Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Celeste Holm April 29, 1917 - July 15, 2012 Broadway Star, Oscar- Winning Actress

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Celeste Holm April 29, 1917 - July 15, 2012 Broadway Star, Oscar- Winning Actress

Article excerpt

Celeste Holm, a versatile, bright-eyed blonde who soared to Broadway fame in "Oklahoma!" and won an Academy Award in "Gentleman's Agreement" but whose last years were filled with financial difficulty and estrangement from her sons, died Sunday in New York City, a relative said. She was 95.

Ms. Holm had been hospitalized about two weeks ago with dehydration. She asked her husband, Frank Basile, on Friday to bring her home and spent her final days with him and other relatives and close friends by her side, said Amy Phillips, a great-niece of Ms. Holm's.

Ms. Holm died around 3:30 a.m. at her longtime apartment on Central Park West, located in the same building where Robert De Niro lives and where a fire broke out last month, Ms. Phillips said.

In a career that spanned more than half a century, Ms. Holm played everyone from Ado Annie -- the girl who just can't say no in the original cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's hit musical "Oklahoma!" in 1943 -- to a worldly theatrical agent in the 1991 comedy "I Hate Hamlet" to guest star turns on TV shows such as "Fantasy Island" and "Love Boat II" to Bette Davis' best friend in "All About Eve."

Ms. Holm won the Academy Award in 1947 for best supporting actress for her performance in "Gentleman's Agreement" and received Oscar nominations for "Come to the Stable" (1949) and "All About Eve" (1950).

Ms. Holm was also known for her tireless charity work -- at one time she served on nine boards -- and was a board member emeritus of the National Mental Health Association.

She was once president of the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center, which treats emotionally disturbed people using arts therapies. Over the years, she raised $20,000 for UNICEF by charging 50 cents apiece for autographs.

President Ronald Reagan appointed her to a six-year term on the National Council on the Arts in 1982. …

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