Caldwell, Zoe

Caldwell, Zoe (Zoe Ada Caldwell) [key], 1933–2020, Australian theater actress. From the late 1950s she played many Shakespearean roles first with England's Royal Shakespeare Company and then at Ontario's Stratford Festival. Caldwell had major roles with Minneapolis's Guthrie Theater in its first season (1965), and then won the first of four Tony Awards for her perfomance in Tennessee Williams's Slapstick Tragedy (1966). She won critical acclaim and a second Tony as an opinionated Scottish teacher in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1968). Her other Tony-winning roles were in Medea (1982), directed by her husband, Robert Whitehead, and in Master Class (1996), Terrence McNally's moving portrait of Maria Callas's late career. Whitehead directed her in a number of other plays, notably Lillian (1986), about Lillian Hellman. Caldwell also directed plays, e.g., the off-Broadway Vita & Virginia (1994), and appeared in a few films, e.g., Just a Kiss (2002) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), and television dramas.

See her memoir, I Will Be Cleopatra (2001).

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