Ann Sothern

Ann Sothern

Infobox actor
name = Ann Sothern

imagesize = 250px
caption = Ann Sothern from the trailer for the 1943 film "Cry 'Havoc'"
birthname = Harriette Arlene Lake
birthdate = birth date|1909|1|22
location = Valley City, North Dakota
deathdate = death date and age|2001|3|15|1909|1|22
deathplace = Ketchum, Idaho
spouse = Roger Pryor (1936-1943)
Robert Sterling (1943-1949)
goldenglobeawards = Best TV Show
1959 "The Ann Sothern Show"

Ann Sothern (January 22, 1909 – March 15, 2001) was an Academy Award-nominated American film and television actress with a career spanning six decades.

Early life and career

Born Harriette Arlene Lake in Valley City, North Dakota, although she went to Central High School in St. Paul, Minnesota with classmate Edward Heimberger (later to become known as Eddie Albert), Sothern left home very young and began her film career as an extra in the 1927 film, "Broadway Nights" at the age of 18. During 1929 and 1930, she appeared as a chorus girl in such films as "The Show of Shows" and "Whoopee!" (as one of the "Goldwyn Girls"). She also appeared on Broadway and had a trained voice, occasionally singing in films.

On Broadway in 1931, she had leading roles in "America's Sweetheart" (135 performances in which she sang "I've Got Five Dollars" and "We'll Be The Same") and in "Everybody's Welcome" (139 performances).

In 1934, Sothern signed a contract with Columbia Pictures, but after two years the studio released her from the contract. In 1936, she was signed by RKO Radio Pictures and after a string of films that failed to attract an audience, Sothern left RKO and was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, making her first film for them in 1939.

In a role originally intended for Jean Harlow, MGM cast Sothern in the film "Maisie" (1939), as brassy Brooklyn burlesque dancer Mary Anastasia O'Connor who also goes by the stage name Maisie Ravier. In Mary C. McCall Jr.'s screenplay of Wilson Collison's novel, Maisie is stranded penniless in a small Wyoming town, takes a job as a ranch maid and becomes caught in a web of romantic entanglements. After years of struggling, Sothern had her first real success, and a string of "Maisie" comedy sequels followed, beginning with "Congo Maisie"'(1940), followed by "Undercover Maisie" (1947) in which Maisie infiltrates a gang of con men headed by a phony swami. A review of "Swing Shift Maisie" (1943) by "Time magazine" praised Sothern and described her as "one of the smartest comediennes in the business". [cite web|url=,9171,778062,00.html | title=The New Pictures| | ]

On November 24, 1941, Sothern performed in the "Lux Radio Theater" adaptation of "Maisie Was a Lady", and the popularity of the film series led to her own radio program, "The Adventures of Maisie", broadcast on CBS from 1945 to 1947, on Mutual Broadcasting System in 1952 and in syndication from 1949 to 1953.

In 1949, Sothern appeared in the Oscar winning film, "A Letter to Three Wives". The film earned her excellent reviews, but failed to stimulate her career. During the 1950s, she made a few movies, including "The Blue Gardenia" (1953), but mainly appeared on various television shows. In 1953, she landed the lead role in the series "Private Secretary". After "Secretary" ended in 1957 due to a contract dispute between Sothern and producer Jack Chertok, she appeared in her own show, "The Ann Sothern Show", from 1958 to 1961. Both programs were successful and earned Sothern four Emmy Award nominations.

Later career

Previously a stunning beauty, Sothern had a bout of hepatitis which left her with a bloated, overweight appearance; so she preferred not to be seen. In 1965, she was heard as the voice of Gladys Crabtree (the car) in the short lived series "My Mother the Car", which co-starred Jerry Van Dyke. The series was unsuccessful and was canceled after 30 episodes.

During this period, Sothern made occasional guest appearances on "The Lucy Show" with her old RKO and MGM cohort, Lucille Ball. After Vivian Vance left the show, Sothern was considered to replace Vance, but the role was given to Mary Jane Croft. In 1967, her former boss Desi Arnaz, the first husband of Lucille Ball, approached her to co-star with Eve Arden as battling neighbors in "The Mothers-in-Law". However, NBC felt that Sothern's style was too similar to Arden's, so the very differently styled and younger Kaye Ballard got the part.

