Mercedes McCambridge Bio

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Tahoe Lee
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Mercedes McCambridge Bio

Post by Tahoe Lee » Fri May 31, 2019 11:19 am

** Mercedes McCambridge **

She starred in two Bonanza episodes.

The Lady from Baltimore (season 3)

The Law and Billy Burgess (season 11)

Carlotta Mercedes Agnes McCambridge was born in Joliet, Illinois. (March 16, 1916 – March 2, 2004) She was an American actress of radio, stage, film, and television. She was known for her raspy voice. She suffered from bronchitis for most of her life. She later revealed she was able to use this to her advantage for the chilling, unearthly breathing of the demon in the thriller The Exorcist. (1973).

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She won an Academy award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in All the Kings Men, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. (1949)

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Mercedes was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Giant. (1956) The film also starred James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor.

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She provided the voice of the demon in The Exorcist. (1973) The dubbed voice of Pazuzu, the demon possessing the young girl, Regan, played by Linda Blair. To sound as disturbing as possible, Mercedes insisted on swallowing raw eggs, chain smoking and drinking whiskey to make her voice harsh and her performance aggressive. The director arranged for her to be bound to a chair during recordings, so that the demon seemed to be struggling against its restraints. According to the director, she initially requested no credit for the film—fearing it would take away from the attention of Blair's performance—but later complained about her absence of credit during the film's premiere.

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I found this quote very interesting.


“One of the most destructive things in my life was the kind of parts I played in pictures. I studied Shakespeare and the classics, and I end up shooting Joan Crawford and killing a horse that Elizabeth Taylor was in love with. I'm serious. I played the worst harridans, the most hard-bitten women, the absolute heavies, and it just about did me in.”

*Mercedes McCambridge*

And she certainly did play a heavy in her first role on Bonanza.

The Lady from Baltimore

Bitterly disappointed in her husband's financial failures, matriarch Deborah Banning travels to visit her friends on the Ponderosa, hoping to turn her family's fortunes around by marrying her only daughter, Melinda, off to a Cartwright son.

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Such a fine actress. She could project so much with just her face.

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Last edited by Tahoe Lee on Fri May 31, 2019 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
"You're a good man, Adam." *Toy Soldier*

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