Actress who played Dustin Hoffman's mom in The Graduate dies

2015-05-12 10:44

New Haven — Elizabeth Wilson, who built a career as a character actress in films such as The Graduate and 9 to 5, has died. She was 94.

Wilson, who lived in Branford with her sister, died Saturday at Yale-New Haven Hospital, actress Elizabeth Morton, a spokeswoman for the family, said Monday.

Wilson played Dustin Hoffman's mother in The Graduate and the character Roz in 9 to 5. She had roles in almost 30 films, including Catch-22 and Regarding Henry, and appeared in numerous stage and television shows, playing Archie Bunker's cousin on All in the Family.

Wilson won a Tony Award for her performance in 1972's Sticks and Bones. She made her Broadway debut in 1953 in Picnic, and appeared in the Broadway revival of Uncle Vanya in 1973.

"I had no desire to be a star," she told The Hartford Courant last July. "I wanted to be a character actress and be able to do all kinds of parts and work on a lot of things. That was my unconscious choice. I wanted to be an undercover actress."

Wilson was born on April 4, 1921, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

She bought a home in Branford in 1988 while working at the Long Wharf Theatre.

Wilson is survived by her younger sister, Mary Muir Wilson, with whom she lived, and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is planned for later this summer, Morton said.

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