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They remember mamas

Actresses look at their mom role inspirations, including Shelley Winters, Susan Sarandon and … Dustin Hoffman.

January 11, 2011

Here's a look at four fascinating film matriarchs and the actresses who admire them

"Lolita" (1962)

The magnificent mom: Blowsy and deluded, Charlotte Haze (Shelley Winters) didn't realize she was raising the archetypical jailbait — and lost her daughter to an obsessed older man.

Seal of approval: "Shelley Winters was brilliant — she brought a subtle edge to that role, which became both terrifying and touching." — Sally Hawkins ("Made in Dagenham")

"Tootsie" (1982)

The magnificent mom: OK, neither Michael Dorsey nor his alter ego Dorothy Michaels (both Dustin Hoffman) were parents, but the scenes she/he had with Julie Nichols' (Jessica Lange) daughter were precious and, well, motherly.

Seal of approval: "Yes, 'Tootsie' was a man. But that said something about motherhood right there. It was a very interesting and different way of looking at portraying a mother figure, and when that film came out it was really quite original." — Ruth Sheen ("Another Year")

"Sophie's Choice" (1982)

The magnificent mom: A mother is forced into the unthinkable — which child to send to the gas chamber, and which one to save? Ultimately, Sophie (Meryl Streep) couldn't live with her decision.

Seal of approval: "She had the worst mother dilemma of all." — Melissa Leo ("The Fighter")

"Lorenzo's Oil" (1992)

The magnificent mom: What mom wouldn't do anything she could for her sick child? In the case of Michaela (Susan Sarandon), she devoted herself to finding a cure.

Seal of approval: "When Susan Sarandon plays a mother, I'm totally hooked. She just gives it a touch, whether in 'Lorenzo's Oil' or 'Stepmom' or 'The Lovely Bones.' Even when she's playing a rat-bag mother, I'm hooked." — Jacki Weaver ("Animal Kingdom")

—Randee Dawn

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