Constance Cummings

Constance Cummings
Associated Press


Constance Cummings
Film: North side of the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Constance Halverstadt on May 15, 1910 in Seattle, WA
Died Nov. 23, 2005 in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

Constance Cummings was an American actress who dazzled audiences on both sides of the Atlantic on stage and in such motion pictures as "Movie Crazy" and "Blithe Spirit."

Cummings was already a seasoned entertainer when, at 22, she appeared as an ingenue with twin personalities opposite Harold Lloyd in his semiautobiographical "Movie Crazy" (1932).

She made most of her films in her youth, and although the beautiful blond ingenue matured into a fine character actress, she concentrated more on live theater as she grew older. She excelled on stage, working on Broadway, in London's West End and with Laurence Olivier in Britain's revered National Theater.

The actress soared to her professional zenith in 1979 when she received a Tony Award as best actress for her Broadway portrayal of a former daredevil aviatrix felled by a stroke in Arthur Kopit's "Wings." Cummings also won an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award in the role.

She came to Hollywood in 1983 to tape a Public Broadcasting Service version of "Wings" at the KCET-TV studios. The production was later broadcast on the network's "American Playhouse."

Born Constance Haverstadt on May 5, 1910, in Seattle, Cummings was the daughter of a lawyer and a concert soprano. She studied ballet but soon switched to acting and made her debut at age 16 in a stock-company production of "Seventh Heaven."

Cummings made about 20 films in Hollywood. Among her better roles were those opposite Walter Huston in Frank Capra's "American Madness" in 1932 and as the socialite who steals Ralph Bellamy from Irene Dunne in "This Man Is Mine" in 1934.

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