Edna May Oliver Overview:

Character actress, Edna May Oliver, was born Edna May Nutter on Nov 9, 1883 in Malden, MA. May Oliver died at the age of 59 on Nov 9, 1942 in Los Angeles, CA and was laid to rest in Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) Cemetery in Glendale, CA.

MINI BIO:

Edna May Oliver was one of Hollywood's invaluable 'horse-faced' character actresses. Her characters possessed arched eyebrows, a purposeful stare and a disapproving sniff -- and stood no nonsense from anyone. A delight as spinsters, schoolteachers, and sleuths in three mid-thirties who-done-its, she died from an intestinal disorder on her 59th birthday. 

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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Although May Oliver was nominated for one Oscar, she never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1939Best Supporting ActressDrums along the Mohawk (1939)Sarah McKlennarNominated
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She was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

Supporting Players:

By Amanda Garrett on Apr 14, 2015 From Old Hollywood Films

Character actress played many a strong-willed matriarch in her career. Here she is as Mrs. McKlennar in Drums Along the Mohawk (1939). delighted audiences throughout the 1930s and 1940s with her witty portrayals of independent women in literary adaptations, mur... Read full article


Know Your Character Actor –

By smumcountry on Jul 20, 2013 From Smum County

July 20, 2013 by smumcounty was born Edna May Nutter in 1883 in Malden, Massachusetts, a direct descendant of the sixth President, John Quincy Adams. She left school at the age of fourteen to pursue a career on stage and found her first real success on Broadway in 1917 in Jerome Ker... Read full article


Know Your Character Actor –

By smumcountry on Jul 20, 2013 From Smum County

July 20, 2013 by smumcounty was born Edna May Nutter in 1883 in Malden, Massachusetts, a direct descendant of the sixth President, John Quincy Adams. She left school at the age of fourteen to pursue a career on stage and found her first real success on Broadway in 1917 in Jerome Ker... Read full article


Happy Birthday: !

By Dawn on Nov 9, 2010 From Noir and Chick Flicks

, was a descendant of the sixth American president, John Quincy Adams. She left school at age fourteen in order to perform on Broadway in Jerome Kern's musical comedy, Oh, Boy! (1917). Her film debut was in the film, Wife in Name Only(1923). Oliver first gained notice for her perform... Read full article


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Edna May Oliver Quotes:

Sheridan 'Sherry': Why don't women trust me?
Mrs. Fanny 'Grandma' Townsend: Maybe they know you.


Roger Wendling: This young lady wants to give you money to pay the rent on the hotel.
Sarah Wendling: Nonsense! So you've gone in for social service, have you?
Roger Wendling: Not exactly, Aunt Sarah, I just met an acquaintance.
Betsy Brown: There's almost five dollars in here, and I'm sure Pop will have the rest for you very soon.
Willoughby Wendling: Bless my soul!
Sarah Wendling: Keep your soul out of this. You will please get rid of this child.
Roger Wendling: But Aunt Sarah...
Sarah Wendling: If those people next door think they can play on my sympathy like this, they are greatly mistaken. I'll have my rent, all of it, or out they go.


Oscar Piper: I suggest using your head a little.
Hildegarde Withers: That'd be nice work for you, Oscar, if you could get it.


read more quotes from Edna May Oliver...



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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1939






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Edna May Oliver on the
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Edna May Oliver Facts
In her main films her character was often that of an outspoken aunt.

Edna May Oliver was often parodied in Warner Brothers cartoons of the 30s due to her distinctive face.

Interred at Forest Lawn (Glendale), Glendale, California, USA, in the Great Mausoleum, Columbarium of Security.

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