Anne Baxter, granddaughter of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was destined for stardom. She was once described by critic Andrew Sarris as one of the women who "shine with special brilliance from midnight to five o'clock in the morning of the soul." Born in Michigan City, Indiana on May 7, 1923, she was the daughter of Kenneth Stuart Baxter and his wife, Catherine Dorothy Wright. Anne began acting at the age of 11 with Maria Ouspenskaya, debuting on Broadway two years later in "Seen But Not Heard." As a teenager she was screen tested and landed a seven year contract with Twentieth Century-Fox. She continued working on Broadway until her screen debut at age 17 while on loan to MGM in Twenty-Mule Team (1940), a minor Western featuring Wallace Beery and Marjorie Rambeau.
She labored in some lackluster films and had her breakthrough role playing Joseph Cotten's daughter in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). Charming, beautiful, and at home in a variety of parts, Anne worked with many of Hollywood's most celebrated and accomplished directors (Welles, Hitchcock, Lang, Mankiewicz, Wilder, Wellman) and won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in The Razor's Edge (1946). She often played shy and innocent types and gave some outstanding performances, such as her portrayal of the scheming ingenue Eve Harrington in All About Eve (1950). Miss Baxter and Bette Davis were both nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, but it went to Judy Holliday. She was initially cast in All About Eve (1950) because of her resemblance to Claudette Colbert. Miss Colbert was first signed for the role of Margo and the idea was to have Eve visually turn into Margo.
After her excellent work as Queen Nefretiri in The Ten Commandments (1956), she was offered less challenging roles. Baxter left Hollywood in 1960 for an isolated cattle station in Australia, an experience she described in her critically-acclaimed 1976 book "Intermission: A True Story." After her return to Hollywood in the mid 1960s, she turned to television and theatre. She spent a year or two touring with Hume Cronyn and
his delightful wife Jessica Tandy in "Noel Coward in Two Keys" and was Lauren Bacall's replacement as Margo Channing in "Applause", the musical version of All About Eve. Baxter did some notable television work, including an Emmy-nominated performance for a guest shot on "The Name of the Game", appearances on "Marcus Welby, M.D." and parts in the early '80s series "Hotel" and "East of Eden."
Anne Baxter was married in 1946 to actor John Hodiak, whom she met while filming Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (1944). They had a daughter Katrina Hodiak and were divorced in 1953. She was married to Randolph Galt in 1960 and had 2 daughters, Melissa Galt, an interior designer in Atlanta, Georgia, and Maginel Galt, a Roman Catholic nun in Rome, Italy. Baxter and Galt were divorced in 1969. She was also married to David Klee from 1977 until his death in 1978. On December 12, 1985, at the age of 62, Anne died of a brain aneurysm in New York City. She was interred at Unity Chapel, Spring Green, Wisconsin. Miss Baxter played an instrumental role in Los Angeles charities and scholarship funding and was a very down-to-earth lady who is deeply missed.