• 5 January 1890
  •  New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Cora Witherspoon


A delightfully irksome, viper-tongued presence who usually played older than she was, actress Cora Witherspoon began her five-decade career in New York playing an elderly lady in the 1910 production of "The Concert". She was 20 years old at the time. Born in 1890, the brown-haired, Louisiana-born character player continued on the Broadway stage after her successful debut and became a generally unsympathetic audience favorite in such popular shows as "Daddy Long Legs," "Lillies of the Field" and "The Awful Truth" for the next two decades. She began dividing her time between theater and film in the early 1930s wreaking havoc and rattling the nerves of many a male and female star with her imperious gallery of class-conscious matrons, haranguing wives, acidulous spinsters and aggressive busybodies. Notable film contributions were her cryptic socialites in the quality comedies Libeled Lady (1936) and Personal Property (1937), both starring Jean Harlow. She was equally unpleasant in such dramatic fare as Dark Victory (1939), and played her patented society snoot to perfection in the Shirley Temple vehicle Just Around the Corner (1938). A particular standout, and the movie role she is probably best remembered for, was her untidy, henpecking wife Agatha Sousé in the comedy classic The Bank Dick (1940), the prime source of W.C. Fields' misery. Though her home base was in New York City where she continued to perform in the theater, she made her living commuting to Hollywood in the post-war years, ending her career with brief appearances on TV. She died in 1957 at age 67 in New Mexico.


Movie Name Release Date
The Bank Dick (1940) November 29, 1940