Colleen Dewhurst (born June 3, 1924; died August 22, 1991) was a Canadian-born actress best known for playing Marilla Cuthbert in the various Anne of Green Gables productions from Sullivan Entertainment.
Born an only child to a football player turned businessman and his homemaker wife in Montreal, Quebec, but raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, her breakthrough stage role, which made her a major success, came in 1974 after 27 years of acting, when she appeared in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten as "Josie Hogan". She interpreted many roles in O'Neill plays.
Over the course of her 45 year career, Dewhurst won the 1974 Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre, two Tony Awards, two Obies and two Gemini Awards. In 1989 she won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Hitting Home. She was nominated for an Emmy Award on twelve occasions, she won four:
1989 & 1991 : "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series" for Murphy Brown 1989 : "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special" for Those She Left Behind 1986 : "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special" for Between Two Women During the last years of her life, she lived on a farm in South Salem, New York with her lover, Ken Marsolais, and also in a summer home on Prince Edward Island, in her native Canada.
She was president of the Actors' Equity Association from 1985 until her 1991 death from cervical cancer at the age of 67, which might have been cured but for Dewhurst's Christian Science beliefs and her refusal to countenance any kind of surgical treatment.
Dewhurst was married to James Vickery from 1947 to 1960, and to actor George C. Scott twice for a total of approximately 10 years, both times resulting in divorce; she was the mother of 2 sons, including actor Campbell Scott, with whom she costarred in Dying Young, one of the last performances she would ever give.