Brown - Dark
Hastings, Nebraska, USA
Place of Death
Westport, Connecticut, USA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Who`s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
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Profile Bio Text
Dennis was born in Hastings, Nebraska, the daughter of Yvonne, a secretary, and Jack Dennis, a postal clerk. She had a brother, Frank. She was a high school classmate of Dick Cavett and attended the Nebraska Wesleyan University and University of Nebraska. Dennis grew up in Kenesaw and Lincoln, Nebraska, appearing in the Lincoln Community Theater Group and moving to New York City at the age of 19.
Dennis made her television debut in 1956 in The Guiding Light and her film debut in Splendor in the Grass (1961). However, she was more committed to following a career in the theater. She won consecutive Tony Awards for her performances in A Thousand Clowns and Any Wednesday and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Honey, the alcoholic wife of George Segal, in Who`s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). She followed this with well-received performances in Up the Down Staircase (1967), The Fox (1967), Sweet November (1968) and The Out-of-Towners (1970).
An advocate of method acting, Dennis was often described as neurotic and mannered in her performances; her signature style included running words together and oddly stopping and starting sentences, suddenly going up and down octaves as she spoke, and fluttering her hands. Walter Kerr famously remarked that she treated sentences as "weak, injured things" that needed to be slowly helped "across the street." Nonetheless, William Goldman, in his book The Season, referred to her as a quintessential "critics` darling" who got rave reviews no matter how unusual her acting and questionable her choice of material. Kerr said the following during Dennis` stint in Any Wednesday: "Let me tell you about Sandy Dennis. There should be one in every home."
Her last significant film role was in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982).
Dennis lived for many years with jazz great Gerry Mulligan until they split up in 1976. Although Mulligan often referred to Dennis as his second wife, Dennis later revealed that they had never married. She also lived with actor Eric Roberts from 1980 to 1985. Christopher Lloyd Dennis, an aspiring actor who plays Superman on Hollywood Boulevard, says he is her son, but her relatives dispute the claim.
Dennis died from ovarian cancer in Westport, Connecticut, aged 54.
Wesleyan College (dropped out), University of Nebraska
Full Name at Birth
Sandra Dale Dennis
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Sandra Dale “Sandy” Dennis (April 27, 1937 – March 2, 1992) was an American theater and film actress. At the height of her career in the 1960s she won two Tony Awards, as well as an Oscar for her performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
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