Frances Sternhagen Biography (1930-)

Full name, Frances Hussey Sternhagen; born January 13, 1930, in Washington, DC; daughter of John M. (a U.S. tax court judge) and Gertrude S. (maiden name,Wyckoff) Sternhagen; married Thomas A. Carlin (an actor), February 13, 1956(died May 6, 1991); children: Paul (an actor), Amanda, Tony, Peter, John, Sarah. Addresses: Agent: William Morris Agency, 1350 6th Ave., New York,NY 10019.

Birth Details
January 13, 1930
Washington, DC, United States

Famous Works

  • Stage Appearances
  • (Stage debut) Laura, The Glass Menagerie, Bryn Mawr Summer Theatre, Bryn Mawr, PA, 1948
  • Mrs. Manningham, Angel Street, Bryn Mawr Summer Theatre, 1948
  • Margery Pinchwife, The Country Wife, Arena Stage, Washington, DC,1953
  • Mrs. Webb, Our Town, Arena Stage, 1953
  • Nancy Stoddard, The Country Girl, Arena Stage, 1953
  • Phyllis Carmichael, My Heart's in the Highlands, Arena Stage, 1953
  • Juliette, Thieves' Carnival, Arena Stage, 1953
  • Doto, A Phoenix Too Frequent, Arena Stage, 1953
  • Ma Kirby, The Happy Journey from Trenton to Camden, Arena Stage, 1953
  • Muriel, Ah! Wilderness, Arena Stage, 1954
  • Elvira, Blithe Spirit, Arena Stage, 1954
  • Lavinia Chamberlayne, The Cocktail Party, Olney Theatre, Olney, MD, 1954
  • Ann, Outward Bound, Olney Theatre, 1954
  • Georgie Elgin, The Country Girl, Olney Theatre, 1954
  • Lady Ariadne Utterwood, Heartbreak House, Olney Theatre, 1954
  • (Off-Broadway debut) Eva, Thieves' Carnival, Cherry Lane Theatre,New York City, 1955
  • Miss T. Muse, The Skin of Our Teeth, Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris, then American National Theatre and Academy Theatre, New York City, both 1955
  • Widow Yang, The Carefree Tree, Phoenix Theatre, New York City, 1955
  • Lydia Carew, The Admirable Bashville, Cherry Lane Theatre, 1956
  • Gretchen, Faust, Theatre-on-the-Green, Wellesley, MA, 1956
  • Margery Pinchwife, The Country Wife, Renata Theatre, New York City, 1957
  • Nymph, Ulysses in Nighttown, Rooftop Theatre, New York City, 1958
  • Title role, The Saintliness of Margery Kempe, York Theatre, New York City, 1959
  • Dee Jones, Viva Madison Avenue!, Longacre Theatre, New York City,1960
  • Selma Chargesse, Red Eye of Love, Provincetown Playhouse, New YorkCity, 1960
  • Gwendolyn, The Importance of Being Earnest, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ, 1960
  • Hypatia Tarleton, Misalliance, Sheridan Square Theatre, New York City, 1961
  • Alice McAnany, Great Day in the Morning, Henry Miller's Theatre, New York City, 1962
  • Mrs. Levi, The Matchmaker, Olney Theatre, 1962
  • Sabina, The Skin of Our Teeth, Brandeis Forum Theatre, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 1963
  • Lois, A Matter of Like Life and Death, East End Theatre, New YorkCity, 1963
  • Jan, Play, Cherry Lane Theatre, 1964
  • Rose, "The Room" and Flora, "A Slight Ache" in The New Pinter Plays, Writers Stage Theatre, New York City, 1964
  • Susan Throssel, Quality Street, Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope,PA, 1965
  • Mrs. Ashton Dilke, The Right Honourable Gentleman, Billy Rose Theatre, New York City, 1965
  • Mrs. Hopewell, The Displaced Person, American Place Theatre, St. Clement's Church Theatre, New York City, 1966
  • Lavinia Chaberlayne, The Cocktail Party, APA Phoenix Theatre Company, Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 1968
  • Jan Loreleen, Cock-a-Doodly Dandy, APA Phoenix Theatre Company, Lyceum Theatre, 1969
