2. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress (Musical) for New Girl in Town in 1958. She actually tied for the award with her co-star Gwen Verdon--the first time that ever happened. The play, a musical adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie, is about a former prostitute (Verdon) hiding her past from her father. Dad's resentful lover Marthy (Ritter) quickly realizes the truth--which is bad news for Anna. Marie Dressler played the Marthy role opposite Greta Garbo in the 1931 film version of Anna Christie.
|In Pillow Talk (1959).|
4. She attended the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City in the early 1920s. Although economic realities prevented her from graduating, she received the first AADA Alumni Award according to Axel Nixon's book Actresses of a Certain Character. By the way, her fellow AADA students included a young Spencer Tracy and Sterling Holloway.
5. Thelma's husband, Joseph Moran, was an actor, too. However, he turned to advertising in the 1930s and eventually became vice president of the ad firm Young & Rubicam. He appeared briefly with Thelma in The Proud and the Profane (1956), billed as "Marine Saying Goodbye." They were married for 38 years until her death in 1969. Her daughter Monica Moran became an actress and had a brief film career. Her son, Joseph A. Moran, was a Marine and testified in a court-martial in 1956 related to the Ribbon Creek Incident in which six Marines died in a South Carolina swamp.
|With James Stewart in Rear Window.|
7. Thelma Ritter was born on Valentine's Day in 1902. She was 45 when she made her film debut in an uncredited role in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). She died of a heart attack in 1969 at the age of 66.