Geraldine Fitzgerald, whose admirable acting career ranged from such roles as Heathcliff’s unloved bride in the 1939 classic Wuthering Heights to the comic drunk’s understanding grandmother in 1981’s Arthur, died Sunday at her Manhattan home after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 91.
The Irish-born actress received an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Isabella Linton in Heights, in which she costarred with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. That same year she starred with Bette Davis, George Brent and Humphrey Bogart in the popular Hollywood tearjerker Dark Victory. She also starred with Davis again in 1944’s Watch on the Rhine.
Among her New York stage appearances were roles in several Eugene O’Neill revivals, most notably as Mary Tyrone in a 1971 off-Broadway production of Long Day’s Journey into Night, which starred Robert Ryan. In 1977, she starred with Jason Robards in a revival of O’Neill’s A Touch of the Poet.
Fitzgerald’s first marriage to Edward Lindsay-Hogg ended in divorce. She later married businessman Stuart Scheftel, who died in 1994.
A son, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, and a daughter, clinical psychologist Susan Scheftel, survive Fitzgerald.