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Jo Van Fleet Overview:

Character actress, Jo Van Fleet, was born on Dec 30, 1914 in Oakland, CA. Van Fleet died at the age of 81 on Jun 10, 1996 in Queens, New York City .


Incisive and fiercely dominant, Jo Van Fleet made her name by playing women older than herself. Almost entirely a stage personality, she stopped off in Hollywood  just long enough to win an Academy Award for her first screen role as James Dean's mother (at 35) in "East of Eden".

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



Jo Van Fleet was nominated for one Academy Award, winning for Best Supporting Actress for East of Eden (as Kate) in 1955.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1955Best Supporting ActressEast of Eden (1955)KateWon

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

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Jo Van Fleet Quotes:

Arletta: Ya know, sometimes I wished people was like dogs, Luke.

Chuck Glover: [Referring to his drunkenness] I apologize for the other night.
Ella Garth: First and only time I ever liked you!
[Slams the door in his face]

Kate: [after Cal asks why she shot his father] Because he tried to hold me, he tried to tie me down! Nobody holds me!

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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1955

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Jo Van Fleet on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Jo Van Fleet Facts
She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.

Received the 1954 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) in a Play for her performance in Horton Foote's "The Trip to Bountiful," in which she co-starred with Lillian Gish and Eva Marie Saint.

Attended The University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

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