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Shelley Winters was an Academy Award-winning actress known for films like The Diary of Anne Frank, A Patch of Blue and Alfie, among scores of others.
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In 1971, Winters had a series of one-act plays known as One Night Stands of a Noisy Passenger produced off-Broadway.
among others. She played an rotund elderly woman and former championship swimmer who tries to escape from a cruise ship that has been turned upside-down. For her work on the film, Winters received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
During the 1980s, Winters enjoyed a new form of success as a best-selling author. She wrote a tell-all autobiography, Shelley, Also Known as Shirley, which was published in 1980. In the book, Winters discussed her many love affairs with such actors as Marlon Brando, William Holden, Errol Flynn, Sean Connery, and Burt Lancaster. She also wrote about her time as Marilyn Monroe's roommate in her early days in Los Angeles. She published a sequel in 1989 entitled Shelley II: The Middle of My Century.
In her later years, Winters landed a few small film roles, such as playing Nicole Kidman's aunt in Portrait of a Lady (1996). She also had a recurring role on the popular sitcom Roseanne as Roseanne's grandmother from 1991 to 1996.
In 2005, Winters' health took a turn for the worst. She had a heart attack in October and was staying at a rehabilitation center in Beverly Hills, California, when she passed away from heart failure on January 14, 2006.
Married three times, Winters' union with Paul Meyer lasted from 1943 to 1946. In 1952, she married Italian actor Vittorio Gassman. The couple had one child together, daughter Vittoria, before divorcing in 1954. Winters married actor Anthony Franciosa, her co-star from A Hatful of Rain, in 1957. The pair divorced three years later. For the last 19 years of her life, Winters was involved with Jerry DeFord.
Winters once summed up her life as "one New York apartment, two Oscars, three California houses, four hit plays, five Impressionist paintings, six mink coats, and 99 films." A fair assessment, but it lacks recognition of the range of her work. From blonde bombshells, to vulnerable yet vulgar working-class girls, to masterfully evil mothers, Winters played them all.
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