Ethel Waters Overview:

Legendary actress, Ethel Waters, was born on Oct 31, 1896 in Chester, PA. Waters died at the age of 80 on Sep 1, 1977 in Chatsworth, CA .

HONORS and AWARDS:

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Although Waters was nominated for one Oscar, she never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1949Best Supporting ActressPinky (1949)GrannyNominated
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Ethel Waters Quotes:

John Henry: Berenice, which eye's your mind's eye?
Berenice Sadie Brown: Don't yank my head back like that, Candy. Frankie and I aren't going to go flying through the ceiling.


Petunia Jackson: [after she runs Jim Henry and his crony off] Oh, Lord! Please forgive me for backsliding, but sometimes when you fight the Devil you've got to jab him with his own pitchfork!


John Henry: Mean old bossy Frankie!
Berenice Sadie Brown: Just what is she doing that's so mean? Just trying to get some rest.


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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1949






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Ethel Waters Facts
Waters made headlines in January 1957 when she appeared on the game show "Break the $250,000 Bank" and announced that she was broke and needed the money to pay off back taxes owed to the I.R.S. She won $10,000 by the end of her second week (her winning category was religious music) when the show was abruptly canceled. She accepted the chance to appear on the new show, "Hold That Note" but she wasn't the winner when she appeared on the first episode of the new series.

Won a Joseph Jefferson Award as Best Guest Artist in a Locally Produced Play in 1970 for her performance in "The Member of the Wedding" at the Ivanhoe Theatre in Chicago. The award was presented to her by Cyd Charisse.

Waters has had three of her recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame: "Dinah" (Columbia Records, 1925) in 1998; "Stormy Weather" (Brunswick Records, 1933) in 2003; and "Am I Blue?" (Columbia Records, 1929) in 2007. Her "Stormy Weather" recording was also inducted into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry in 2004.

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