Anne Baxter was an American actress known for her performances in films such as The Magnificent Ambersons, All About Eve, The Razor’s Edge and The Ten Commandments. Baxter was born in Michigan City, Indiana to Kenneth Stuart Baxter and Catherine Wright; her maternal grandfather was the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Baxter’s father was a prominent executive with the Seagrams Distillery Co. and she was raised in New York City in a well-to-do home, and attended the prestigious Brearley School. At age 10, Baxter attended a Broadway play starring Helen Hayes, and was so impressed that she declared to her family that she wanted to become an actress. By the age of 13, she had appeared on Broadway. During this period, Baxter learned her acting craft as a student of the famed teacher Maria Ouspenskaya.
At 16 Baxter screen-tested for the role of Mrs. DeWinter in Rebecca, losing out to Joan Fontaine because director Alfred Hitchcock considered her “too young” for the role, but the strength of that first foray into movie acting secured her a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox. Her first movie role was in 20 Mule Team in 1940. She was chosen by director Orson Welles to appear in The Magnificent Ambersons, based on the novel by Booth Tarkington. Baxter co-starred with Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney in 1946’s The Razor’s Edge, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1950, she was chosen to co-star in All About Eve, largely because of a resemblance to Claudette Colbert, who had initially been chosen to co-star in the film; the original idea being to have her character gradually come to visually mirror Colbert’s over the course of the film. Baxter received a nomination for Best Actress for the title role of Eve Harrington. Later during that decade, Baxter also continued to act in professional theater. According to a program from the production, Baxter appeared on Broadway in 1953 opposite Tyrone Power in Charles Laughton’s John Brown’s Body, a play based upon the narrative poem by Stephen Vincent Benét. In 1953 she appeared opposite Montgomery Clift in Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess.