Winters was one of the most respected actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She was a master of her craft, and always strove to escape the limitations of being seen as the original blonde bombshell; she honed her craft where many other actresses simply depended on their fleeting good looks. Her talents earned her two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress: The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and A Patch of Blue (1965). She was also nominated for Oscars for her roles in A Place in the Sun (1951) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972).
A good 50 years in the business, two Oscars, and slew of good films [including the Westerns Winchester ’73 (1950) with James Stewart, Saskatchewan (1954) with Alan Ladd, and The Scalphunters (1968) as Telly Savalas’ cigar-chomping hussy] earned her a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Some say the provocative tell-all autobiographies of her tumultuous love life with several Hollywood heavyweights such as Burt Lancaster, William Holden, and Marlon Brando might have marred her prestigious status as an actress amongst actresses, but her accomplishments speak for themselves.
Shelley Winters died on January 14, 2006 of heart failure just shortly after marrying her long-time sweetheart, Gerry Ford.