by an actress in a LEAD role was Olivia in THE HEIRESS.

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Glad someone mentioned Francoise Dorleac in LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT, though I'd call her a co-star myself :)

 

Hitchcock films are full of great supporting performances such as

Jessie Royce Landis in TO CATCH A THIEF & NORTH BY NORTHWEST

Marion Lorne in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

Patricia Collinge in SHADOW OF A DOUBT

Judith Anderson in REBECCA

Mildred Natwick in THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY

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Well, seein' as how the topic thread's title says "Favorite"(though of course spelled with that superfluous 'u' up there...wink wink) Performance by a Supporting Actress and that it doesn't say what is usually considered "the best" ever by an actress, I'm going to say that of that little cutie Marisa Tomei's Oscar winning performance in MY COUSIN VINNY is one of MY favorites.

 

(...and truth be told, I'll bet a whole lot of OTHER guys around here probably feel this way TOO, now doncha guys?!!!!) ;)

 

Oh, and btw...if there is anyone around here who thinks Marisa "can't act", I'd advise them to watch her in 2001's IN THE BEDROOM, an excellent film with excellent performances done by ALL concerned.

Edited by Dargo
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Oh, and btw...if there is anyone around here who thinks Marisa "can't act", I'd advise them to watch her in 2001's IN THE BEDROOM, an excellent film with excellent performances done by ALL concerned.

 

Hey a woman's performance "acting" in the bedroom is a given.....

laugh.gif

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Jean "Of course I can talk, don't everbody" Hagen in Singin' in the Rain.

Mildred Dunnock  in Peyton Place. True grace under pressure.

Ona Munson in Gone With the Wind.  Belle's unspoken love for Rhett is so obvious and heartbreaking.  Why didn't he open his eyes and see what was in front of him? 

 

I agree the Catherine Burns mention.  The role spoke for so many of us who weren't beauty queens even if it was a tragic one.

 

Thelma Ritter-the patron saint of supporting actresses.  Her final scene in POSS chokes me up every time.

 

Supporting players are/were the backbone of films and TV.  They get/got to really act in a variety of roles rather than get pigeonholed in a specific image as stars often are/were.  My mom, trying to discourage my ambitions, told me once that if I ever went into acting my looks wouldn't get me past character parts.  I wish she'd been right because if I had been any good that would have been a great deal and left me with a lot to take pride in.

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Jean "Of course I can talk, don't everbody" Hagen in Singin' in the Rain.

Mildred Dunnock  in Peyton Place. True grace under pressure.

Ona Munson in Gone With the Wind.  Belle's unspoken love for Rhett is so obvious and heartbreaking.  Why didn't he open his eyes and see what was in front of him? 

 

I agree the Catherine Burns mention.  The role spoke for so many of us who weren't beauty queens even if it was a tragic one.

 

Thelma Ritter-the patron saint of supporting actresses.  Her final scene in POSS chokes me up every time.

 

Supporting players are/were the backbone of films and TV.  They get/got to really act in a variety of roles rather than get pigeonholed in a specific image as stars often are/were.  My mom, trying to discourage my ambitions, told me once that if I ever went into acting my looks wouldn't get me past character parts.  I wish she'd been right because if I had been any good that would have been a great deal and left me with a lot to take pride in.

Chokes me up too.

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Christina Ricci in 'The Ice Storm' (1997).

 

Frankly, there are several movies which can be cited for this superb actress.

 

As mentioned by skimpole, she was great in 'The Addams Family'. Her magnetism was in full force quite early, and that's the film where we first really noticed it.

 

'Monster' (2003) certainly comes to mind quickly as a tremendous supporting performance, as well.

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Christina Ricci in 'The Ice Storm' (1997).

 

Frankly, there are several movies which can be cited for this superb actress.

 

As mentioned by skimpole, she was great in 'The Addams Family'. Her magnetism was in full force quite early, and that's the film where we first really noticed it.

 

'Monster' (2003) certainly comes to mind quickly as a tremendous supporting performance, as well.

 

I agree.   Ricci is one of my favorite actresses.    As you say 'her magnetism' is what gets me.   Hard to really pin that down but she has a quality that draws one to her. 

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The English actress Margaret Wycherly gives a particularly fine performance as Mother York, a Tennessee countrywoman, in Sergeant York. Her performance is one of my favorite supporting performances. She was nominated for an Oscar.

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The English actress Margaret Wycherly gives a particularly fine performance as Mother York, a Tennessee countrywoman, in Sergeant York. Her performance is one of my favorite supporting performances. She was nominated for an Oscar.

 

And a few years later she was a totally different kind of mother, Mrs. Jarrett, in White Heat.  I think she got an Oscar nomination for that as well, if not she should have.  What a talented lady!

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The English actress Margaret Wycherly gives a particularly fine performance as Mother York, a Tennessee countrywoman, in Sergeant York. Her performance is one of my favorite supporting performances. She was nominated for an Oscar.

 

And a few years later she was a totally different kind of mother, Mrs. Jarrett, in White Heat.  I think she got an Oscar nomination for that as well, if not she should have.  What a talented lady!

It seems as if many of the character performers play a wider variety of roles than many of the leading performers, who often seem to play themselves. The character performers get a lot of credit for stretching their acting chops. The fans of the leading performers get used to seeing them in certain types of roles, and they are thus reluctant to deviate very often.

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