Actress Madeleine Sherwood has died at the age of 93. Sherwood was best known as Reverend Mother Superior Lydia Placido (center, above), on The Flying Nun TV series, which was cancelled by ABC after three seasons. Sherwood also appeared on now-cancelled daytime soap operas including As the World Turns, One Life to Live, The Edge of Night, The Secret Storm, and Guiding Light. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Ms. Sherwood’s death with a family spokesperson.
Vulture says, “An active participant in the political movements of her time, Sherwood was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, and later arrested in a civil rights protest in Alabama in the 1960s. In 1989, she retired from acting and returned to her home in Canada.”
Sherwood’s first TV series appearance was in 1952 episode of The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, “Without Fear or Favor.” Her other TV work includes guest spots on Danger (1953), You Are There (1955), Studio One Hollywood (1957), Decoy (1958), ‘Way Out (1961), The Doctors and the Nurses (1963), Naked City (1962, ’63), The Fugitive (1963, ’64).
Later work includes guest spots on Hotel (1986), Cagney & Lacey (1987), and Dynasty (1987). Her last TV series appearance was in a 1987 episode of the CBS Summer Playhouse, “Barrington,” in which she played Emily Welles.
Here is more from THR:
A native of Montreal, Sherwood studied under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York. She made her Broadway debut in 1952 replacing Kim Stanley in Horton Foote’s The Chase, and a year later, she played Abigail, who accuses many in the town of Salem of witchcraft, in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
Sherwood portrayed Mae Pollitt/Sister Woman in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Elia Kazan, then reprised the role for Richard Brooks in the 1958 film adaptation. In Sweet Bird of Youth, she starred as Miss Lucy on Broadway in 1959-60 and in the 1962 movie.
Her other Broadway credits include Camelot (1961), Williams’ The Night of the Iguana (1962) — where she stepped in for Bette Davis — Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965), Inadmissible Evidence (1965) and Edward Albee’s All Over (1971). Her final stage performance was in a play about Williams’ mother, Miss Edwina.
Sherwood also worked for Kazan in the 1956 film Baby Doll, playing a nurse. Her movie résumé includes Otto Preminger’s Hurry, Sundown (1967), Pendulum (1969), The Changeling (1980), Resurrection (1980) and Teachers (1984).
Survivors include her daughter Chloe, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
We invite you to share your memories of Ms. Sherwood and her work, below.