Carlotta Mercedes Agnes McCambridge - known to most as simply Mercedes McCambridge - was born on 16th March 1916 died on the 2nd of March 2004 at the age of 87. She was born in Joliet, Illinois, USA.
Before she became a successful film star she was a famous radio star and as well as starring in many soap opera’s she played a major contribution as a support actress in a wide variety of old time radio shows. The great Orson Welles apparently referred to her as the world's greatest living radio actress.
From the mid 1930s through to 1939 she had many support roles in Lights Out, whilst at the same time playing in numerous soap operas including the part of Mary Ruthledge, the daughter of Reverend John Ruthledge in Guiding Light (I'll try and get some of those up in April), Betty in Betty and Bob, Midge, the daughter of Charles and Julia Meredith, in Midstream, and Ruth in Big Sister.
Between 1939 and 1952 she was cast in many different roles in the adventure serial drama I Love a Mystery and in several comedies including starring roles in This Is Judy Jones and Abie’s Irish Rose, a situation comedy about a marriage of two cultures, Catholic and Jewish.
In the 1940s she acted alongside many major film stars in Plays For America, which were topical wartime dramas written, produced and directed by Arch Obler, and was a regular in the casts of The Whistler, The Adventures of Bill Lance, Murder at Midnight, a drama anthology called Studio One (I'll do my best to get some of those up in April too), and several episodes of Red Ryder.
In the early 1950s she had the starring role as Martha Ellis Bryant, a defence lawyer, in the crime drama Defence Attorney (I've put one of those up today) and she followed this with the part of Sara Ann Spence in the serial drama Family Skeleton.
In her film career she won an Oscar for her portrayal of Sadie Burke in the 1949 film All the King's Men and in 1973 she provided the voice of the demon-possessed girl in William Friedkin's classic The Exorcist. TV appearances included Magnum PI.