Martha Scott

Martha Ellen Scott (September 22, 1912 – May 28, 2003) was an American actress best known for her roles as mother of the lead character in numerous films and television shows. Scott was born in Jamesport, Missouri, the daughter of Letha (née McKinley) and Walter Scott, an engineer and garage owner; her mother was a second-cousin of U.S. President William McKinley. Scott became interested in acting in high school. She got her start acting in shortened Shakespeare productions at the Century of Progress world's fair in Chicago (1933–34). Scott eventually went to New York City, where she was cast as the original Emily in the Broadway production of Our Town. Her film debut in Our Town in 1940 saw her receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her critically acclaimed performance as Emily Webb. Scott's co-star was William Holden, in the role of George Gibbs. She appeared in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, Airport 1975 and The Turning Point. In both The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur, she played Charlton Heston's character's mother. She married radio producer and announcer Carlton Alsop in 1940, and jazz pianist and composer Mel Powell in 1946.


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