Tony Winner Elizabeth Wilson Has Died

A stage and screen actress, Wilson appeared in ”The Graduate”, ”The Birds”, ”9 to 5”, and more.

Elizabeth Wilson, Tony-winning character actress, has died.
Elizabeth Wilson, Tony-winning character actress, has died.

Longtime stage and screen actress Elizabeth Wilson has died at the age of 94. The Tony and Drama Desk Award winner died in Connecticut, where she lived with sister Mary Muir Wilson.

Born in 1921 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she began acting at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Wilson moved to New York City after graduating from high school to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Her first of many Broadway roles (which stretched across five decades) was as Christine Schoenwalder in the original 1953 production of Picnic. Wilson's career on the Great White Way went on the include David Rabe's Sticks and Bones, for which she won a Tony, as well as Threepenny Opera, A Delicate Balance, and most recently, 1999's Waiting in the Wings.

After her screen debut reprising her stage role in the 1955 film adaptation of Picnic, Wilson also enjoyed a full career appearing on film and television. Her film credits included character roles in well-known films such as Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols. Wilson went on to work with Nichols on several other projects, from Catch-22 in 1970 to Regarding Henry in 1991. In 2000, the late Nichols told The Grand Rapids Press that Wilson was "simply a great actress." Wilson is also remembered for her roles as Abigail Craven in The Addams Family and Roz Keith in 9 to 5.

On television, Wilson appeared as a regular on the drama East Side/West Side and the sitcom Doc. She was also seen in Dark Shadows, All in the Family, Murder, She Wrote, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and more. In 1987, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for Nutcracker: Money, Madness & Murder.

Due to a self-declared commitment to her career, Wilson never married. She is survived by her sister as well as nieces and nephews.