Gave backyard performances as a child during World War I; money collected from sales of hand-knit wash rags and homemade cakes was donated to the war effort. Left college to perform at the Pasadena Playhouse, where she was eventually discovered by talent agents from Universal. Changed the spelling of her last name because she wanted six letters to balance out her first name on marquees. Was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933. Semi-retired from acting after WWII. Created hand-printed art books and learned oil painting while living in Italy in 1954; had a successful one-woman show at Manhattan Hammer Galleries in 1961. Returned to acting for a desired cameo role with Peter O'Toole in the 1982 film My Favorite Year. At 87, became the oldest Academy Award nominee for her supporting role in Titanic (1997). Published her memoirs in the 1999 book I Just Kept Hoping. Passed away in September 2010, just two months after she turned 100.