Shelley Winters Biography

Shelley Winters (August 18, 1920 – January 14, 2006) was an American actress who appeared in dozens of films, as well as on stage and television; her career spanned over 50 years until her death in 2006. Winters won Academy Awards for her acting in The Diary of Anne Frank and A Patch of Blue, and is also remembered for her roles in A Place in the Sun (Oscar-nominated for Best Actress), The Big Knife, Lolita, The Night of the Hunter, Alfie, and The Poseidon Adventure (Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actress).

Winters was born Shirley Schrift in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Rose (née Winter), a singer with The Muny, and Jonas Schrift, a designer of men's clothing. Her parents were Jewish; her father emigrated from Austria, and her mother had been born in St. Louis to Austrian immigrants. Her parents were third cousins. Her family moved to Brooklyn, New York when she was three years old. Her sister Blanche Schrift later married George Boroff, who ran The Circle Theatre (now named El Centro Theatre) in Los Angeles. Winters studied at The New School in New York City.