Job Actress
Years active 1910-1961
Known for Motherly types, husky voice and sympathetic nature
Top Roles Aunt Belle, Melissa Frake, Mrs. Amelia Tilford, Mrs. Thornway, Mrs. Gibbs
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:

Melissa Frake: Abel Frake, I am not putting liquor in my cooking!

Henry Linden: [Referring to Maggie] Hannah, isn't she all I said?
Hannah Linden: [Cattily] I'm sure she is, Henry, and more.

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

read more quotes from Fay Bainter...

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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1938

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Fay Bainter on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Fay Bainter Facts
One of the ten thespians to have been nominated for both a supporting and lead acting Academy Award in the same year for two different movies. The other nine are Teresa Wright, Cate Blanchett, Barry Fitzgerald (he was nominated in both categories for the same role in the same movie), Jessica Lange, Sigourney Weaver, Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, Holly Hunter, Julianne Moore and Jamie Foxx. Bainter was the first to have ever been nominated for both awards in the same year.

Aunt of actress Dorothy Burgess.

Mother of Richard Venable.

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