Maureen Stapleton

Maureen Stapleton


6/21/1925, Troy, New York



Birth Name

Lois Maureen Stapleton



Also Known As

Mo, Maureen Allentuck, Maureen Rayfiel
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Maureen Stapleton was an American actress born in the Upstate New York town of Troy. She moved to Manhattan in 1943 to make a living in modeling. After associating with Broadway actors, Stapleton found her calling, and she got her big break starring in a Broadway play opposite…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Maureen appeared on Broadway as a replacement in the Jed Harris 1953 production of Arthur Miller's play The Crucible.

    • Maureen gives a detailed description of her partying days and nights in her 1995 autobiography Hell Of A Life. She also advises in her wisdom, that the 'key' to acting is to keep the audience awake.

    • Maureen thanked 'everyone I've ever met' in her acceptance speech for her Academy Award win for Reds.

    • Maureen became the 10th performer to win the 'Triple Crown' for acting in 1981. She won an Emmy for 'Best Actress in A Drama' for her role in Among The Paths To Eden in 1967, a Tony for 'Best Supporting Actress in a Play' for her role in The Rose Tattoo in 1951, and an Oscar for 'Best Supporting Actress' for her role in Reds in 1981.

    • Maureen received a Grammy Award nomination in the 'Best Spoken Word' category for her 1975 recording of To Kill A Mockingbird.

    • Maureen's hometown of Troy, New York named their Hudson Valley Community College Theatre after her in 1981.

    • Maureen received the Actors Studio Award in 1980 for her contributions to the theatre.

    • Maureen had a ten year romance with George Abbott, the longtime director who also wrote or co-wrote: Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She was 43 years old, and he was 81 when the affair began, and she broke it off after finding him with another woman.

    • Maureen was constantly reminded by her physician to quit living her lifestyle of excess. She needed to quit her cigarette habit, lose about a hundred pounds, and cut back on her alcohol consumption.

    • Maureen was great friends with Marilyn Monroe, who was only one year younger than her. She felt sorry for Marilyn for being stereotyped into the blonde, ditzy roles that she was stuck with.

    • Maureen developed the habit of pacing back and forth across the stage during her performances, becuase she was fearful of being shot while on stage. The constant movement was annoying and distracting to the other actors, but kept her would be assasin from being able to aim at her, she believed.

    • Maureen met Marlon Brando, who often crashed at her one bedroom New York City apartment, at the 'Actor's Studio'.

    • Maureen was a self confessed 'roaring drunk', who couldn't wait for the curtain to go down to get at her bottle of Vodka. Her father was an alcoholic as well.

    • Maureen would have had more roles, if she would have been more accessible for travel. She refused to travel in airplanes, and would not use an elevator. If she needed to get across the ocean, she traveled solely by ship. If she needed to go across the country, she rode a train. No exceptions were ever made.

    • Maureen was physically different from the other actresses of her time, at the age of seventeen, she weighed 180 lbs and didn't bother with the 'glamour' of hair and makeup.

    • Maureen made her Broadway debut in 1946, in the Burgess Meredith production of The Playboy of The Western World.

    • Maureen begann her career as an actress in the theater, attending the Herbert Berghot School of Acting to refine her skill.

    • She won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in 1970 for her portrayal of Inez Guerrero in the movie Airport.

    • She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1982 for her portrayal of E.G/ Emma Goldman in the movie Reds.

      Winning this Oscar made Maureen Stapleton the 4th consecutive actress with the initials M.S. named Best Supporting Actress. The previous recipients were Mary Steenburgen, Meryl Streep and Maggie Smith.

  • Quotes

    • Maureen: I have never been considered a 'classic beauty' by Hollywood's standards. As a matter of fact, the first words out of the director's mouth is usually 'Jesus, I hope she can act'.