Kim Stanley

Kim Stanley, critically acclaimed actress of stage, screen and TV, died Monday of undisclosed causes in Santa Fe, N.M. She was 76.

The Emmy-winning and Oscar-nommed actress was born Patricia Kimberly Reid in Tularosa, N.M., the daughter of a philosophy professor and a painter-decorator. She studied at the Pasadena Community Playhouse after earning a B.A. in psychology from the U. of Texas in 1945.

An early member of Lee Strasberg’s Actor’s Studio, she made her New York debut as Iris in “The Dog Beneath the Skin” at Carnegie Recital Hall on Christmas Day 1948. Her Broadway debut came the following year, replacing Julie Harris as Milly Owens in “Montserrat.”

But it was her portrayal of the lovesick tomboy in William Inge’s “Picnic” that led to leading roles in Inge’s “Bus Stop” (which earned her the Donaldson Award in 1955), Eugene O’Neill’s “Touch of a Poet,” 1961’s “A Far Country,” and the 1964 revival of “Three Sisters.”

Stanley made her London debut in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” as Maggie in 1958, the same year as her film debut, portraying a Marilyn Monroe-inspired sexpot in “The Goddess.” In 1985, she would revisit “Cat” — and win the second of her two Emmys — this time as Big Mama in the PBS television production.

Oscar-nominated for the 1964 film “Seance on a Wet Afternoon,” her next film came 18 years later as the mother of disturbed actress Frances Farmer in “Frances,” a role for which she was also Oscar-nominated.

Her final film was the 1983 space-race saga “The Right Stuff,” in which she played pilot Pancho Barnes.

In addition to early television credits including “The Goodyear TV Playhouse,” “Studio One” and “Magnavox Theater,” she won her first Emmy 1963 for a guest appearance on “Ben Casey.”

For much of the latter part of her life, Stanley taught drama in Los Angeles and at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico.

She is survived by a son, two daughters, three grandchildren and a brother.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Justin Zahn Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, 3830 Valley Center Dr. #705-211, San Diego, CA 92130.

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