Eileen Heckart Overview:

Character actress, Eileen Heckart, was born Anna Eileen Heckart on Mar 29, 1919 in Columbus, OH. Heckart died at the age of 82 on Dec 31, 2001 in Norwalk, CT .

Thin-faced with tautly curly hair, Eileen Heckart arrived in Hollywood in 1956. After success on Broadway, Heckart looked set to become a regular part of the cinema scene, but soon returned to stage work, reappearing in 1970's films only long enough to snatch an Oscar for "Butterflies Are Free", having already bagged an Emmy in 1967 for "Win Me A Place at Forest Lawn". Most of her characters were only happy when haranguing their fellows. Also nominated for an Academy Award for "The Bad Seed". 

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



Eileen Heckart was nominated for two Academy Awards, winning one for Best Supporting Actress for Butterflies Are Free (as Mrs. Baker) in 1972.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1956Best Supporting ActressThe Bad Seed (1956)Mrs. DaigleNominated
1972Best Supporting ActressButterflies Are Free (1972)Mrs. BakerWon

She was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

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Eileen Heckart Quotes:

Mrs. Brummel: So, what do you, what do you do with her, go to mass?
Morris Brummel: No, we just... we walk and we talk.
Mrs. Brummel: Oh, please, please. I don't want to hear another word. Already I won't sleep another wink tonight. Please, don't say another word.
Mrs. Brummel: Morris...
Morris Brummel: I thought you didn't want to hear any more?
Mrs. Brummel: Aw, you think I want to? You think I want... I'm in agony. I... I... It's my duty. Go on, go on.
Morris Brummel: Well, she... her, her name is Katherine. Katherine. Katherine Palmer.
Mrs. Brummel: Short, blonde, beautiful?
Morris Brummel: No, she's, er, she's, she's tall and er, she's only got one eye right in the middle of her forehead.
Mrs. Brummel: Of course. Of course. She'll break your heart!

Mrs. Brummel: So where you going to take her?
Morris Brummel: Who?
Mrs. Brummel: Kate Palmer.
Morris Brummel: Nowhere.
Mrs. Brummel: Nowhere? That's a place, nowhere?
Morris Brummel: We're going to have dinner at her place.
Mrs. Brummel: You mean her own apartment?
Morris Brummel: That's right.
Mrs. Brummel: The two of you, alone?
Morris Brummel: Well, we were going to invite the strangler, but he couldn't make it.
Mrs. Brummel: Oh, sure, sure. Make fun. Ridicule.

Hortense Daigle: He was such a lovely, dear little boy. He used to say I was his sweetheart and he was going to marry me when he grew up. I would laugh so. "No you won't. You'll forget about me long before then. You'll find a prettier girl and marry her." And do you know what he said then? "No, I won't. 'Cause there isn't a prettier girl in the whole world than you are."

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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1972

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Eileen Heckart Facts
Her trademark, hoarse voice was caused by an early bout of whooping cough.

She was the only performer (besides Edward Asner, of course) to have reprised a role (Flo Meredith) on "Lou Grant" (1977) that originated on "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970).

Won a Special Tony Award in 2000 for "excellence in theatre." Previously, she has received three Tony nominations as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic): in 1958 for William Inge's "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs," in 1961 for "Invitation to a March," and in 1970 for "Butterflies Are Free," the last recreated in her Oscar-winning performance in the film version with the same title, Butterflies Are Free (1972).

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