Martha Scott
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Martha Scott Country & Life Achievements, Actresses - 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐚 𝐒𝐜𝐨𝐭𝐭 Biography
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Carlton Alsop (1940–1946; divorced)Mel Powell (1946–1998; his death)
University Of Michigan
University Of Michigan
Jamesport, Missouri, U.S.
Female
Walter Alva Scott,
Letha McKinley
Virgo
Jamesport, Missouri, U.S.
90
Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
may 28, 2003
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Who is Martha Scott?

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Martha Scott was an American actress remembered for her roles in movies like ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Ben-Hur.’ Also well-known is her debut film role as Emily in the motion picture adaptation of Thornton Wilder's play ‘Our Town,’ a role which earned her critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. The daughter of an engineer, she became interested in acting in high school, and proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama from the University of Michigan. Right out of college, she started working with the Globe Theatre Troupe and appeared in a series of Shakespeare productions at the Century of Progress world's fair in Chicago. A successful stage career followed and she made her Broadway debut in the original staging of Thornton Wilder's play ‘Our Town.’ Motivated by her success on the stage, she moved to motion pictures and received much praise for reprising her role in the film adaptation of ‘Our Town.’ Over the next few years, she gained a reputation for being a talented character actress who never shied from taking up unglamorous roles; in fact, she even played the role of the leading man Charlton Heston's mother twice despite being just 11 years older to him. Along with the stage and films, she was also active in television.

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Martha Scott Childhood & Early Life

Martha Ellen Scott was born on September 22, 1912, in Jamesport, Missouri, U.S. to Walter Scott, an engineer and garage owner, and Letha McKinley.

She became interested in acting while in high school. Her parents were against this idea, but the young girl managed to convince an aunt to lend her $2,500 so that she could study acting at the University of Michigan. She earned a teaching certificate and a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama in 1934.

Martha Scott Career

Martha Scott embarked on an acting career right out of college as a part of the Globe Theatre Troupe and appeared in a series of Shakespeare productions at the Century of Progress world's fair in Chicago in 1934. This marked the beginning of her successful stage career and she went on to feature in several other stage productions over the ensuing years.

In 1938, she made her Broadway debut in the role of Emily Webb in the original staging of Thornton Wilder's play ‘Our Town,’ in which she portrayed a young woman who dies in childbirth.

She soon ventured into Hollywood and reprised her role as Emily in the motion picture adaptation of the play ‘Our Town’ in 1940. Her debut was a successful one and she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her poignant portrayal of the tragic young woman.

She appeared in a series of films in the 1940s, often taking up unglamorous roles that several other actresses of her era were unwilling to play. She played an aged woman in ‘Cheers for Miss Bishop’ (1941) in which she wore a grey wig and wrinkle makeup, portraying a spinster schoolmistress who devotes five decades of her life to her profession.

She played Olivia Channing Boswell in the 1947 film ‘So Well Remembered’ co-starring John Mills and Trevor Howard. Her role as the ambitious wife of a man who is not much interested in materialistic pursuits was well-received.

One of her most important films in the 1950s was ‘The Desperate Hours’ (1955) in which she played the role of Eleanor "Ellie" Hilliard. The film, which also had Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March in leading roles, was a story about three escaped convicts based on an eponymous novel and play written by Joseph Hayes.

In the 1950s, she forayed into television as well. She made an appearance on ‘The Nash Airflyte Theater’ in 1950 and followed it up with several guest appearances on ‘Robert Montgomery Presents’ and other shows of television's "golden age" during the early years of the medium. She was also the narrator for ‘Modern Romances’, an afternoon program on NBC-TV.

Her performance as Yoshebel, the mother of Moses, in 1956 in the religious epic film ‘The Ten Commandments’ was one of her most memorable roles. She was also much appreciated for her portrayal of Miriam in the 1959 epic historical drama film ‘Ben-Hur.’

She was more active on television during years of her career and played recurring roles as Bob Newhart's mother on ‘The Bob Newhart Show’ and the mother of Colonel Steve Austin on both ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘The Bionic Woman’ among other roles during the 1970s and 1980s. Scott's final acting role on television was in the movie ‘Daughter of the Streets’ (1990).

Martha Scott Major Works

Her portrayal of Emily Webb in her film debut ‘Our Town’ is considered one of her most memorable roles. Having already played the character on stage, she reprised her role in the film which earned her much critical praise for her empathic acting.

Martha Scott Awards & Achievements

Martha Scott was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1940 film ‘Our Town.’

For her contribution in the theatre, Scott has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6126 Hollywood Boulevard.

Martha Scott Personal Life & Legacy

Martha Scott’s first marriage was to radio producer and announcer Carleton William Alsop from 1940 to 1946. The union produced a son.

