The star, best known for her work in Master Class and Medea, died of complications due to Parkinson’s disease

By Gabrielle Chung
February 18, 2020 10:41 PM
Robin Platzer/FilmMagic

Zoe Caldwell, a four-time Tony Award-winner, has passed away at the age of 86.

The actress died peacefully in her home in Pound Ridge, New York on Sunday from complications due to Parkinson’s disease, a spokesperson for her son, Charlie Whitehead, confirmed to PEOPLE.

Born in Australia, Caldwell first started her professional career at 9 years old in a production of Peter Pan before going on to appear in productions at Melbourne’s Union Theatre Repertory Company and the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company.

She moved to London to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959 and began her American acting career as an original member of the company at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.

Caldwell made her Broadway debut in 1965’s The Devils. She went on to appear in Tennessee Williams’ Slapstick Tragedy the following year — a role that won her a Tony Award for best featured actress in a play.

Zoe Caldwell

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The actress later won Tony Awards for her performances in 1869’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1982’s Medea and 1995’s Master Class.

In addition to her 45-year career on stage, Caldwell’s film credits include Woody Allen’s 1985 movie The Purple Rose of Cairo and 2004’s Birth. She also appeared TV movies of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Caldwell notably lent her voice in the 2002 Disney movie Lilo & Stitch and went on to reprise her role as the Grand Councilwoman — an alien leader who allows the titular Stitch to remain on Earth after sentencing him to exile — in its direct-to-video sequel, its Disney Channel TV series and the Stitch’s Great Escape! amusement park ride in Disney World.

Her last acting credit was the grandmother of Oskar (Thomas Horn) in the 2011 film Extremely Loud and Dangerously Close.

Caldwell was married to theater producer Robert Whitehead from 1968 until his death in 2002.

She is survived by her two sons, Sam and Charlie Whitehead, as well as her two grandchildren Ross and Ward Whitehead.

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