Actress Martha Scott dies, aged 90

Martha Scott, who originated the role as the doomed Emily in the play Our Town and was nominated for a best actress Oscar for repeating it in the 1940 film, has died in the US. She was 90.

She died on Wednesday of natural causes in a hospital in the San Fernando Valley, near Los Angeles said her son, Scott Alsop.

Scott landed the bittersweet role of Emily, who dies in childbirth but returns to describe finding peace in death, in the original Broadway production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town in 1938.

Her work in the film version brought her an Oscar nomination, but she lost to Ginger Rogers for Kitty Foyle.

Scott appeared in more than 20 films, including The Howards of Virginia with Cary Grant, The Desperate Hours with Humphrey Bogart, and The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur, both with Charlton Heston.

“I played his mother twice and his wife twice,” Scott said of Heston in an interview in 1986. “I was his mother in Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. I was his wife on the stage in New York in Design For a Stained Glass Window and The Tumbler in London.”

Scott appeared in a number of television shows, including playing Sue Ellen Ewing’s mother in Dallas.

Besides her son, she is survived by two daughters, Mary Powell Harpel and Kathleen Powell, and a brother, Charles Scott.

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