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Anne Baxter Dies at 62, 8 Days After Her Stroke

December 12, 1985|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — Anne Baxter, the granddaughter of architect Frank Lloyd Wright who built her own career acting in roles that ranged from the scheming ingenue Eve Harrington in "All About Eve" to Victoria Cabot on TV's "Hotel," died today, eight days after suffering a stroke and collapsing on Madison Avenue. She was 62.

She never regained consciousness and succumbed at 10:50 a.m. in the intensive care ward of Lenox Hill Hospital.

Baxter, who won one Academy Award and was nominated for a second in her 45-year screen career, most recently played in the ABC series "Hotel." She joined the show in 1983 when Bette Davis became ill.

Baxter was born in Michigan City, Ind. She grew up in Bronxville and other suburbs of New York City, where she attended private schools.

She made her Broadway debut at 13 in "Seen But Not Heard," and her feature film debut in 1940 in "Twenty Mule Team."

She went on to appear in such films as "The Magnificent Ambersons," "The Pied Piper" and "Five Graves to Cairo" while under contract to 20th Century Fox Studios.

In 1946, Baxter won an Oscar for best supporting actress in "The Razor's Edge." She was nominated for an Academy Award again in 1950 for her role in "All About Eve."

Baxter's marriage in 1946 to actor John Hodiak ended in divorce.

In 1960, she left Hollywood to settle on a cattle station in Australia with her second husband, Randolph Galt. She later wrote of her experience and disillusionment in the book "Intermission: A True Story."

Her marriage to Galt was dissolved in 1970. She had one daughter, Katrina, by Hodiak and two, Melissa and Maginel, by Galt.

In February, 1977, she married banker David Klee, who died later the same year.

"Being a wife-mother and doing a job, it's the toughest damn thing in the world. But we want it," she told an interviewer in 1971 after returning to Hollywood. "I tried it the other way. I went to Australia, for heaven's sake, and lived on a ranch.

"Acting is not what I do. It's what I am," Baxter added. "It's my permanent, built-in cathedral."

In the same interview, she recalled that Darryl Zanuck first refused to consider her for the part of Sophie, an unhappy young alcoholic in "The Razor's Edge."

"Darryl Zanuck thought all women were either broads or librarians. He thought I was a librarian. He thought I was smart," she said.

When Baxter was proposed for the role, she recalled, "Darryl said: 'She has no sex. She's a cold potato.' "

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