Ann Wedgeworth was an award-winning American actress who lived out her acting career in theater, film, and television. Although she has played several memorable roles in her nearly 40-year career, she is especially popular for portraying characters such as Marleen Eldridge and Lana Shields in the sitcoms Evening Shade and Three’s Company.
Ann’s last appearance in a film before her death was in 2006 – in The Hawk Is Dying, which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. During her active years, the actress was nominated for several awards, including a nomination for the Audience Quality Television Award for Best Specialist and two nominations for the National Society of Film Critics Award for her role in Handle with Care (1977) and Sweet Dreams (1985 – which she won).
Who is Ann Wedgeworth and How Old is She?
The prolific actress was born on January 21, 1934, as Elizabeth Ann Wedgeworth in Abilene, Texas, and lived a fulfilled life. She was a student at Highland Park High School in University Park, Texas, and the University of Texas, where she graduated in 1957. After graduating from college, Ann dropped her first name “Elizabeth” and moved to New York to pursue an acting career. There she attended an individual audition for a member of the Actors Studio before she was finally accepted.
Ann Wedgeworth began her professional acting career in 1958 in the Broadway production of the play Make a Million. She then played many other roles in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions such as Thieves by Herb Gardner, Period of Adjustment by Tennessee Williams and James Baldwin’s second play, Blues for Mister Charlie.
She also took part in the production of the plays Chapter Two and A Lie of the Mind and won the Tony Award in 1978 for best performance of a leading actress in a play for the first play and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award as the outstanding leading actress in a play for the second play.
The actress made her television debut in 1957 with the role of Ruth Cashel in the “Revenge” episode of Kraft Theatre. She then continued to appear in several other television works until 1979 when she was cast as Lana Sheilds in one of her most popular works, Three’s Company. After that, Ann Wedgeworth appeared in her next major role in the CBS sitcom Filthy Rich from 1982 to 1983, in which she played the character of Bootsie Westchester in fifteen episodes.
She then appeared in the television sitcom Evening Shade and played the role of Marleen Eldridge, the lead role that made her the lead in 98 episodes of the show that ran on CBS from September 21, 1990, to May 23, 1994. For her outstanding portrayal of her character in the series, Ann Wedgeworth was nominated for a viewer’s award for quality television as the best professional actress.
The actress began her film career with a role in the 1965 film Andy by Richard C. Sarafian, directed by Richard C. Sarafian. Eight years later she was cast as the female lead opposite Gene Hackman in Scarecrow (1973). She later co-starred in the sports drama Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), the comedy-drama Law and Disorder (1974) and the romantic drama One Summer Love (1976), originally entitled Dragonfly. In 1977 Ann Wedgeworth played the role of Dallas Angel in the film Handle with Care and won the National Society of Film Critics award for best-supporting actress for her performance.
During the 1980s she played in numerous supporting roles in films such as No Small Affair, Sweet Dreams, Made in Heaven and others. With her role as Hilda Hensley in Sweet Dreams in 1985, she was close to winning another National Society of Film Critics award.
Ann continued her film career and appeared in many other films and television movies, including Steel Magnolias (1989), Hard Promises (1991), Cooperstown (1993), Love and a .45 (1994), A Burning Passion: The Story of Margaret Mitchell (1994) and The Whole Wide World (1996).
In 1999 Ann Wedgeworth played the role of Borlene in The Hunter’s Moon before she played her very last movie role in The Hawk Is Deying.
Ann Wedgeworth’s Net Worth
The actress had an estimated net worth of about $20 million. That’s not a surprise, considering that she had a very long career in the acting industry, and at the same time, it is a surprise because the movies she starred in her day were not high budget movies like most movies today.
Ann Wedgeworth was brought up in the Baptist faith by her parents Elizabeth Wedgeworth and Cortus Wedgeworth, a teacher. She was married twice and had a daughter in each marriage.
Her first marriage to Rip Torn lasted from 1955 to 1961 and produced her first child named Danae Torn, who followed in her mother’s footsteps to become an actress. In 1970 Ann remarried Ernie Martin, an acting teacher, and director, and together they had Diánna Martin in 1972. Diánna Martin is not only an actress like her mother but also an acting teacher and writer.
Ann Wedgeworth’s Death
At the age of 83, Ann Wedgeworth died in a nursing home in North Bergen, New Jersey. Meanwhile, she had been ill for a very long time before her death. According to the records, the productive actress died in November 2017, on November 16th exactly.