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NPR Arts & Life

Fresh Air Remembers Actress Celeste Holm

Celeste Holm, the actress of stage and screen, passed away of a heart attack on July 15. She was 95 years old.

Made famous on Broadway for her role as Ado Annie in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, Holm earned more fans for her performances in All About Eve (1950), The Tender Trap (1955) and High Society (1956).

For her third film, Elia Kazan's Gentleman's Agreement, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; she played a fashion editor who assists a journalist pretending to be Jewish (played by Gregory Peck) in his expose on the realities of American anti-semitism.

Born to Jean Parke, an artist and author, and Theodor Holm, a businessman, Holm attended various schools in Europe and the United States. She graduated from University High School for Girls in Chicago, where she performed in many school stage productions. She studied drama at the University of Chicago before becoming a stage actress in the late 1930s.

Celeste Holm spoke to Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 1990; we remember her with an excerpt of that conversation.

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