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Rosemary Murphy Dies: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Actress Was 89

By    |   Thursday, 10 July 2014 02:50 PM

"To Kill a Mockingbird" actress Rosemary Murphy died Saturday of cancer at the age of 89.

Murphy acted for decades on television, in movies, and on stage, receiving an Emmy in 1976 for playing the mother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in an ABC movie, "Eleanor and Franklin." She was also well-known for her role in the 1962 version of "To Kill a Mockingbird," where she played Maudie Atkinson, a neighbor of Atticus Finch.

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The actress' list of credits was long, and included three Tony nominations for “Period of Adjustment” in 1961; “Any Wednesday” in 1964; and “A Delicate Balance” in 1967.

Murphy also appeared in movies such as “September” and “You’ll Like my Mother,” and many television shows from the 1950s on, from soap operas to “Columbo,” “Magnum, P.I.,” and "Frasier."

Murphy played in “You’ll Like My Mother” with Patty Duke, who tweeted:

Murphy was known for a “puckish” sense of humor, The New York Times said, which she used to alleviate boredom when she was playing on stage. In a 1965 Times interview, Murphy relayed a joke she played on Anthony Perkins in “Look Homeward, Angel.”

“Knowing someone in particular is in the audience will sharpen your performance,” Murphy told the Times. “Once during ‘Angel’ I told Tony Perkins that Federico Fellini was out front, and he spent three hours painstakingly enunciating every vowel so that Mr. Fellini would be able to understand him. He was a little miffed when we told him it was all a joke — but he gave a great performance.”

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"To Kill a Mockingbird" actress Rosemary Murphy died Saturday of cancer at the age of 89.
rosemary murphy, dies, actress, to kill a mockingbird
Thursday, 10 July 2014 02:50 PM
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