She resumed working sporadically on television until the mid-1980s, including a television remake of her earlier success "A Letter to Three Wives". Her final film role was in "The Whales of August" in 1987. Her role as the neighbor of elderly sisters, played by Lillian Gish and Bette Davis, brought Sothern her first and only Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination after 60 years in the business. However, she lost to Olympia Dukakis.

Personal life

Sothern was married to actor Roger Pryor from 1936 until May 17, 1943. Less than a week later, she married actor Robert Sterling. The couple had one daughter, actress Tisha Sterling, before divorcing six years later. [ [ IMDb bio for Ann Sothern] ]

In 1984, Sothern retired from acting and moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where she spent her remaining years.


On March 15, 2001, Sothern died from heart failure at the age of 92. She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for motion pictures (1612 Vine Street) and television (1634 Vine Street).


*"Broadway Nights" (Uncredited, 1927)
*"Hearts in Exile" (Uncredited, 1929)
*"The Show of Shows" (1929)
*"Song of the West" (1930)
*"Hold Everything" (1930)
*"Doughboys" (1930)
*"Whoopee!" (1930)
*"Footlight Parade" (1933)
*"Broadway Through a Keyhole" (1933)
*"Let's Fall in Love" (1933)
*"Melody in Spring" (1934)
*"The Hell Cat" (1934)
*"The Party's Over " (1934)
*"Blind Date " (1934)
*"Kid Millions" (1934)
*"Folies-Bergere de Paris" (1935)
*"Eight Bells" (1935)
*"Hooray for Love" (1935)
*"The Girl Friend" (1935)
*"Grand Exit" (1935)
*"You May Be Next" (1936)
*"Hell-Ship Morgan" (1936)
*"Don't Gamble with Love" (1936)
*"My American Wife" (1936)
*"Walking on Air" (1936)
*"Smartest Girl in Town" (1936)
*"Dangerous Number" (1937)
*"There Goes My Girl" (1937)
*"Fifty Roads to Town" (1937)
*"Super-Sleuth" (1937)
*"Ali Baba Goes to Town" (1937) (Cameo)
*"There Goes the Groom" (1937)
*"She's Got Everything" (1937)
*"Trade Winds" (1938)
*"Maisie" (1939)
*"Hotel for Women" (1939)
*"Fast and Furious" (1939)
*"Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President" (1939)
*"Congo Maisie" (1940)
*"Brother Orchid" (1940)
*"Gold Rush Maisie" (1940)
*"Dulcy" (1940)
*"Maisie Was a Lady" (1941)
*"Ringside Maisie" (1941)
*"Lady Be Good" (1941)
*"Maisie Gets Her Man" (1942)
*"Panama Hattie" (1942)
*"You, John Jones" (Short subject, 1943)
*"Three Hearts for Julia" (1943)
*"Thousands Cheer" (1943)
*"Swing Shift Maisie" (1943)
*"Cry 'Havoc'" (1943)
*"Maisie Goes to Reno" (1944)
*"Up Goes Maisie" (1946)
*"Undercover Maisie" (1947)
*"April Showers" (1948)
*"Words and Music" (1948)
*"A Letter to Three Wives" (1949)
*"The Judge Steps Out" (1949)
*"Tension" (1950) (Appears on magazine cover)
*"Nancy Goes to Rio" (1950)
*"Shadow on the Wall" (1950)
*"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" (1 episode, 1952)
*"Hollywood Opening Night" (1 episode, 1952)
*"What's My Line?" (as Mystery Guest 8/30/1953)
*"The Blue Gardenia" (1953)
*"Lady in the Dark" (1954)
*"The Loretta Young Show" (1 episode, 1955)
*"The Ford Television Theatre" (1 episode, 1957)
*"Private Secretary" (103 episodes, 1953-1957)
*"The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" (1 episode, 1957)
*"The Steve Allen Show" (1 episode, 1958)
*"The Ann Sothern Show" (93 episodes, 1958-1961)
*"The June Allyson Show" (1 episode, 1959)
*"The Best Man" (1964)
*"Lady in a Cage" (1964)
*"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (1 episode, 1964)
*"Sylvia" (1965)
*"The Lucy Show" (6 episodes, 1965)
*"The Legend of Jesse James" (1 episode, 1965)
*"My Mother the Car" (30 episodes, 1965-1966)
*"The Girl from U.N.C.L.E." (1 episode, 1967)
*"The Outsider" (1967)
*"Family Affair" (1 episode, 1968)
*"Chubasco" (1968)
*"The Greatest Mother of Them All" (1969)
*"Insight" (2 episodes, 1964-1969)
*"Love, American Style" (1 episode, 1969)
*"The Virginian" (1 episode, 1971)
*"Congratulations, It's a Boy!" (1971)
*"A Death of Innocence" (1971)
*"The Chicago Teddy Bears" (1 episode, 1971)
*"Alias Smith and Jones" (1 episode, 1971)
*"The Great Man's Whiskers" (1972)
*"The Weekend Nun" (1972)
*"The Killing Kind " (1973)
*"Golden Needles" (1974)
*"Crazy Mama" (1975)
*"Medical Story" (1 episode, 1975)
*"Captains and the Kings" (Miniseries, 1976)
*"Flying High" (1 episode, 1978)
*"The Manitou" (1978)
*"The Little Dragons" (1980)
*"A Letter to Three Wives" (1985)
*"The Whales of August" (1987)

