• 29 October 1897
  •  Hawarden, Iowa, USA

Hope Emerson


Although there may have been "bigger" actresses in Hollywood's history, there were few "larger" than Hope Emerson. At 6' 2" and 230 pounds, she towered over many of her male co-stars, and her size, brusque voice and stern demeanor typed her for a career in villainous roles, such as her star turn as the sadistic prison matron in Caged (1950), which garnered her an Oscar nomination. She could, however, play lighter parts, as in Westward the Women (1951) where she played, of all things, a mail-order bride. She also worked steadily in television, and played "Mother" in the landmark series Peter Gunn (1958). In the 1950s she was the voice of Elsie the Cow in a series of TV commercials for Bordens. She died of liver disease in 1960.