How much did you know about the woman who never wanted to be a star, only an actress?
A strong argument can be mounted that in the end Teresa Wright was both. Note the huge publicity coup above, the cover of Life magazine in 1946, the year that Wright appeared opposite Dana Andrews in William Wyler‘s memorable war drama, The Best Years of Our Lives.
She looks great, so it’s a tad mystifying as to why Wright was shunted into motherly roles or plain Jane parts for much of her career. For example, in director George Cukor’s 1953 title, The Actress, a 35-year-old Wright was cast as the mother of Jean Simmons, all of 24 at the time. Ah, the mysteries of classic Hollywood.
Please note: Donald Spoto, an Alfred Hitchcock biographer and a pal of Wright’s, takes a comprehensive look at his friend in the just-published A GIRL’S GOT TO BREATHE: The Life of Teresa Wright (University Press of Mississippi, $35). Worth checking out.
Wright compiled some 84 movie and tv credits over more than a half century. She died in 2005 at age 86.
So how much did you know about Teresa Wright? Let’s get to the answers to our Monday Quiz, and find out. As usual, questions can be re-scanned by scrolling down to the blog below.
1) Answer: b) False. Wright was Oscar nominated for two 1942 pictures — Mrs. Miniver and The Pride of the Yankees — but won only once, a best supporting actress citation for the former. She was also nominated as best supporting actress for 1941’s The Little Foxes.
2) Answer: a) True. Wright’s tenure at MGM was spent largely on making movies for other outfits. She made only Mrs. Miniver under the MGM banner.
3) Answer: d) None of the above. Wright’s Hollywood career began in 1941, and was unusually successful. By the time she made Shadow of a Doubt, she was better known than her male costar Joseph Cotten. Thus, bigger billing.
4) Answer: Wright insisted that her MGM contract included (c) a “no cheesecake” clause. We all are the poorer for that.
5) Answer: As indicate in Answer No. 1, Wright was Oscar nominated (but didn’t win) for a) The Pride of the Yankees and The Little Foxes.
6) Answer: Also indicated in Answer No. 1, Wright won her best supporting actress Oscar for 1942’s Mrs. Miniver.
7) Answer: In 1942, Wright appeared in The Pride of the Yankees and in Mrs. Miniver, and married her first husband, screenwriter Niven Busch (the union lasted 10 years and produced two children).
8) Answer: d) Jennifer Jones, who became in 1949 Mrs. David Selznick.
9) Answer: d) The Guiding Light. Hey, it paid the bills.
10) Answer: c) Wright married second husband, playwright Robert Anderson, in 1959 (it lasted until 1978). She starred in the stage version of his play, I Never Sang for My Father, in 1968.