Oliver, Edna May (1883–1942)

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Oliver, Edna May (1883–1942)

American actress. Born Edna May Nutter in September 1883, in Malden, Massachusetts; died on November 9, 1942; educated in Boston; married D.W. Pratt (divorced).

Selected theater:

debuted in Boston (1911); debuted in New York at the Fulton Theater as Juliet in The Master (1916); appeared as Penelope Budd in Oh, Boy (1917), as Hannah in Icebound (1923), as Ethel Drake in The Cradle Snatchers (1925); first appeared as Parthy Ann in Showboat (1927).

Selected filmography:

Wife in Name Only (1923); Three O'clock in the Morning (1923); Ice-bound (1934); Manhattan (1924); The Lucky Devil (1925); Lovers in Quarantine (1925); The American Venus (1926); Let's Get Married (1926); The Saturday Night Kid (1929); Cimarron (1931); Laugh and Get Rich (1931); Cracked Nuts (1931); Newly Rich (1931); Fanny Foley Herself (1931); Ladies of the Jury (1932); The Penguin Pool Murder (1932); The Conquerors (1932); It's Great to Be Alive (1933); Ann Vickers (1933); Only Yesterday (1933); Little Women (1933); Alice in Wonderland (1933); The Poor Rich (1934); Murder on the Blackboard (1934); We're Rich Again (1934); The Last Gentleman (1934); David Copperfield (1935); Murder on a Honeymoon (1935); No More Ladies (1935); A Tale of Two Cities (1935); Romeo and Juliet (1936); Parnell (1937); Rosalie (1937); Paradise for Three (1938); Little Miss Broadway (1938); The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

(1939); Second Fiddle (1939); Nurse Edith Cavell (1939); Drums Along the Mohawk (1939); Pride and Prejudice (1940); Lydia (1941).

Massachusetts-born actress Edna May Oliver made a career out of supporting character roles, on stage and in silent films and talkies, although she did snag the lead in an occasional low-budget comedy or mystery. She was particularly adroit with droll and acerbic spinster roles, such as Aunt March in Little Women (1933), Aunt Betsey in David Copperfield (1935), the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, and the Widow McKlennar in Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination. Her last film Lydia (1941) was made just a year before her death at the age of 59.

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