Fay Okell Bainter was an American film and stage actress.
She was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Charles F. Bainter and Mary Okell. In 1910, she was a traveling stage actress. She made her first appearance on stage in 1909 and her Broadway debut was in the role as Celine Marinter in The Rose of Panama. She appeared in a number of successful plays in New york like: East is West The Willow Tree and Dodsworth. In 1926 she appeared with Walter Abel in a Broadway production of Channing Pollock’s The Enemy. In 1918, her portrait was painted by Robert Henri, the artist who was known for the style of Ashcan School.
MGM persuaded her to try films and her movie debut was in This Side of Heaven, the same year she appeared in Dodsworth on Broadway and the film: It Happened One Day. Bainter quickly achieved success, and in 1938 she became the first performer nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Actress, for White Banners, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Jezebel, winning for the latter. Since then, only nine other actors have won dual nominations in a single year. She was again nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Children’s Hour .