London: American actress Celeste Holm who rose to fame in Broadway`s Oklahoma! and won an Oscar for 1947`s ‘Gentleman``s Agreement’, has died. She was 95.
Her other well-known films included ‘The Tender Trap’ and ‘High Society’.
The actress’ later years were marked by financial troubles and legal battles with her son over her fifth marriage, to a man 45 year her junior.
Relatives said that she died at home in New York surrounded by friends and family, a leading news channel has reported.
Holm passed away on Sunday at her longtime apartment on Central Park West, in the same building where Robert De Niro lives and where a fire had broken out last month.
She got her first major Broadway role in a 1940 revival of ‘The Time of Your Life’, co-starring fellow newcomer Gene Kelly, and in 1943 she earned wide recognition while portraying Ado Annie in Rodgers and Hammerstein`s Oklahoma!
She moved on the Hollywood, winning the Academy Award in 1947 for best supporting actress for her performance in ‘Gentlemen`s Agreement’. There were also Oscar nominations for the movies ‘Come to the Stable’ (1949) and ‘All About Eve’ (1950).
But Holm`s returned to New York and the theatre after a few years in Hollywood.
She also appeared in numerous television series in the 1970s and 1980s, including ‘Fantasy Island’ and ‘Falcon Crest’.
Later in life she was caught up in a bitter family legal battle that pitted her two sons against her and her much younger fifth husband, former waiter Frank Basile.
Due to the various court cases over investments and inheritance much of Holm`s savings were wiped out and left her dependent on Social Security in her final years.