Clinton, Massachusetts, USA
Place of Death
Rochester, Minnesota, USA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Other Crew
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Agnes Robertson Moorehead (December 6, 1900 – April 30, 1974) was an American actress. Although she began with the Mercury Theatre, appeared in more than seventy films beginning with Citizen Kane and on dozens of television shows during a career that spanned more than thirty years, Moorehead is most widely known to modern audiences for her role as the witch Endora in the series Bewitched. While rarely playing leads in films, Moorehead`s skill at character development and range earned her one Emmy Award and two Golden Globe awards in addition to four Academy Award and six Emmy Award nominations. Moorehead`s transition to television won acclaim for drama and comedy. She could play many different types, but often portrayed haughty, arrogant characters. Moorehead was born in Clinton, Massachusetts, of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry, to a Presbyterian clergyman, John Henderson Moorehead, and his wife, the former Mildred McCauley, who had been a singer. Moorehead later shaved six years off her age by claiming to have been born in 1906. Moorehead recalled her first public performance was at the age of three, reciting "The Lord`s Prayer" in her father`s church. The family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and Moorehead`s ambition to become an actress grew "very strong". Moorehead received six Emmy Award nominations, but was quick to remind interviewers that she had enjoyed a long and distinguished career. Despite her ambivalence, she remained with Bewitched until its run ended in 1972. She commented to the New York Times in 1974, "I`ve been in movies and played theater from coast to coast, so I was quite well known before Bewitched, and I don`t particularly want to be identified as a witch." Later that year she said that she had enjoyed playing the role, but that it was not challenging and the show itself was "not breathtaking" although her flamboyant and colorful character appealed to children. She expressed a fondness for the show`s star, Elizabeth Montgomery, and said that she had enjoyed working with her. Co-star Dick Sargent, who in 1969 replaced the ill Dick York as Samantha`s husband, Darrin Stephens, had a more difficult relationship with Moorehead, and described her as "a tough old bird...very self-involved."
Moorehead married actor John Griffith Lee in 1930, and they divorced in 1952. Moorehead and Lee adopted an orphan named Sean in 1949, but it remains unclear whether the adoption was legal, although Moorehead did raise the child until he ran away from home. In 1954, she married actor Robert Gist, and they divorced in 1958. In the years since her death, rumors about Moorehead`s being a lesbian have been widespread, most notoriously in the book Hollywood Lesbians by Boze Hadleigh, whose source for the allegation was Paul Lynde. However, Moorehead biographer Charles Tranberg (I Love the Illusion: The Life and Career of Agnes Moorehead, 2005) interviewed several of the actress`s closest friends, including some who are openly gay, who all stated the rumor is untrue. Debbie Reynolds explicitly denied to film historian Robert Osborne that her "best friend" Moorehead was gay. Moorehead was a devout Presbyterian (Reynolds described her as "terribly religious") and, in interviews, often spoke of her relationship with God. Erin Murphy stated that the actress would read Bible stories to the children affiliated with Bewitched. Shortly before her death, Moorehead, who embraced her Reformed Calvinist roots, sought conservative causes to benefit after her death through her estate. Moorehead died of uterine cancer at the age of seventy-three in Rochester, Minnesota. Previously, many had thought that her death had been from lung cancer. She appeared in the 1956 movie The Conqueror, which was shot downwind from a nuclear test site, and was one of over 90 cast and crew members to contract cancer, out of the 220 who worked on the picture. She is entombed at Dayton Memorial Park in Dayton, Ohio.
Couple Profile Source
Central High School in St. Louis in 1918
University of Wisconsin master`s degree in English, New York`s Academy of Dramatic Arts, Honorary degree from Bradley University
Full Name at Birth
Agnes Robertson Moorehead
John Henderson Moorehead
Mildred McCauley Moorehead
Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Helen Hayes, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde
Agnes Robertson Moorehead (December 6, 1900 – April 30, 1974) was an American actress whose career of six decades included work in radio, stage, film, and television. She is chiefly known for her role as Endora on the television series Bewitched. She was also notable for her film roles in Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, All That Heaven Allows, Show Boat and Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte.
Muskingum College New Concord, Ohio
1933 - 1974, 1933–1974
Often played arrogant or haughty characters
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