Image of Katharine Alexander

Katharine Alexander

Katharine (aka Katherine) Alexander, an excellent character actress, had been born in 1897 to a mother who was part Cherokee and to a father who farmed land on Indian territory. And yet she was never given the part of a native American in the course of her thirty-five-year acting career. Often a society lady, at times a suffering wife or a dignified mother, she was nearly always all-American. At ease in the register of drama and tragedy as well as in that of comedy, Katherine Alexander was a talented and versatile performer who alternated theater and cinema throughout a highly respectable career. An artist she was bound to be but rather a concert one than a thespian. Her mother, a frustrated musician herself, had indeed seen to it that she receive a formal musical education and young Katherine proved gifted at the violin. And she was indeed giving a violin recital when producer Samuel Goldwyn, who needed an actress who could play the violin for a play he was producing, noticed the young lady and hired her for the role. Miss Alexander, who had not yet turned twenty, realized that she much preferred acting to music playing and that was the beginning of a fruitful career on stage first and alternately on the boards and on the big screen as soon as the cinema started talking. A leading lady on Broadway (where she delivered the lines of such distinguished playwrights as Arthur Schnitzler, Robert E. Sherwood or Philip Barry),she was soon seen as an indispensable supporting actress in Hollywood movies. She was always reliable and competent and did not pale by the side of great stars like Greta Garbo (the wife of Garbo's lover in The Painted Veil (1934)), Bette Davis (the wife of a lawyer in love with Davis in That Certain Woman (1937) ; Miss Trask in Now, Voyager (1942)), Cary Grant (Mrs. Morton in In Name Only (1939)) or John Barrymore (Miss Billow in The Great Man Votes (1939). Katherine Alexander's shining hour came in 1949, two years before she retired, when she embodied Linda Loman, the no-nonsense wife of pathetic salesman Paul Muni in the London production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman". After such a triumph, she decided to give up her career and for thirty years on, she enjoyed a happy second life until her death in early 1981.

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Sep 22, 1898
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Should Ladies Behave 1933-12-01
Latest Project:
Movie The Pyramid Texts 2015-06-19
Known For
Poster of Enchanted April
Movie The Pyramid Texts Anna Sutter 2015-06-19
Movie Plastic Abigail Pardway 2014-04-30
Movie Hanezu Anna Sutter 2012-02-01
Movie The Magic of Belle Isle Ellen 2012-07-06
Movie Battle of Los Angeles Louisa (as Katherine Alexander) 2011-03-10
Movie Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman Miss Olmstead 2011-04-08
Movie The People Speak Mrs. Steed 2009-12-13
Movie Perfect Hideout Mrs. Randall 2008-06-19
Movie Where the Truth Lies Anna Sutter 2005-10-07
Movie Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. Valentine French Marland 2003-12-13
Movie True Crime Alda 1996-03-12
Movie As Good as Dead Phyllis McKinley 1995-05-10
Movie Village of the Damned Claire Lodge 1995-04-28
Movie Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain Miss Olmstead 1995-11-03
Movie Pariserhjulet Mrs. Elizabeth Parker 1993-10-08
Movie The Package Louisa (as Katherine Alexander) 1989-08-25
Movie Robbery Under Arms Laura 1985-03-28
Movie Sweet Sixteen Hilda Pierce 1983-03-18
Movie Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage Herself (archive footage) 1983-02-25
Movie Devil's Flute Madame de Lys 1979-01-20
Movie Carry On Matron Mrs. Randall 1972-05-05
Movie The Organization Herself (archive footage) 1971-10-20
Movie The Morning Queen Anne 1967-01-01
Movie John Loves Mary Phyllis McKinley 1949-01-01
Movie Tap Roots Anna Sutter 1948-08-25
Movie For the Love of Mary Miss Harkness 1948-09-01
Movie Kiss and Tell Janet Archer 1945-10-04
Movie The Human Comedy Mrs. Steed 1943-03-02
Movie Now, Voyager Miss Trask 1942-10-31
Movie Small Town Deb Mrs. Randall 1941-11-07
Movie Play Girl Mrs. Dice 1941-03-07
Movie Sis Hopkins Clara Hopkins 1941-04-12
Movie Anne of Windy Poplars Ernestine Pringle 1940-06-28
Movie Dance, Girl, Dance Miss Olmstead 1940-08-30
Movie The Great Man Votes Miss Billow 1939-01-13
Movie Broadway Serenade Harriet Ingalls 1939-04-07
Movie In Name Only Laura 1939-08-18
Movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame Madame de Lys 1939-12-29
Movie Three Sons Abigail Pardway 1939-10-13
Movie Rascals Mrs. Agatha Adams 1938-05-20
Movie The Girl from Scotland Yard Lady Helen Lavering 1937-05-30
Movie Double Wedding Claire Lodge 1937-10-15
Movie That Certain Woman Mme Lloyd Rogers 1937-09-18
Movie Sutter's Gold Anna Sutter 1936-03-01
Movie The Devil Is a Sissy Hilda Pierce 1936-09-18
Movie Moonlight Murder Louisa (as Katherine Alexander) 1936-03-27
Movie Cardinal Richelieu Queen Anne 1935-04-18
Movie Enchanted April Mrs. Rose Arbuthnot 1935-02-01
Movie Alias Mary Dow Evelyn Dow 1935-05-01
Movie After Office Hours Julia Patterson 1935-02-22
Movie Splendor Martha Lorrimore 1935-06-01
Movie She Married Her Boss Gertrude Barclay 1935-09-19
Movie The Girl from 10th Avenue Valentine French Marland 1935-06-01
Movie Death Takes a Holiday Alda 1934-03-30
Movie Operator 13 Pauline 1934-06-08
Movie The Painted Veil Mrs. Townsend 1934-11-23
Movie The Barretts of Wimpole Street Arabel Barrett 1934-09-21
Movie Should Ladies Behave Mrs. Winifred Lamont 1933-12-01