  • Widow Quinn, Playboy of the Western World, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York City, 1971
  • Mavis Parodus Bryson, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1972
  • Paulina, Enemies, Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, 1972
  • Various roles, The Good Doctor, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 1973
  • Dora Strang, Equus, Plymouth Theatre, New York City, 1974
  • Eliza Gant, Angel, Minskoff Theatre, New York City, 1978
  • Ethel Thayer, On Golden Pond, New Apollo Century Theatre, New YorkCity, 1979
  • Title role, The Prevalence of Mrs. Seal, Manhattan Punchline, NewYork City, 1980
  • Laura, The Father, Circle in the Square, New York City, 1981
  • Helen, Grownups, Lyceum Theatre, 1981
  • The Dining Room, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1981
  • Xenia, Summer, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City, 1982
  • Miss Prism, The Importance of Being Earnest, John Drew Theatre, East Hampton, NY, 1983
  • Penny, You Can't Take It with You, Royale Theatre, New York City,1984
  • Sarah, "Goodbye, Howard," Constance Lindell, "F.M.," and Old Woman, "Tennessee" in Laughing Stock, Manhattan Punchline, New York City, 1984
  • Maurine, Home Front, Royale Theatre, New York City, 1985
  • Florence, The Return of Herbert Bracewill, Chelsea Playhouse, NewYork City, 1985
  • Constance Oakshot, Oliver Oliver, Manhattan Theatre Club, City Center Theatre, New York City, 1985
  • (London debut) The War at Home, Hempstead Theatre Club, London, 1985
  • Marjorie Newquist, Little Murders, Second Stage Theatre, New YorkCity, 1987
  • Title role, Driving Miss Daisy, John Houseman Theatre, New York City, 1988
  • Melissa Gardner, Love Letters, Promenade Theatre, New York City, 1989
  • Theresa Donaghy, Remembrance, John Houseman Theatre, 1992-1993
  • Margaret Civil, A Perfect Ganesh, Manhattan Theatre Club, City Center Stage I, New York City, 1993
  • The Heiress, Cort Theatre, New York City, 1995
  • Long Day's Journey into Night, Irish Repertory Theatre, 1998
  • Vada Love Powell, The Exact Center of the Universe, Century Theatre for the Performing Arts/Women's Project Theatre, 1999
  • Ida Bolton, Mornings at Seven, Lyceum Theater, 2002
  • Major Tours
  • Mrs. T. Muse, The Skin of Our Teeth, U.S. cities, 1955
  • Opal, "The Isle of Cipango" and Postmistress, "Pound on Demand" in Triple Play, U.S. cities, 1958
  • Miss Madrigal, The Chalk Garden, U.S. cities, 1960
  • Film Appearances
  • (Film debut) Charlotte Wolf, Up the Down Staircase, Warner Bros.,1967
  • Lady on bus, The Tiger Makes Out, Columbia, 1967
  • Mrs. Sally Cushing, The Hospital, United Artists, 1971
  • Mrs. McCluskey, Two People, Universal, 1973
  • Miss Balfour, Fedora, United Artists, 1978
  • Marva Potter, Starting Over, Paramount, 1979
  • Dr. Marian Lazarus, Outland, Warner Bros., 1981
  • Carla Taylor, Independence Day (also known as Follow Your Dreams), Warner Bros., 1983
  • Blanche, Romantic Comedy, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1983
  • Once Again, 1986
  • Clara Tillinghast, Bright Lights, Big City, United Artists, 1988
  • Neenie, See You in the Morning, Warner Bros., 1989
  • Dr. Janet Duffy, Communion, A True Story, Vestron, 1989
  • Deputy Virginia McCain, Misery, Columbia, 1990
  • Mrs. Rose Turner, Sibling Rivalry, Columbia, 1990
  • Walking the Dog, 1991
  • Lillian (Welcoming Committee), Doc Hollywood, Warner Bros., 1991
