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Jo Van Fleet, Award Winner –

Van Fleet in East of Eden.

Jo Van Fleet: Best Supporting Actress 1955:

East of Eden (Drama)

Jo Van Fleet won her Supporting Oscar for playing a madam who comes back into the lives of the family she deserted... in East of Eden, her first film.

About Jo Van Fleet (1914– 1996)
Jo Van Fleet was born in Oakland, CA and went to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, VA. She also studied acting at the Actors Studio, the HB Studio in Greenwich Village, and with Uta Hagen and Sanford Meisner.

Fleet worked on stage and in 1954, was awarded a Tony for her role in The Trip to Bountiful, with Lillian Gish and Eva Marie Saint.

In 1955, Joe Van Fleet played James Dean's mother and brothel madam, in East of Eden. The Elia Kazan story details the brutal rivalries between her male twins and their father, and their discovery of their mother, who they had been told was dead. It was her first movie. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.

This triumph was followed by the role of Kate Fisher in Gunfight at the OK Corral in 1957, with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Van Fleet won another Tony in 1958 for her stage work in Look Homeward Angel.

In 1967, Van Fleet played Arletta as an ensemble member, in the Paul Newman classic, Cool Hand Luke, the story of a 1960's antihero, sentenced to rural southern prison for a minor misdemeanor, rebels while on a chain gang and exits prison in a box.

Jo Van Fleet appeared as a guest star on many popular television series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bonanza and Wild Wild West.

Jo Van Fleet's notable movie credits include...

The Rose Tattoo (1955)
I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)
Gunfight At The OK Corral (1957)
Wild River (1960)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
The Tenant (1976)
Seize The Day (1986)



Jo Van Fleet in Cool Hand Luke (1967).


Jo Van Fleet in East of Eden (1955).