The oldest living Best Supporting Actress winner has now, unfortunately, left us. And to think we were just talking about the divinely appealing Celeste Holm. Holm died earlier today at 95 years of age in her Manhattan home with her husband at her side. She'd recently been hospitalized for dehydration and suffered a heart attack.
Today's she's best remembered for her work in All About Eve (1950) and Gentlemen's Agreement (1947) for which she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, but her successful career also included Broadway stardom (she was the original Ado Annie in Oklahoma!) and her own television series "Honestly Celeste". She will most definitely be missed.
In the last completed episode of Best Pictures from the Outside In (a series y'all bring up with regularity), we talked about Gentlemen's Agreement in which I found Holm fully deserving of her Oscar, writing:
In all seriousness Celeste Holm is tremendously good in this movie as a sassy career gal with a big but slightly lonely social life. At first I was worried it was one of those cases where you latch on to and overvalue a charismatic performance because it saves you from its dull surroundings (too many examples to name) but by the movie's end I was convinced that I would have found her sensational even if she hadn't been surrounded by so much dead air; the portrait was so vivid I could project a whole sequel with her character as the star.
Mike remarked that he wanted to meet her to thank her for being the best thing in so many movies.
Celeste had been recently troubled by bitter family divisions and legal complications involving her depleted fortune, her much younger husband (from her fifth marriage in 2004) and her two sons. Our condolescences go out to all of them -- we hope everyone resolved their differences towards the end and hangs on to the good memories.
Program yourself a mini-Celeste fest in her honor soon. There are wonderful and/or storied films to choose from: All About Eve, Come to the Stable, Gentleman's Agreement, High Society, The Tender Trap, and the television musical Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella among them.