Awards and nominations

Academy Award
*Nominated: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, "The Whales of August" (1988)

Emmy Award
*Nominated: Best Actress Starring in a Regular Series, "Private Secretary" (1955)
*Nominated: Best Actress - Continuing Performance, "Private Secretary" (1956)
*Nominated: Best Comedienne (1956)
*Nominated: Best Continuing Performance by a Comedienne in a Series, "Private Secretary" (1957)
*Nominated: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series, "The Ann Sothern Show" (1959)

Golden Globe Award
*Won: Best TV Show, "The Ann Sothern Show" (1959)
*Nominated: Best Supporting Actress, "The Best Man" (1965)

Independent Spirit Awards
*Nominated: Best Supporting Female, "The Whales of August" (1988)


*Briggs, Colin. "Cordially Yours, Ann Sothern". Albany, Georgia: BearManor Media, 2006.

External links

*imdb name|id=0815433|name=Ann Sothern
*tcmdb name|id=181256|name=Ann Sothern
*ibdb name|id=60589|name=Ann Sothern
* [ "Movie Magazine International": Ann Sothern]
* [ Ann Sothern at Find a Grave]
* [ The Women Who Made Television Funny: Ten Stars of 1950s Sitcoms]

NAME= Sothern, Ann
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Lake, Harriet Arlene
DATE OF BIRTH= January 22, 1909
PLACE OF BIRTH= Valley City, North Dakota
DATE OF DEATH= March 15, 2001
PLACE OF DEATH= Ketchum, Idaho

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  • Ann Sothern — (eigentlich Harriette Arlene Lake; * 22. Januar 1909 in Valley City, North Dakota; † 15. März 2001 in Ketchum, Idaho) war eine US amerikanische Schauspielerin. Karriere Na …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • The Ann Sothern Show — infobox television show name = The Ann Sothern Show caption = rating = format = Sitcom runtime = 30 minutes (per episode) director = creator = starring = Ann Sothern Don Porter Ann Tyrrell Jesse White Jack Mullaney country = USA network = CBS… …   Wikipedia

  • Sothern — Ann Sothern (eigentlich Harriette Arlene Lake; * 22. Januar 1909 in Valley City, North Dakota; † 15. März 2001 in Ketchum, Idaho) war eine US amerikanische Schauspielerin. Karriere Nach einer Ausbildung als Sängerin durch ihre Mutter, die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sothern — is a surname, and may refer to:* Ann Sothern (1909 2001), Academy Award nominated American film and television actress * Denny Sothern (1904 1977), major league baseball player * E. H. Sothern (1859 1933), American actor * Edward Askew Sothern… …   Wikipedia

  • Ann (Vorname) — Ann ist eine Variante des weiblichen Vornamens Anna. Folgende bekannte Personen tragen diesen Namen: Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sothern, Ann — ▪ 2002 Harriette Lake        American actress (b. Jan. 22, 1909, Valley City, N.D. d. March 15, 2001, Ketchum, Idaho), achieved fame with her roles in films that included Maisie (1939) and Lady Be Good (1941) and as the star of the 1950s… …   Universalium

  • ANN — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.   Sigles d’une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres > Sigles de trois lettres   Sigles de quatre lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

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