Baltimore native Mildred Natwick earned a degree in theater arts from Bennett College and immediately got to work on the stage. She performed with a traveling non-professional group called the Vagabonds in the late 1920s and eventually hooked up with rising stars like Henry Fonda and James Stewart in the esteemed University Players on Cape Cod. She finally hit Broadway in the 1932 production of "Carrie Nation." She worked Broadway stages steadily through the 1930s, not finding her way to Hollywood until she was cast in the 1940 war drama "The Long Voyage Home," starring John Wayne. Her acting impressed director John Ford, who cast her three more times in three more John Wayne films through the end of the 1940s. Natwick had firmly established herself as a character actress who could be counted on to carry a scene--and possibly even steal it--but she never strayed too far from her first love, the theater. She continued to move between the two mediums, gathering respect and acclaim in each, in the form of a Tony Award nomination for 1957's "Waltz of the Toreadors" and the 1972 musical "70 Girls 70," as well as an Academy Award Nomination for 1967's "Barefoot in the Park."
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