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Collin Wilcox (actress)

collin wilcox (actress)
Collin Wilcox February 4, 1935 – October 14, 2009 was an American film, stage and television actress Over her career, she was also credited as Collin Wilcox-Horne or Collin Wilcox-Paxton Wilcox may be best known for her role in To Kill a Mockingbird 1962, in which she played Mayella Violet Ewell, whose false claim of being raped sparks the trial at the center of the film


  • 1 Life and career
  • 2 Civil rights activism
  • 3 Death
  • 4 Filmography
  • 5 Selected television appearances
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Life and career

She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved with her family to Highlands, North Carolina, as a baby Her interest in theater was sparked by her parents, Jack H and Virginia Wilcox, who founded the Highlands Community Theatre now known as the Highlands Playhouse in 1939 She made her professional debut in Chicago as part of the improvisational group, The Compass Players, which included Mike Nichols, Elaine May, and Shelley Berman

Playing opposite Richard Basehart, Kevin McCarthy, and William Hansen, Wilcox won the Clarence Derwent Award for her performance in The Day The Money Stopped by Maxwell Anderson and Brendan Gill, which lasted only three nights on Broadway in 1958 She starred in the 1961 play Look, We've Come Through with Burt Reynolds on Broadway She replaced another actress in the 1963 revival of Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude and then went on to do the 1965 play The Family Way, both on Broadway

A life member of The Actors Studio, Wilcox is perhaps best known for her role in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, in which she played Mayella Violet Ewell, who falsely accuses Tom Robinson Brock Peters of raping her Following that cinematic acting success, she performed two very memorable roles for television in 1964: The Twilight Zone episode "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode "The Jar", based on the Ray Bradbury short story

She appeared as Bess Frye in a 1972 episode of "Gunsmoke" titled "Jubilee" In 1974, she co-starred with Peter Falk and Robert Conrad in the Columbo episode An Exercise in Fatality as Ruth Stafford She remained active performing both on television and in films Her final role was that of Mrs Kline in the movie A Touch of Fate, which was released in 2003, six years before her death

Civil rights activism

She recalled receiving "unfriendly looks" when she showed up at a NAACP conference in Monterey, California, where an official had to remind participants that, "Collin is here at this conference because she believes in the cause She is not the character in the film" This was due to the fact that she played a racist white woman who falsely accused Tom Robinson, a black man, of raping her


On October 14, 2009, Wilcox died from brain cancer, aged 74, at her home in Highlands, North Carolina


  • To Kill a Mockingbird 1962
  • The Sound of Anger 1968 TV
  • The Name of the Game Is Kill 1968
  • The Baby Maker 1970
  • The Revolutionary 1970
  • Catch-22 1970
  • Jump 1971
  • The Man Who Could Talk to Kids 1973 TV
  • A Cry in the Wilderness 1974 TV
  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman 1974 TV
  • The Lives of Jenny Dolan 1975 TV
  • September 30, 1955 1977
  • Jaws 2 1978
  • Under This Sky 1979 TV
  • Marie 1985
  • Foxfire 1987 TV
  • Wildflower 1991 TV
  • The Portrait 1993 TV
  • Fluke 1995
  • The Journey of August King 1996
  • Twisted Desire 1996 TV
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 1997

Selected television appearances

  • The Untouchables: Season 3, Episode 77 - Takeover March 3, 1962
  • Route 66: Season 4 episode 15 - "Is it True There Are Poxies At The Bottom Of Landfair Lake" January 1964
  • The Twilight Zone: "Number 12 Looks Just Like You": Season 5, Episode 17 1964
  • The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: "The Monkey's Paw: A Retelling" episode aired originally on April 19, 1965: "The Jar" episode originally aired February 14, 1964
  • The Fugitive: episodes "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys" 1965 and "Approach with Care" 1966
  • The FBI TV series: Season 2, Episode 16 - "Passage Into Fear" 1966-67
  • Death Valley Days TV Series: Season 17 Episode 4 1968 "The Sage Hen"
  • Columbo: Season 4, Episode 26 - "An Exercise in Fatality" 1974
  • The Streets of San Francisco episode "Betrayed"; 1974


  1. ^ Garfield, David 1980 "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980" A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio New York: MacMillan Publishing Co, Inc p 278 ISBN 0-02-542650-8 
  2. ^ "Collin Wilcox Paxton dies at 74; actress was Mayella in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'" Los Angeles Times October 23, 2009 
  3. ^ Fox, Margalit October 22, 2009 "Collin Wilcox, Actress in 'To Kill A Mockingbird', Dies at 74" The New York Times Retrieved 2009-10-22 

External links

  • Biography portal
  • Collin Wilcox on IMDb
  • Collin Wilcox at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Collin Wilcox at Find a Grave

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