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Mildred Natwick (June 19, 1905 – October 25, 1994) was an Americanmarker stage and film actress.

Early life

A native of Baltimoremarker, Marylandmarker, after graduating from Bennett College with a degree in theater arts, Mildred Natwick toured with a number of stage productions before her first Broadwaymarker production, Carry Nation.


Throughout the 1930s she starred in a number of plays, frequently collaborating with friend and actor-director-playwright Joshua Logan. Natwick made her film debut in John Ford's The Long Voyage Home as a cockney prostitute, and she movingly portrayed the landlady, an important character in The Enchanted Cottage (1945).

Natwick is remembered for small but memorable roles in several of John Ford classics, including 3 Godfathers (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1948), and The Quiet Man (1952), as the sheltered widow Mrs. Tillane. The character actress was often given one-scene parts or shallow roles which she transcended with her personality and talent, such as her role as a birth control advocate in the comedy Cheaper by the Dozen (1950), recluse widow Mrs. Ivy Gravely in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry (1955), and a sorceress in The Court Jester (1956).

Natwick though continued to appear on the stage, and made regular guest appearances in television series of the day. She was twice nominated for Tony Awards: in 1957 for The Waltz of the Toreadors, and laterr, in 1972 for the musical, 70 Girls 70. She returned to film with Barefoot in the Park (1967) as Jane Fonda's mother. The role earned Natwick her first and only Academy Award nomination. For much of the following decade, Natwick appeared exclusively in television, winning an Emmy Award for her role in the limited series The Snoop Sisters, a mystery which paired her with fellow film veteran Helen Hayes. Natwick later joined Miss Hayes as the first members of the Board of Advisors to the Riverside Shakespeare Company during its formative years, attending and supporting several fund raisers for that Off Broadway theatre company.

Natwick is also fondly remembered as the rather British "Nanny" in Eloise. She guest starred several times as Rock Hudson's eccentric mother in McMillan and Wife and also had a prominent guest appearance in the first season of Family, playing a grandmother who makes a final visit to her family to prepare them for her death. Her final role was in the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons. Natwick died of cancer at age 89 in New York Citymarker.

Mildred was the first cousin of Myron 'Grim' Natwick, the creator of the Betty Boop cartoon character for the Fliescher Studios, and the primary animator of Snow White for Walt Disney Studios.



  1. Program for the Riverside Shakespeare Company's As You Like It, November 10, 1978.
  2. "Dickens lends the Bard a Hand," by Patricia O'Haire, The New York Daily News, Sept 13, 1982.

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