Oscar, Tony winner Beatrice Straight dead at 86

Wednesday, April 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Actress Beatrice Straight, who earned an Academy Award for her role as William Holden's estranged wife in the television spoof ``Network,'' has died. She was 86.

Straight, who also earned a Tony for her work on Broadway and was nominated for a television Emmy, died Saturday in Los Angeles, her son Tony Cookson said.

Although she needed just three days to film her three scenes in ``Network,'' nobody disputed Straight's selection as the best supporting actress of 1976 for her portrayal of a wife struggling to keep her sanity after being dumped for a younger woman.

The movie, which gave Americans the catch phrase ``I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!'', gave Straight one of her most high-profile Hollywood performances. Others included the paranormal investigator in 1982's ``Poltergeist'' and Mother Christophe in 1959's ``The Nun's Story.'''

Her stage career extended for decades and garnered her a Tony as best supporting actress of 1953 for her Broadway portrayal of a Puritan accused of witchcraft in Arthur Miller's ``The Crucible.'' She made her Broadway debut in ``Bitter Oleander'' in 1935.

She also appeared on television for more than 40 years, earning an Emmy nomination in 1978 for her role as the matriarch in the miniseries ``The Dain Curse.''

She also appeared opposite Lynda Carter in the hit 1970s series ``Wonder Woman,'' playing the Queen Mother to Carter's title character.

Other movie credits included ``Bloodline,'' ``The Promise,'' ``Endless Love,'' ``Two of a Kind'' and ``Power.'' Her final film role was as Goldie Hawn's mother in 1991's ``Deceived.''