Veteran actress Anne Jackson has died at the age of 90. Although Jackson, and her (late) husband Eli Wallach both enjoyed success in their own rights (she in “Lovers & Other Strangers” and he in “The Good, the Bad & The Ugly” for example), together they became one of the premiere acting couples of the American theater, in a league with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne and Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, both on and off Broadway, beginning in 194 and ending with their retirement in 2000. She later taught at the HB Studio in Manhattan, and continued to act in cameo roles. Wallach died at the age of 98 June 24, 2014.
Jackson, the youngest of three sisters, was born in Millvale, PA, although the family moved to Brooklyn when she was 7. When she was 14, her mother had a breakdown and was institutionalized for the rest of her life, and movies came to provide an escape,” for the young girl, who soon gained notoriety in school by doing celebrity impressions and excelling in drama.
Following graduation from high school, Jackson trained at New York City’s Neighborhood Playhouse and The Actor’s Studio. She made her Broadway debut in 1945. Her theatre credits include Summer and Smoke, Arms and the Man, Luv,The Waltz of the Toreadors, Mr. Peters’ Connections, and Lost in Yonkers.
According to the New York Times, Jackson and Wallach “appeared together 13 times on Broadway, seven times Off Broadway, and occasionally in movies and on television. They won twin Obies for their efforts in Schisgal’s 1963 Off Broadway double bill, “The Typists” and “The Tiger,” then starred together, directed by Mike Nichols, in Schisgal’s hit 1964 Broadway comedy “Luv” (it ran 901 performances and won three Tonys) and, 20-years later, in a 2nd pair of the playwright’s one-acts, “Twice Around the Park,” on Broadway in 1982. They also appeared together in the classics, including Chekhov and Shaw. as well as dramas by Tennessee Williams and Ionesco. Jackson also garnered praise for her work in Williams’ “Summer and Smoke” (1948), Shaw’s “Arms and the Man” (1950) and Edward Chodorov’s comedy “Oh, Men! Oh, Women!” (1953).
Meanwhile Anne Jackson’s screen credits include The Tiger Makes Out, The Secret Life of an American Wife, How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, “Dirty Dingus Magee, and The Shining. Her many television appearances include Armstrong Circle Theatre, Academy Theatre,The Philco Television Playhouse, Studio One, The Untouchables, The Defenders, Gunsmoke,” Marcus Welby, “M.D., Rhoda,” Highway to Heaven,” “Law & Order,” and “ER.” She narrated Stellaluna on an episode of the PBS series Reading Rainbow, aired on October 12, 1994.
Although she published a memoir in 1979, she chose not to discuss her career, but used it as a tool to analyze the early years of psychological turmoil that made her who she became. She also wrote about the deaths of her parents and her early years with Wallach.
Jackson is survived by her two daughters, Roberta and Katherine; a son, Peter; a sister; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.