Celeste Holm, film and television actress, died at 95

  Dead Famous

Dead, Celeste Holm on July 15, 2012, she was an American stage, film and television actress.

Born and raised in Manhattan on April 29, 1917, Holm was an only child.

Her mother, Jean Parke, was an American portrait artist and author; her father, Theodor Holm, was a Norwegian businessman whose company provided marine adjustment services for Lloyd’s of London.

Holm’s first professional theatrical role was in a production of Hamlet starring Leslie Howard.

She first appeared on Broadway in a small part in Gloriana (1938), a comedy which lasted for only five performances, but her first major part on Broadway was in William Saroyan’s revival of The Time of Your Life (1940) as Mary L. with fellow newcomer Gene Kelly.

The role that got her the most recognition from critics and audiences was as Ado Annie in the premiere production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s in 1943.

In 1958, she starred as a reporter in an unsold television pilot called The Celeste Holm Show, based on the book No Facilities for Women.

Holm also starred in the musical The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall.

In 1965, she played the Fairy Godmother alongside Lesley Ann Warren in the CBS production of Cinderella.

In 1970–71, she was featured on the NBC sitcom Nancy, with Renne Jarrett, John Fink and Robert F. Simon.

In the story line, Holm played Abby Townsend, the press secretary of the First Lady of the United States and the chaperone of Jarrett’s character, Nancy Smith, the President’s daughter.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Holm did more screen acting, with roles in films such as Tom Sawyer and Three Men and a Baby, and in television series (often as a guest star) such as Columbo, The Eleventh Hour, Archie Bunker’s Place and Falcon Crest.

In 1979, she played the role of First Lady Florence Harding in the television mini-series, Backstairs at the White House.

In April 2006, Holm was presented with one of the first two Lifetime Achievement Awards ever awarded by the SunDeis Film Festival at Brandeis University.

(Margaret O’Brien received the other). Following her divorce from Ralph Nelson, Holm put her son Ted Nelson in the care of her parents in order to pursue her acting career.

She saw him only in between breaks from shooting or rehearsals, but maintained a closer relationship with him when Ted became an adult.

During Ms. Holm’s 30-year marriage to her fourth husband, the actor Wesley Addy, she had let him handle their finances.

Things changed with Mr. Addy’s death, in 1996.

In a sworn deposition in May 2008, Mr. Dunning described becoming more involved in his mother’s finances at her request.

He helped her transfer her investments, which were worth close to $2 million, and her apartment, which she had bought in 1953 for $10,000 cash, into limited partnerships.

Then, in November 2002, Mr. Dunning arranged for the limited partnerships to be held by an irrevocable trust, of which he was the trustee and his son the successor.

The trust would pay Ms. Holm’s expenses, about $300,000 a year, according to Mr. Dunning’s deposition.

Mr. Dunning and his children borrowed $533,000 from Ms. Holm, and Mr. Nelson borrowed money as well.

In June 2012, Holm was admitted to New York’s Roosevelt Hospital with dehydration.

She suffered a heart attack on July 13, 2012 in the facility. She was survived by husband Frank Basile and her sons and grandchildren.