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Phyllis Thaxter
Phyllis Thaxter in Bewitched trailer.jpg
From the movie Bewitched (1945)
Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter

(1921-11-20)November 20, 1921
Died August 14, 2012(2012-08-14) (aged 90)
Cause of death Alzheimer's disease
Resting place Cremated
Occupation Actress
Years active 1940–1992
Known for Martha Kent in Superman,
Ellen Lawson in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
(m. 1944⁠–⁠1962)

Gilbert Lea
(m. 1962⁠–⁠2008)

(his death)
Children Skye Aubrey,
James Aubrey

Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter (November 20, 1921 – August 14, 2012) was an American stage and movie actress. She was known for playing Superman's mother in the 1978 movie Superman, and as Ellen Lawson in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.

Early life

Thaxter was born on November 20, in 1921. in Portland, Maine to Sidney Thaxter and to his wife.


She had worked a lot on Broadway since 1940. When Dorothy McGuire went to Hollywood, Phyllis replaced her in the play Claudia. In 1944, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her first movie was with Van Johnson in the wartime movie Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Thaxter played Joan Alris Ellis, a woman suffering from split personality in the movie Bewitched in 1945. In 1948, she played a cattle owner's daughter alongside Barbara Bel Geddes in Blood on the Moon.

At MGM, she routinely portrayed the ever-patient wife to a number of leading men. She moved to Warner Brothers in the 1950s, but usually played the same type of roles.

Thaxter's career ended for a while after being ill of polio in 1952. She made a comeback on the television series in Rawhide. She would later appear on other television programs such as; Wagon Train, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1978, Thaxter was cast along with Glenn Ford as Ma and Pa Kent in Superman.

Personal life

Thaxter was married to James Thomas Aubrey, Jr. from 1944 until they divorced in 1962. They had a son and a daughter. She was married to Gilbert Lea from 1962 until his death in 2008.


Thaxter died on August 14, 2012 in her home in Longwood, Florida from Alzheimer's disease, aged 90. She had the disease for eight years. She was cremated and her ashes were thrown to the sea.


  • Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
  • Bewitched (1945)
  • Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
  • Tenth Avenue Angel (1946)
  • The Sea of Grass (1947)
  • Living in a Big Way (1947)
  • Blood on the Moon (1948)
  • Act of Violence (1948)
  • No Man of Her Own (1950)
  • The Breaking Point (1950)
  • Jim Thorpe -- All-American (1951)
  • Fort Worth (1951)
  • Springfield Rifle (1952)
  • Wagon Train (1959)
  • Women's Prison (1955)
  • The World of Henry Orien (1964)
  • The Invaders (TV series), Season 2/21, Episode: "The Peacemaker" (1968)
  • Superman (1978)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Phyllis Thaxter para niños

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