NEW YORK — Celeste Holm, a versatile, bright-eyed blonde who soared to Broadway fame in "Oklahoma!" and won an Oscar in "Gentleman's Agreement" but whose last years were filled with financial difficulty and estrangement from her sons, died Sunday, a relative said. She was 95.The full Huff-Po obit is HERE.
Holm had been hospitalized about two weeks ago with dehydration. She asked her husband on Friday to bring her home and spent her final days with her husband, Frank Basile, and other relatives and close friends by her side, said Amy Phillips, a great-niece of Holm's.
Holm died around 3:30 a.m. at her longtime apartment on Central Park West, located in the same building where Robert De Niro lives and where a fire broke out last month, Phillips said.
"I think she wanted to be here, in her home, among her things, with people who loved her," she said.
In a career that spanned more than half a century, Holm played everyone from Ado Annie – the girl who just can't say no in "Oklahoma!"_ to a worldly theatrical agent in the 1991 comedy "I Hate Hamlet" to guest star turns on TV shows such as "Fantasy Island" and "Love Boat II" to Bette Davis' best friend in "All About Eve."
She won the Academy Award in 1947 for best supporting actress for her performance in "Gentleman's Agreement" and received Oscar nominations for "Come to the Stable" (1949) and "All About Eve" (1950).
Holm was also known for her untiring charity work – at one time she served on nine boards – and was a board member emeritus of the National Mental Health Association.
She was once president of the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center, which treats emotionally disturbed people using arts therapies. Over the years, she raised $20,000 for UNICEF by charging 50 cents apiece for autographs.
President Ronald Reagan appointed her to a six-year term on the National Council on the Arts in 1982. In New York, she was active in the Save the Theatres Committee and was once arrested during a vigorous protest against the demolition of several theaters.
Of course, they left "Bloomer Girl" out of her credits. A shame that, because it really helped define her as a stage actress in many ways.
And so it goes.