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Patty McCormack (born August 21, 1945) is an American actress with a career in theater, films and television.

She achieved success as a child actress, and received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Bad Seed (1956). Her acting career has continued with supporting roles in film and television, including a more recent performance as Pat Nixon in Frost/Nixon (2008).

Life and career

McCormack was born Patricia Ellen Russo in Brooklynmarker, New Yorkmarker, the daughter of Elizabeth (née McCormack), a professional roller skater, and Frank Russo, a fireman. She was a child model at the age of four and began appearing on television at the age of seven. She made her motion picture debut in Two Gals and a Guy (1951) and appeared in the television series Mama from 1953 to 1956.

Her Broadwaymarker debut was in Touchstone (1953), and following this, she portrayed Rhoda Penmark, an eight-year-old sociopath and fledgling serial killer, in The Bad Seed (1954). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film version, The Bad Seed (1956).

McCormack briefly starred in her own series, Peck's Bad Girl in 1959.

She married restaurateur Bob Catania in 1967, and they had two children before their marriage was dissolved. After a half-dozen teen roles during the 1960s, her film career declined but she continued to work in television. She guest starred on The Streets of San Francisco, Season 2, episode Blockade. She resumed her cinema career with Bug in 1975.

She continued to act in secondary roles, mostly in television with occasional film appearances. She had recurring roles in popular television series, including The Ropers, Dallas, Murder, She Wrote and The Sopranos. When Kathryn Hays left the CBS soap opera As the World Turns for an extended period of time, McCormack took Hays' role until she returned.

In 2008, McCormack played First Lady Pat Nixon in the feature film Frost/Nixon.

Her most recent film appearance was in the Hallmark Channel presentation of "Citizen Jane" (2009) starring Ally Sheedy, Sean Patrick Flannery and Meat Loaf

McCormack is a scheduled guest for the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention where her films will be screened and she will receive an award during the closing ceremonies.


Further reading

  • Rigdon, Walter (ed.) The Biographical Encyclopedia of Who's Who of the American Theatre. New York: James H. Heineman, Inc. c1966.
  • "Patty McCormack." Biography Resource Center. Thomson Gale. February 15, 2005.



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