Anne Jackson, whose Broadway career spanned 50 years — including many shows with her late husband Eli Wallach — and whose wealth of TV and film credits included a memorable performance in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, has died. She was 90. The New York Times reported that the actress died Tuesday at her Manhattan home.
Jackson appeared in more than two dozen Main Stem productions, including a Tony-nominated turn in Paddy Chayefsky’s Middle of the Night (1956). But she is best remembered for her many roles opposite Wallach, her husband from 1948 until his death in 2014. They met in a 1946 production of Tennessee Williams’ This Property Is Condemned and would share the stage in 13 Broadway shows and seven off-Broadway along with occasional films and TV shows. The thespian couple appeared together in such Main Stem productions as George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara (1956), the Mike Nichols-directed Luv (1964) and Promenade, All! (1972). Among the many highlights of a joint career was their 1961 appearance opposite Zero Mostel in the Broadway premiere of Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist comedy Rhinoceros. Staged by theater and film director Joseph Anthony (The Rainmaker), the production was hailed by the New York Times drama critic Howard Taubman as “a joyous revelation.” Following that, they had a long run off-Broadway in George Tabori’s compilation Brecht On Brecht at the Theatre De Lys (now the Lucille Lortel) in Greenwich Vilage. Their costars were Lotte Lenya, Viveca Lindfors and George Voskovec, among others. In 1978, Jackson and Wallach played the parents in an off-Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank that starred their daughters Roberta and Katherine as Anne and her sister Margot respectively.
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A native of Millvale, PA, outside Pittsburgh, Jackson’s TV career spanned 60 years, from such early programs as Danger, Suspense and Kraft Theatre through Marcus Welby, M.D. and Rhoda to Highway to Heaven and ER. She also appeared on the two longest-running primetime dramas in U.S. history: Gunsmoke and Law & Order. Her films ranged from So Young So Bad (1950) and The Secret Life of an American Wife with Walter Matthau (1968) to The Shining with Jack Nicholson (1980) and Sam’s Son (1984). She scored an Emmy nom for her lead role in a divorce-themed 1967 episode of CBS Playhouse.
In addition to daughters Roberta and Katherine, Jackson is survived by a son, Peter Wallach, also an actor; sister Beatrice; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
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