Peterson, Lenka 1925–

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Peterson, Lenka 1925–

(Lenka Petersen)


Original name, Betty Ann Isacson; born October 16, 1925, in Omaha, NE; daughter of Sven (a physician) and Lenke (a lab technician; maiden name, Leinweber) Isacson; married Daniel P. O'Connor (a film and news producer), May 8, 1948; children: Kevin, Brian, Darren, Glynnis (an actress), Sean (a digital movie effects artist). Education: Attended University of Iowa, 1943–45, and Northwestern University, 1945; trained for the stage at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan and with Robert Lewis, Sanford Meisner, Etienne DeCreux, Anna Sokol, and Mimi Kellerman. Avocational Interests: Reading, playing the piano, swimming, driving.

Career: Actress and director. Portrayed various roles, Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, Waterford, CT. Previously worked as an NBC Guide, 1945.

Member: Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; New Rochelle Council of the Arts.

Awards, Honors: Dorothy Maguire Award, best actress, Omaha Community Playhouse, 1942; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best actress in a featured role—musical, Helen Hayes Award nomination, Washington Theatre Awards Society, 1985, both for Quilters.


Stage Appearances:

(Stage debut) Doll Susan, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Omaha Community Playhouse, Omaha, NE, 1937.

(Broadway debut) Years Ago, Mansfield Theatre, 1947.

Orphie, Bathsheba, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1947.

Ella, Sundown Beach, Belasco Theatre, New York City, 1948.

Jenny Nelson, Harvest of Years, Hudson Theatre, New York City, 1948.

Selma Keeney, The Young and Fair, Fulton Theatre, New York City, 1948–49.

Maude Riordan, The Grass Harp, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, 1952.

Kitty, The Time of Your Life, City Center Theatre, New York City, 1955.

Binnie Brookman, Girls of Summer, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1956–57.

Laura, Look Homeward, Angel, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 1957.

Mary Follett, All the Way Home, Belasco Theatre, 1960.

Various roles, Brecht on Brecht, Theatre de Lys, New York City, 1962.

Mary Mercer, Leaving Home, Theatre of the Riverside Church, New York City, 1974.

Rose Kirk, Nuts, New York City, 1980.

Mrs. Hardcastle, She Stoops to Conquer, Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY, 1982.

Kate, All My Sons, Philadelphia Drama Guild, Philadelphia, PA, 1982.

Ada Dahl and Mrs. Krekelberg, Levitation, Circle Repertory Theatre, New York City, 1984.

Sarah, Quilters, Jack Lawrence Theatre, New York City, 1984.

Polly Lowenthal, Cliffhanger, Lambs Theatre, New York City, 1985.

Bea Sullivan, Other People's Money, Minetta Lane Theatre, New York City, 1989–91.

Also appeared as Mrs. Krekelberg, El Bravo, Entermedia Theatre, New York City; Charlotte, Little Footsteps, Playwrights Horizons Theatre, New York City; Lucy Potter, The Bone Ring, Theatre of the Open Eye, New York City; Sally, Threads, Paul Green Theatre, Chapel Hill, NC; Mrs. Light, Dynamo, Syracuse Stage, Syracuse, NY; Madame Parnell, Tartuffe and Aunt Martha, Arsenic and Old Lace, Hartman Theatre, Stamford, CT; title role, Candida, Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT; Henny, Bosoms and Neglect, Charles Playhouse, Boston, MA; Mrs. Stilson, Wings, Met Theatre, Los Angeles; Henny, Bosoms and Neglect, Aunt Abby, Arsenic and Old Lace, Ethel, On Golden Pond, all Trinity Square Theatre, Providence, RI; Bessie, Madonna of the Power Room, Portland Stage Company, Portland, ME; Dorothea, Eleemosynary, Philadelphia Festival Theatre, Philadelphia, PA; Linda, Death of a Salesman, Actors Theatre, Louisville, KY; Eleanor, A Lion in Winter, Westchester Theatre, NY; Selma, The Young and the Fair, New York City.

Major Tours:

Kiss and Tell, USO Pacific tour, 1945–46.

Film Appearances:

(Film debut) Ann, Answer for Ann, 1948.

Ruth Gates, Take Care of My Little Girl, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950.

(Uncredited) Jeanette, Panic in the Streets, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950.

Mary Jo Patterson, The Phoenix City Story, Allied Artists Pictures Corp., 1955.

(As Lenka Petersen) Mrs. Griffin, Black Like Me, United Artists, 1964.

Mother, Homer, National General Pictures, 1970.

Senator, The Werewolf of Washington, Diplomat, 1973.

Mrs. Carlson, Lifeguard, Paramount, 1976.

Walls of Glass (also known as Flanagan), United Film Distribution Company, 1985.

Granny Mundy, Dragnet, Universal, 1987.

Gwen, Live Wire, New Line Cinema, 1992.

Church lady number two, Jeffrey, Orion Classics, 1995.

Waltzing Anna, Kindred Media Group, 2006.

Savannah clerk, All the King's Men (also known as Das spiel der macht), Columbia, 2006.

Television Appearances; Series:

Herself, The Herb Shriner Show, 1949.

Doris Bonino, Bonino, NBC, 1953.

Fay Bannister, Young Doctor Malone, NBC, 1959–61.

Isabel Moore, Search for Tomorrow, CBS, 1962–64.

