A brilliant and sensitive stage actress, she was so shaken by the hostile press reception given the London staging of the Actors' Studio production of Anton Chekhov's "The Three Sisters", in which she played Masha, that she vowed never to act onstage again, and she never did. (The production was torn to shreds by critics who were accustomed to seeing classical actors, not Method actors, in productions of Chekhov.)
After successfully playing the lead in "Bus Stop" on Broadway, she was unsuccessful in her campaign to recreate the part of Cherie in the screen version, and the role went to Marilyn Monroe. Ironically, just two years later, Stanley won an Oscar nomination for "The Goddess," a role loosely based on Monroe's life.
She attended the University of New Mexico and graduated from the University of Texas with a psychology degree.
She worked extensively as an acting teacher after she retreated from the stage. One of her students was Lauren Hutton.
Some sources indicate 1921 as the year of Kim Stanley's birth, but this is not verifiable at this time.
Was good friends with actress Geraldine Page.
Was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic): in 1959, for Eugene O'Neill 's "A Touch of the Poet," and in 1962, for "A Far Country." Although one of Broadway's most esteemed actresses, she never won a Tony.
While appearing on Broadway in "Bus Stop", the highly strung actress kept a waste basket in the wings to throw up in between scenes. Costar Elaine Stritch told her, "Save that sh*t for the Actors Studio".