Patty McCormack Overview:

Actress, Patty McCormack, was born Patricia Ellen Russo on Aug 21, 1945 in Brooklyn, NY. As of December 2023, Patty McCormack was 78 years old.

Early life on the stage

Patty McCormack was born Patricia Ellen Russo on August 21, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Elizabeth, was a professional roller skater and her father, Frank, was a fireman. McCormack was introduced to the world of show business while just a toddler, becoming model at the age of four. In the next three years should start appearing on the screen, both big and small. In 1951 she made her silver screen debut with a bit part in the Alfred E. Green comedy Two Gals and a Guy. Two years later, McCormack would go onto to co-star as Ingeborg in the 1953 TV series Mama, which would last three seasons. In 1954 the child actress would go on to star in the role that make her most infamous, that of the chillingly malevolent young girl, Rhoda Penmark in stage render of the William March novel, The Bad Seed. Opened at the 46th street theater and was was an instant hit, going on last over 334 performances.

Film and Television career

In 1956 she would return to the big screen with Melvin LeRoy's adaptation of The Bad Seed. The film was a resound success, becoming one of Warner Brother's biggest hits of the year, grossing over 4 million dollars in the U.S alone and would go on to gain four Academy Awards nomination.  Amongst the nomination was one for the 11 year old Patty McCormack for Best Supporting actress. Other nominations included Best Actress, Best Black + White Cinematography and another Best supporting Actress for Eileen Heckart. The next year she returned to the small screen to play the role of Helen Keller in William Gibson's The Miracle Worker.

Finding film work, however, would prove more difficult for the maturing actress, as the popular movie going audience couldn't shake their collective memory of The Bad Seed. Although she attempted a variety of roles in films like All Mine to Give, Kathy O', and The Explosive Generation, Many had difficulty not seeing the malice filled killer Rhonda Penmark. She continued to get roles lesser quality in the mid to the late 1960's low-level film like Mary Jane and The Young Animals.  Although her filmic career was dwindling, she remained a popular sight on TV screen across the U.S. By the 1970's she began to take more roles on television, losing her child-star status as she blossomed into a mature actress.

Later Career

From the 1970's onward McCormack would remain a television staple. In the 1970s she guest starred in popular series such as Barnaby Jones, Marcus Welby, M.D and The Love Boat. In 1980 she was a series regular on the short lived Threes Company spinoff The Ropers. For the next three decades McCormick remained primarily a small screen actress, appearing on series like Remmington Steele, Murder, She Wrote, Baywatch  and ER, on occasions billing herself as 'Patricia McCormick."  She eventually made her way back to the big screen with independent films like Mommy, Silent Predators, and the short film The Silencing. McCormack has continued her career into the new millennium, appearing in a  popular shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Cold Case and Criminal Mind. From 2002-2006 McCormick played the recurring role of Liz La Cerva in the critically acclaimed series The Sopranos. She then returned to the big screen in 2008 playing Pat Nixon in critically acclaimed Ron Howard film Frost/Nixon. She recently worked on the Series Hart of Dixie and recently completed work on the 2015 Charles Dennis comedy Chicanery.

(Source: article by Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub).



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

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1956Best Supporting ActressThe Bad Seed (1956)Rhoda PenmarkNominated

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

BlogHub Articles:

Wednesday's Child:

By Beth Daniels on Jul 30, 2014 From Mildred's Fatburgers

Born Patricia Ellen Russo in Brooklyn August 21, 1945 Way better than the movie. What'll You Give Me for a Basket of Kisses? A basket of "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggghhhh!!"I didn't really know anything about 's post-Bad Seed work until just this morning, a... Read full article

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Patty McCormack Quotes:

Rhoda: You tell lies like that, you won't go to Heaven when you die!

Mrs. Katie Sommers: What do you mean "prove" your love?
Janet Sommers: Well if you don't know, maybe you'd better ask DAD!

Rhoda: I like apricot juice, it doesn't even need ice.

read more quotes from Patty McCormack...

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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1956

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Patty McCormack on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Patty McCormack Facts
Is one of Hollywood's Youngest Academy Award and Golden Globe Nominees (Best Supporting Actress for The Bad Seed).

Received the Milky Way Gold Star Award as the nation's most outstanding juvenile performer of 1956.

Has a "Star" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just off the corner of Hollywood and Vine.

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