Martha Skerba, A Flame in the Wind (also known as A Time for Us), ABC, 1964–66.

Evelyn Reedy, Search for Tomorrow, CBS, 1977–78.

Ione Flowers, Code of Vengeance (also known as Dalton's Code of Vengeance), NBC, 1986.

Helen D'Angelo, Another World, NBC, 1992.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Enid, Someone I Touched, ABC, 1975.

Mrs. Wilson, The Runaways, CBS, 1975.

Mrs. Parish, Returning Home, ABC, 1975.

Music teacher, Seizure: The Story of Kathy Morris, CBS, 1980.

Leola Me's mother, Why Me?, ABC, 1984.

Betty, Pals, CBS, 1987.

Martha Busek, Fatal Judgment, CBS, 1988.

Gwen, Live Wire, HBO, 1992.

Mrs. Plecki, Cheaters, HBO, 2000.

Also appeared in Visions and Pennsylvania Dutch.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Mrs. Robards, First Ladies Diaries: Rachel Jackson, NBC, 1975.

Grandmom, Pigeon Feathers, PBS, 1987.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Laura Frazier, Kingston (also known as Kingston: The Power Play and The Newspaper Game), NBC, 1976.

Ione Flowers, Code of Vengeance (movie; also known as Dalton's Code of Vengeance), NBC, 1986.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"Joe McSween's Atomic Machine," Actor's Studio (also known as The Play's the Thing), 1949, 1950.

"The House Guests," The Web, CBS, 1951.

"Beyond the Door," Lights Out, 1951.

"Our Sister Emily," Hallmark Hall of Fame (also known as Hallmark Television Playhouse), NBC, 1952.

Ginny, "The Perfect Kill," Inner Sanctum, CBS, 1954.

"Once a Killer," Suspense, CBS, 1954.

"Man on the Hunt," Justice, NBC, 1954.

"Guest in the House," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Ponds Theater), ABC, 1954.

Marge, "Hearts and Hollywood," The Elgin Hour, ABC, 1954.

"Black Frost," The Philco Television Playhouse (also known as Arena Theatre, Repertory Theatre, and The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse), NBC, 1955.

Marilyn, "Finkle's Comet," The Alcoa Hour, NBC, 1956.

"Mr. Tutt Goes West," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theater, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theater), NBC, 1956.

"Longing for to Go," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theater, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theater), NBC, 1957.

Carol Bixby, "The Goodwill Ambassadors," Studio One (also known as Studio One Summer Theatre, Studio One in Hollywood, Summer Theatre, Westing-house Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1957.

Dorothy Boyer, "The Scapegoat," Decoy (also known as Policewoman Decoy), 1959.

Jessica Matthews, Lamp Unto My Feet, CBS, 1961.

Bet, "Burning for Burning," Route 66, CBS, 1961.

Donna Simmons, "The Seven Ghosts of Simon Gray," The Defenders, CBS, 1962.

Emily Ross, "The Third Generation," The Nurses (also known as The Doctors and the Nurses), CBS, 1963.

Grace Garfield, "Winners and Losers," Lucas Tanner, NBC, 1974.

Aunt Carol, "The First Love," Apple's Way, CBS, 1974.

Dr. Barbara Kirk, "Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die," Kojak, CBS, 1974.

Phyllis Wirl, "The Saturday Night Special," The Rookies, ABC, 1975.

Dr. Barbara Kirk, "I Want to Report a Dream," Kojak, CBS, 1975.

Nurse Grady, Ryan's Hope, ABC, 1975.

Amanda Stoddard, "Tissue of Truth," Quincy, M.E. (also known as Quincy), NBC, 1977.

Laurie's mother, "Visitors from Smoot," Love, Sidney, NBC, 1982.

Laurie's mother, "Just Folks," Love, Sidney, NBC, 1982.

Marsha, "Suitcase," Hill Street Blues, NBC, 1986.

Street woman, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," Kate & Allie, CBS, 1987.

Julia Clarent, "Chariots of Meyer," L.A. Law, NBC, 1988.

"Oceans White with Phone," Civil Wars, ABC, 1992.

Olivia, "Star Struck," Law & Order, NBC, 1992.

Louise Taft, "Expert Witness," The Cosby Mysteries, NBC, 1994.

Ann Schoenberg, "Survivor," Law & Order, NBC, 1996.

"20/20 Hindsight," Wonderland, ABC, 2000.

Melanie Dunne, "Choice," Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (also known as Law & Order: SVU and Special Victims Unit), NBC, 2003.

Made television debut in Hollywood Screen Test; also appeared in Actors Studio Playhouse, ABC; Westing-house Theatre, CBS; U.S. Steel Hour, CBS; Armstrong Circle Theatre, CBS; Ed Sullivan Show, CBS; General Hospital, ABC; Danger, CBS; My True Story, NBC; All My Children, ABC; Playhouse 90, CBS; Kraft Theatre, NBC; Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, ABC; Love of Life, CBS; Guiding Light, CBS; One Life to Live, ABC; as Eleanor Collins, "The End of the Story," Look Up and Live, NBC; Nancy, "New Life to Live," Look Up and Live, NBC.

Radio Appearances:

(Radio debut) WOW, Omaha, NE, 1941.

Also appeared in Road of Life, CBS; My True Story, ABC; Grand Central Station, CBS; The Romance of Helen Trent, CBS; Henry Aldrich, NBC.

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Peterson, Lenka 1925–

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