alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
Madeleine Sherwood made her first stage appearance at the age of four in
a church passion play in her hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She started
her professional career in Montreal, when she was in Canadian Broadcasting
Company dramas and soap operas. An unhappy early marriage and postpartum
depression landed her in an asylum, and she said her husband wanted her lobotomized.
She told a friendly doctor that she simply wanted to be an actress, and he
recommended that she make an escape out the unlocked back door.
escape route eventually led her to New York City, where she studied under
legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg at the Actors' Studio. She made her
Broadway debut in 1952 in The Chase, and originated the role of the
accuser Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Sherwood
herself was blacklisted during this time, making the play (which uses the Salem
witch trials as an allegory for the McCarthy hearings) particularly personal.
She was also in the original Elia Kazan–directed Broadway production of
Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, playing Mae, and
reprised the role in the 1958 film adaptation. She played a key role in the
1959 Broadway and 1962 film adaptations of Williams's Sweet Bird of Youth,
as mistress of the malevolent Gulf Coast power broker Boss Finley.With such an
illustrious Broadway background, how terribly frustrating it must have been to
know that the role she would be best remembered for was playing the Mother
Superior on the campy Sally Field sitcom The Flying Nun. She also
became a veteran of the soaps, appearing, through the years, on One Life
to Live, Guiding Light, and As the World Turns.
Sherwood was the longtime companion of the late Hylan Johnson, an actor best
remembered as a black American soldier in Roberto Rossellini's 1946 film Paisan.
She grew involved in civil rights causes and in May 1963 was arrested during a
Freedom Walk in Alabama. She was sentenced to six months of hard labor, but her
lawyer, Fred D. Gray, said in an interview that the decision was "ultimately
reversed" on appeal. In the 1970s, she became an activist for women's
gave up her Canadian citizenship and returned to Canada in the early 1990s. She
died at 93 at her childhood home in Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec, about 50 miles
northwest of Montreal, on April 23, 2016.
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