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Mercedes McCambridge

From Academic Kids

Carlotta "Mercy" Mercedes Agnes McCambridge (March 16, 1916 in Joliet, IllinoisMarch 2, 2004 in La Jolla, California of natural causes) was an American actress.

McCambridge began as a radio performer in the 1940s and also performed on Broadway. Her big break in Hollywood came when she was cast opposite Broderick Crawford in the 1949 film All the King's Men. McCambridge cemented her fame when she won the 1950 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film, which also won Best Picture for that year. McCambridge also won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer - Female for that film.

In 1954, McCambridge co-starred with Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden in the offbeat western drama, Johnny Guitar, now a cult classic. The cast also included a fresh faced Ernest Borgnine.

McCambridge is today probably best known for providing the dubbed-in voice of the demonically possessed character in The Exorcist, acted by Linda Blair. McCambridge, however, was not originally credited for the voice in the film's initial release, probably so as to heighten the film's initial mystique. McCambridge later went public in the 70s in her dispute with the film's creator William Friedkin and the Warner Bros. brass over her exclusion, and with the help of the Screen Actors Guild, she was ultimately properly credited for her vocal work in future releases of the film. In interviews with E!'s True Hollywood Story regarding the supposed "Curse of the Exorcist", it was said that McCambridge's already deep voice was made raspy and frightening-sounding and it "really became the Devil's" via sleep deprivation, cigarettes, and drinking raw egg yolks and booze.

McCambridge has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures, located at 1722 Vine Street, and one for television located 6243 Hollywood Boulevard.

She told the story of her life in an autobiography entitled The Quality of Mercy (ISBN 0812909453).

Filmography


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