Mercedes McCambridge

Mercedes McCambridge

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 342-343. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.

Born 5:00am - CST

During filming of Johnny Guitar (1954) she and Joan Crawford' fought both on and off the set. One night, in a drunken rage, Crawford scattered the costumes worn by McCambridge along an Arizona highway. Cast and crew had to collect the outfits.

Had one son, John Lawrence Fifield who later adopted the Markle surname. In 1987 he killed his wife, children and then himself.

Of Irish Catholic extraction, and educated at Catholic schools.

Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" bu Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).

She was originally not credited for her voice work on The Exorcist (1973) after director William Friedkin assured her that she would be. An appeal by her to the Screen Actors Guild rectified this matter, and a new print of the film was made with her name in the credits.

Suffered from bronchitis for the most part of her life. She later revealed she was able to use this to her advantage for the chilling, unearthly breathing of the demon in The Exorcist (1973).

The hat she wore in Giant (1956) was given to her by Gary Cooper.

Was a member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theater, together with Agnes Moorehead, with whom she appeared as Endora's old nemesis, Carlotta, in an episode of "Bewitched" (1964).

Was nominated for Broadway's 1972 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks."