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Marion Lorne
Credits
Role Aunt Clara
Biographical Information
Birth Name Marion Lorne MacDougall
Birthdate August 12, 1883
Birthplace West Pittston, Pennsylvania, United States
Death Date May 9, 1968 (age 84)
Death Place New York, New York, United States

Marion Lorne portrayed Aunt Clara, Samantha's favorite aunt, whose magic often goes astray.

Forever embraced as the mumbling, bumbling Aunt Clara on the Bewitched (1964) television series, endearing character actress Marion Lorne had a five-decade-long career on the stage before ever becoming a familiar television household name.

Life and Career

Born Marion Lorne MacDougall on August 12, 1883 (other sources list 1885 and 1888), she grew up in her native Pennsylvania, the daughter of Scottish and English immigrants. Trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she appeared in stock shows, and was on the Broadway boards by 1905. She married English playwright Walter C. Hackett and performed in many of his plays throughout the 1920s and 1930s, including "Hyde Park Corner" and "The Gay Adventure". They at one point settled in England where they co-founded the Whitehall Theater. It was there that Lorne began to sharpen and patent her fidgety comedy eccentrics in such plays as "Pansy's Arabian Knight," "Sorry You've Been Troubled," "Espionage" and "London After Dark". Upon Hackett's death in 1944, she returned to the States and again, after a brief retirement, became a hit in such tailor-made stage shows as "Harvey".

Lorne made a definitive impression via her movie debut at age 60+ in Alfred Hitchcock's immortal suspenser "Strangers on a Train" (1951) as murderer Robert Walker's clueless, smothering mother. Surprisingly Hollywood used her only a couple more times on film after that auspicious beginning - a grievously sad waste of a supremely talented comedienne. Lorne wisely turned to television instead and proved a dithery delight in such sitcoms as "Mister Peepers" (1952) and "Sally" (1957), gaining quirky status as well as part of the comedy ensemble on "The Garry Moore Show" (1958).

Bewitched

It was, however, her role as Elizabeth Montgomery's befuddled, muttering, doorknob-collecting witch-aunt on Bewitched (1964) - whether bouncing into walls or conjuring up some unintended piece of witchcraft - that put a lasting sheen on her long career. For that role she deservedly won an Emmy trophy for "Best Supporting Actress Award" - albeit posthumously. Sadly, Lorne succumbed to a heart attack on May 9, 1968, just ten days before the actual ceremony. Elizabeth Montgomery gave a touching acceptance speech on her behalf.

Bewitched Credits

Episode Airdate
The Witches Are Out October 29, 1964
Samantha Meets the Folks December 17, 1964
There's No Witch Like an Old Witch April 1, 1965
Alias Darrin Stephens September 18, 1965
We're in for a Bad Spell September 30, 1965
Take Two Aspirins and Half a Pint of Porpoise Milk October 21, 1965
The Very Informal Dress November 4, 1965
Aunt Clara's Old Flame November 25, 1965
Samantha Meets the Folks (repeat) January 27, 1966
The Moment of Truth September 22, 1966
Witches and Warlocks Are My Favorite Things September 29, 1966
Accidental Twins October 6, 1966
The Short, Happy Circuit of Aunt Clara November 10, 1966
My Friend Ben December 8, 1966
Samantha for the Defense December 15, 1966
A Gazebo Never Forgets December 22, 1966
The Corn Is as High as a Guernsey's Eye January 26, 1967
The Trial and Error of Aunt Clara February 2, 1967
Aunt Clara's Victoria Victory March 6, 1967
Bewitched, Bothered and Infuriated April 13, 1967
Out of Sync, Out of Mind November 2, 1967
That Was No Chick, That Was My Wife November 9, 1967
Allergic to Macedonian Dodo Birds November 16, 1967
Samantha's Thanksgiving to Remember November 23, 1967
Samantha's Da Vinci Dilemma December 28, 1967
McTavish February 15, 1968
A Majority of Two April 11, 1968
Samantha's Secret Saucer April 18, 1968

Source

Marion Lorne on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on November 29, 2019.

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