Horse-faced, outspoken character actress Edna May Oliver was born Edna May Nutter, November 9, 1883, in Malden, Mass. She was a direct descendant of president John Quincy Adams. Edna took an interest in stage, and quit school at age 14 to perform in theater.
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Edna auditioned for the parts of the both the Good Witch and Wicked Witch in 1939's The Wizard of Oz, but the director didn't feel she was right for either.
Edna's catchphrase was a long, drawn-out "Oh, reaaallly", which she used in many of her films. It was also frequently used by caricatures of her in 1930s cartoons.
Director Frank Tuttle didn't appreciate Edna's comical antics while filming, and on several occasions told other actors "You've got to not look at her or something."
Actress Esther Ralston, who worked twice with Edna, once said "She was just priceless and so funny! She would make one of those funny faces in the middle of a serious scene, and I would break up."
Actress Lois Wilson once said that Edna was "Just as witty off-stage as on. She was a great comedienne and a woman with a very fine mind."
Edna's favorite film of her own was 1924's Icebound.
Edna died on her 59th birthday.
Although Edna had been a Shakespearean actress on stage, the 1936 film Romeo and Juliet was her only Shakespearean film.
Edna's best friend was actress Virginia Hammond, who was at her side the day she died. Virginia later said that "She died without ever being aware of the gravity of her condition. She just went peacefully asleep."
Edna acted in 48 films between 1923 and 1941.
Edna made her film debut in 1923 with Wife in Name Only.
Edna was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1939 film Drums Along The Mohawk, but didn't win.
Edna has a Star on the Walk of Fame.
Edna married David Welford Pratt in 1928, and divorced him in 1933. They had no children.
Edna was 5'7" tall.
Edna: With a horse face like mine, what else can I do but play comedy?