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Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:16:47 GMT | By Francis Whittaker
Debut Academy Award winners

Jo Van Fleet

Jo Van Fleet (© Everett Collection / Rex Feature;)
  • Jo Van Fleet (© Everett Collection / Rex Feature;)
  • Julie Andrews (© WireImage/Kevin Mazur)
  • Barbra Streisand (© WireImage/Steve Granitz)
  • Tatum O'Neal (© WireImage/Steve Granitz)
  • Dr. Haing S. Ngor (© Everett Collection / Rex Feature)
  • Marlee Matlin (© WireImage/Steve Granitz)
  • Anna Paquin (© WireImage/Steve Granitz)
  • Jennifer Hudson (© WireImage/Lester Cohen)
Everett Collection / Rex Feature;Show Thumbnails
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Best Supporting Actress (1955) for East of Eden

Prior to making the switch to film, Van Fleet was a successful theatre actress, having won a Tony Award in 1954 for her performance in The Trip to Bountiful alongside fellow debut Oscar winner Eva Marie Saint. She won an Academy Award for her first film role as James Dean's character's mother in East of Eden in 1955, and managed to maintain regular film work up until the early 1960s.

Find out more about Jo Van Fleet