  • Dr. Waldheim, Raising Cain, Universal, 1992
  • Amy, Curtain Call, Curtain Call L.p., 1999
  • Ruth, Midnight Gospel (also known as Ruth at Midnight), 2000
  • Ruth Wilder, Virginia's mother, The Rising Place, Artist View Entertainment, 2001
  • Emily Thornton, Landfall, 2001
  • Television Appearances
  • Series
  • Toni Prentiss Davis, Love of Life, CBS, 1967-1968
  • Phyllis Corrigan, The Doctors, NBC, 1970
  • Jane Overstreet, Another World, NBC, 1971
  • Jessie Reddin, The Secret Storm, CBS, 1973-1974
  • Millie Sprague, Under One Roof (also known as Spencer), NBC, 1985
  • Ester Clavin, a recurring role, Cheers, NBC, 1986-1993
  • Charlotte Babineaux, The Road Home (also known as Down Home), CBS, 1994
  • Millicent "Gamma" Carter, a recurring role, ER, NBC, 1997-
  • Bunny McDougal, a recurring role, Sex and the City, HBO, 2000-2002
  • Miniseries
  • Berenice Bradshaw, At Mother's Request, CBS, 1987
  • Voice, New York: A Documentary Film, PBS, 1999
  • Movies
  • Nellie Henderson, Who'll Save Our Children?, CBS, 1978
  • Mrs. Lloyd, Mother and Daughter: The Loving War, ABC, 1980
  • Mary Richards, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, 1980
  • Dorothy Forrester, Prototype, CBS, 1983
  • Agent, mother, Carolyn, Sandra, Dora, Margery, Beth, Kate, Claire, and Ruth, The Dining Room, 1984
  • Eudora McAlister, Resting Place, CBS, 1986
  • Cloe Sixbury, Follow Your Heart (also known as Walk Me to the Distance), NBC, 1990
  • Gina Williams, Golden Years (also known as Stephen King's "Golden Years), 1991
  • Noelle, She Woke Up, ABC, 1992
  • Mary Rafferty, Labor of Love: The Arlette Schweitzer Story, CBS, 1993
  • Tobie Yates, Reunion, CBS, 1994
  • Hadabelle, The Con, USA Network, 1998
  • Constance, To Live Again, CBS, 1998
  • Marge Murray, The Laramie Project, HBO, 2002
  • Specials
  • Sue, "Where the Cross Is Made," Three in One, NBC, 1960
  • How He Lied to Her Husband, 1965
  • T.S. Eliot--The Wasteland, 1965
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner, CBS, 1975
  • Great Performers at Lincoln Center: Renee Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Concert, PBS, 2000
  • Episodic
  • (Television debut) Nellie, "The Great Bank Robbery," Omnibus, CBS,1955
  • Eva, "Thieves' Carnival," Play of the Week, WNTA, 1961
  • Miss Mabee, "In a Garden," Play of the Week, WNTA, 1961
  • "May Day! May Day!" The Defenders, CBS, 1964
  • Wilma Atkins, "The Rimers of Eldritch," Theatre in America, PBS, 1972
  • Paulina, "Enemies," Theatre in America, PBS, 1974
  • "Sanford Meisner: The Theatre's Best Kept Secret," American Masters, PBS, 1990
  • Margaret Langdon, "The Serpent's Tooth," Law & Order, NBC, 1991
  • Voice, "Coney Island," American Experience, PBS, 1991
  • Voice, "The Donner Party," American Experience, PBS, 1992
  • "None but the Lonely Heart," Tales from the Crypt, HBO, 1992
  • Jean Anderson, "The Choice," The Outer Limits, syndicated, 1995
  • Voice, "The Way West," American Experience, PBS, 1995
  • Estelle Muller, "Legacy," Law & Order, NBC, 1997
  • Voice of Mrs. Bellamy, "The Frying Game," The Simpsons (animated),Fox, 2002
  • Also appeared in Camera Three, CBS; Lamp unto My Feet, CBS;The Nurses, CBS; Robert Montgomery Presents, NBC; Alcoa Hour, NBC; Studio One, CBS; The House on High Street, NBC; Profiles in Courage, NBC; For the People, CBS; Look up and Live, CBS; Directions, ABC.

Further Reference


    • American Theatre, September, 1998, p. 69

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