She married the jazz pianist and composer Mel Powell in 1946 and remained together until his death in 1998. The couple had two daughters.

She died on May 28, 2003, at the age of 90.

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Martha Scott biography timelines

  • Martha Ellen Scott was born on September 22, 1912, in Jamesport, Missouri, U.S. to Walter Scott, an engineer and garage owner, and Letha McKinley.
    22nd Sep 1912
  • She became interested in acting while in high school. Her parents were against this idea, but the young girl managed to convince an aunt to lend her $2,500 so that she could study acting at the University of Michigan. She earned a teaching certificate and a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama in 1934.
    1934
  • Martha Scott embarked on an acting career right out of college as a part of the Globe Theatre Troupe and appeared in a series of Shakespeare productions at the Century of Progress world's fair in Chicago in 1934. This marked the beginning of her successful stage career and she went on to feature in several other stage productions over the ensuing years.
    1934
  • In 1938, she made her Broadway debut in the role of Emily Webb in the original staging of Thornton Wilder's play ‘Our Town,’ in which she portrayed a young woman who dies in childbirth.
    1938
  • She soon ventured into Hollywood and reprised her role as Emily in the motion picture adaptation of the play ‘Our Town’ in 1940. Her debut was a successful one and she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her poignant portrayal of the tragic young woman.
    1940
  • Martha Scott was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1940 film ‘Our Town.’
    1940
  • Martha Scott’s first marriage was to radio producer and announcer Carleton William Alsop from 1940 to 1946. The union produced a son.
    1940 To 1946
  • She appeared in a series of films in the 1940s, often taking up unglamorous roles that several other actresses of her era were unwilling to play. She played an aged woman in ‘Cheers for Miss Bishop’ (1941) in which she wore a grey wig and wrinkle makeup, portraying a spinster schoolmistress who devotes five decades of her life to her profession.
    1941
  • She married the jazz pianist and composer Mel Powell in 1946 and remained together until his death in 1998. The couple had two daughters.
    1946 To 1998
  • She played Olivia Channing Boswell in the 1947 film ‘So Well Remembered’ co-starring John Mills and Trevor Howard. Her role as the ambitious wife of a man who is not much interested in materialistic pursuits was well-received.
    1947
  • In the 1950s, she forayed into television as well. She made an appearance on ‘The Nash Airflyte Theater’ in 1950 and followed it up with several guest appearances on ‘Robert Montgomery Presents’ and other shows of television's "golden age" during the early years of the medium. She was also the narrator for ‘Modern Romances’, an afternoon program on NBC-TV.
    1950
  • One of her most important films in the 1950s was ‘The Desperate Hours’ (1955) in which she played the role of Eleanor "Ellie" Hilliard. The film, which also had Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March in leading roles, was a story about three escaped convicts based on an eponymous novel and play written by Joseph Hayes.
    1955
  • Her performance as Yoshebel, the mother of Moses, in 1956 in the religious epic film ‘The Ten Commandments’ was one of her most memorable roles. She was also much appreciated for her portrayal of Miriam in the 1959 epic historical drama film ‘Ben-Hur.’
    1956 To 1959
  • She was more active on television during years of her career and played recurring roles as Bob Newhart's mother on ‘The Bob Newhart Show’ and the mother of Colonel Steve Austin on both ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘The Bionic Woman’ among other roles during the 1970s and 1980s. Scott's final acting role on television was in the movie ‘Daughter of the Streets’ (1990).
    1990
  • She died on May 28, 2003, at the age of 90.
    28th May 2003
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Frequently asked questions about Martha Scott

  • What is Martha Scott birthday?

    Martha Scott was born at September 22, 1912

  • Where is Martha Scott's birth place?

    Martha Scott was born in Jamesport, Missouri, U.S.

  • What is Martha Scott nationalities?

    Martha Scott's nationalities is American

  • Who is Martha Scott spouses?

    Martha Scott's spouses is Carlton Alsop (1940–1946; divorced), Mel Powell (1946–1998; his death)

  • What was Martha Scott universities?

    Martha Scott studied at University Of Michigan university

  • What was Martha Scott notable alumnis?

    Martha Scott's notable alumnis is University Of Michigan

  • Who is Martha Scott's father?

    Martha Scott's father is Walter Alva Scott,

  • Who is Martha Scott's mother?

    Martha Scott's mother is Letha McKinley

  • What is Martha Scott's sun sign?

    Martha Scott is Virgo

  • When was Martha Scott died?

    Martha Scott was died at May 28, 2003

  • Where was Martha Scott died?

    Martha Scott was died in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, U.S.

  • Which age was Martha Scott died?

    Martha Scott was died at age 90