Academy Award Winning Actress Jane Darwell Was From Palmyra
We're entering awards show season. The 86th annual Academy Awards will take place on March 2. Did you know that winner for Best Supporting Actress at the 13th Academy Awards was from Palmyra?
Jane Darwell - real name Patti Woodward - was born in Palmyra in 1879. Her father was a railroad executive for the Hannibal-St. Joe Railroad. According to reports, Mr. Woodward disapproved of his daughter's ambition to be a performer, so she took the stage name of Jane Darwell so as not to "sully her family name." ShowMePalmyra.com says that Darwell's family home is still in use as a private residence.
Darwell appeared in over 100 films in her career, including many historically significant movies like 'The Grapes of Wrath,' 'Gone With the Wind,' 'The Devil and Daniel Webster' and 'Mary Poppins.'
Jane Darwell took home the Oscar in 1940 for her role as Ma Joad in 'The Grapes of Wrath.' The film earned two Academy Awards: Darwell's Best Supporting Actress award and the Best Director award for John Ford. The film was also among the first 25 films chosen for preservation by the National Film Registry in 1989.
Darwell's final movie role was that of the Bird Lady in 'Mary Poppins.' She died in 1967, and her remains are buried in Glendale, California. Jane Darwell was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard.