Job Actress
Years active 1910-1961
Known for Motherly types, husky voice and sympathetic nature
Top Roles Aunt Belle, Susan Throssel, Melissa Frake, Mrs. Amelia Tilford, Mrs. Thornway
Top GenresDrama, Comedy, Romance, Musical, Film Adaptation, War
Top TopicsBased on Play, Remake, Book-Based
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Producer), (Director),
Shares birthday with Louis Prima, Frances Gifford, Eli Wallach  see more..

Fay Bainter Overview:

Legendary character actress, Fay Bainter, was born Fay Okell Bainter on Dec 7, 1893 in Los Angeles, CA. Bainter died at the age of 74 on Apr 16, 1968 in Los Angeles, CA and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.


Dark-haired and dark-eyed with a soothing smile, Fay Bainter was expert at playing motherly types. Her attractively husky voice and sympathetic nature made her a top featured attraction throughout the late 1930's and early 1940's. Her double nomination as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in 1938 (she won the latter Oscar for Jezebel) led to a change in the Academy rules. Her other Oscar nomination was for The Children's Hour in 1962.

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



Fay Bainter was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one for Best Supporting Actress for Jezebel (as Aunt Belle Massey) in 1938.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1938Best ActressWhite Banners (1938)HannahNominated
1938Best Supporting ActressJezebel (1938)Aunt Belle MasseyWon
1961Best Supporting ActressThe Children's Hour (1961)Mrs. Amelia TilfordNominated

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

BlogHub Articles:

Classic Movie Travels:

By Annette Bochenek on Apr 6, 2019 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Classic Movie Travels: Actress was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960. American actress Fay Okell Bainter was a familiar face in many films throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Typically playi... Read full article

Classic Film Art from the Cafe's Collection: and Mickey Rooney in "The Human Comedy"

By Rick29 on Apr 22, 2015 From Classic Film & TV Cafe

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Fay Bainter Quotes:

Dr. Livingstone: You might be interested in a bit of news I got today... Preston Dillard's coming back. Arrives Friday on the packet
Aunt Belle: What brings him?
Dr. Livingstone: This yellow fever business. We two started together on what 'oughta be done about it. Now its busted loose he's comin' back
Aunt Belle: It's high time. I suspect I know Julie like nobody ever will. Every crook and cranny of her
Dr. Livingstone: You 'oughta miss Belle, she's more like you than you ever where
Aunt Belle: Maybe I'll love her most when she's meanest, because I know thats when shes lovin' most.

Paul Ward: You don't think I have a fighting chance!
Hannah: I don't think you have a chance, fighting!

[after the duel between Buck Cantrell and Ted Dillard ends tragically]
Julie Marsden: Well say it. What are you thinkin'?
Aunt Belle: I'm thinkin' of a woman called Jezebel who did evil in the sight of God.

read more quotes from Fay Bainter...

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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1938

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Fay Bainter on the
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Fay Bainter Facts
Mother of Richard Venable.

Her husband (1890-1964) was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy.

Buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Her husband was a military officer who is buried there.

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