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Page, Geraldine

The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre

Phyllis Hartnoll,

Peter Found

Page, Geraldine 


American Method actress, who made her début in Chicago in 1940 and in New York in 1945. She then appeared for several years with stock companies and did not come into prominence until 1952, when her portrayal of Alma Winemiller in a New York revival of Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke was widely acclaimed. In 1954 she scored a big success as Lizzie Curry, the plain spinster, in N. Richard Nash's The Rainmaker (London, 1956). She successfully succeeded Margaret Leighton in the New York production of Rattigan's double bill Separate Tables (1957), and in 1959 created the role of the Princess in Williams's Sweet Bird of Youth, giving a virtuoso performance as a fading star. A revival of O'Neill's Strange Interlude in 1963 in which she played Nina Leeds was followed in 1964 by a production of Chekhov's Three Sisters in which she played first Olga and then Masha. She was later seen in such plays as Shaffer's double bill White Lies and Black Comedy (1967), Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular (1974), and a triple bill of Strindberg's Creditors, The Stronger, and Miss Julie (1977). In 1980 she starred in Williams's Clothes for a Summer Hotel. Much of her career was devoted to non-commercial work, and in the 1980s alone she appeared Off-Broadway in plays by Ibsen (as Mrs Alving in Ghosts), Giraudoux, Maugham, and Robert Bolt, while in 1985 she was in Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind. She had great sensitivity and a wide range, her comic gifts being well shown in her role as the eccentric Madame Arcati in a revival of Coward's Blithe Spirit, during the run of which she died.