Eleanor D. (“Siddy”) Wilson, Tony-nommed for her performance in Gore Vidal’s 1968 “Weekend” and who played Warren Beatty’s mother in the 1981 film “Reds,” died of lung cancer at her Williamstown, Mass., home May 31. She was 93.
Chester, Pa., native attended the Mary Lyon School in Swarthmore, Pa., and graduated in 1930 from Hollins College in Roanoke, Va., where she majored in chemistry. She later studied at Boston’s Museum of Fine Art and New York’s New School for Social Research.
She began her professional theater training at the Hedgerow Theater in Olney, Pa., under the tutelage of director Jasper Deeter and made her Broadway debut in “Watch on the Rhine” during its 1941 New York run. Other Broadway appearances were in “The Eagle Has Two Heads” in 1947 with Tallulah Bankhead, “The Silver Whistle” in 1948 and “The Wayward Saint” in 1955. She appeared Off Broadway in “The Villa of Madame Vidac” in 1959.
Wilson’s acting career also included seasons at Houston’s Alley Theater, Milwaukee Rep and Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. She performed on radio and on television as well and toured with the USO during WWII; she was the first woman to land at Anzio, Italy, to perform for the troops.
For many years Wilson lived in New York and had a summer home in Stockbridge, Mass. In Stockbridge, she appeared in 25 summer productions at the Berkshire Playhouse, the first being “Junior Miss” in 1947. She was the theater’s artistic director for its 1957 season. During her career she was a member of Actors’ Equity union council.
After her retirement from acting in 1984, Wilson devoted herself to mathematical abstract paintings. These were exhibited at a number of galleries and colleges including New York City’s Hundson Guild and Touchstone Gallery, Widner U., Hollins U., Williams College Museum of Art and the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.