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Susanna "Susan" Kohner (born November 11, 1936) is an American actress who worked in film and television. She is best known for her role as Sarah Jane in Imitation of Life (1959), for which she was nominated for an Oscar[1] and won a Golden Globe
Golden Globe
award. She played a light-complexioned woman who "passed" for white as a young adult.[2] After Kohner married menswear designer and writer John Weitz in 1964, she retired from acting to devote time to her family. Her two sons, Chris Weitz
Chris Weitz
and Paul Weitz, have both become film directors, screenwriters, and occasional actors.[3]

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career 3 Personal life 4 Theater 5 Filmography 6 Awards and nominations 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Early life[edit] Kohner was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Lupita Tovar, a Mexican-born actress who had a career in Hollywood, and Paul Kohner, a film producer who was born in Bohemia, Austria-Hungary.[4] Her mother was Roman Catholic, and her father was Czech Jewish.[5] Career[edit] Most of Kohner's film roles came during the late 1950s and early 1960s, including co-starring with Sal Mineo
Sal Mineo
in both Dino (1957) and The Gene Krupa Story
The Gene Krupa Story
(1959). In her most notable role, Kohner played Sarah Jane in Imitation of Life, portraying an African-American woman who "passes" as white. The 1959 film was a remake of a 1934 version of a book of the same name. The expensive, glossy Ross Hunter production, directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Lana Turner, was a box office smash. In addition, Kohner was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award
Academy Award
for her role in the film, and won a Golden Globe
Golden Globe
as Best Supporting Actress and one as Best New Actress. Following her role in Imitation of Life, Kohner appeared in All the Fine Young Cannibals opposite Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood
and Robert Wagner. She later had guest roles on various television series, including Hong Kong, Going My Way, and Temple Houston. She made her last film appearance in 1962, co-starring with Montgomery Clift
Montgomery Clift
in Freud: The Secret Passion. She retired from acting in 1964. Personal life[edit] In 1964, Kohner married John Weitz, a German-born novelist and fashion designer.[6] She retired from acting to devote time to her family. They had two sons together, Chris and Paul Weitz, who both became film directors and producers in Hollywood, producing films such as American Pie (1999) and About a Boy (2002). Chris Weitz
Chris Weitz
is also known for directing New Moon (2009), part of The Twilight Saga. On April 23, 2010, a new print of Imitation of Life (1959) was screened at the TCM Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, to which Kohner and co-star Juanita Moore
Juanita Moore
were invited. After the screening, the two women appeared on stage for a question-and-answer session hosted by TCM's Robert Osborne. Kohner and Moore received standing ovations. Theater[edit]

1958: Love Me Little by John G. Fuller at Helen Hayes Theatre. Role: Emily Whittaker.[7] Broadway debut.[8] 1962: Pullman Car Hiawatha by Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
at Circle in the Square Theatre. Role: Harriet Milbury.[9] 1963: Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
at Vancouver Theater Festival. With Mike Nichols.[10]

Filmography[edit]

Film

Year Film Role Notes

1955 To Hell and Back Maria

1956 The Last Wagon Jolie

1957 Trooper Hook Consuela

Dino Shirley Alternative title: Killer Dino

1959 Imitation of Life Sarah Jane, age 18 Also: Performer: "Empty Arms"

The Big Fisherman Princess Fara

The Gene Krupa Story Ethel Maguire Alternative title: Drum Crazy

1960 All the Fine Young Cannibals Catherine McDowall

1961 By Love Possessed Helen Detweiler

1962 Freud: The Secret Passion Martha Freud Alternative title: Freud

Television

Year Title Role Notes

1956 The Alcoa Hour Joanna 1 episode

Four Star Playhouse Anita 1 episode

Cavalcade of American

1 episode: "A Bed of Roses"

Climax!

2 episodes: "Child of the Wind/Throw Away the Cane," segment "Child of the Wind"; "Ten Minutes to Curfew"

1956–1957 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Angela O'Neill; Lynn Howell 2 episodes: "Date for Tomorrow" as Angela O'Neill; "Dual Control" as Lynn Howell

1957 Matinee Theatre Joanna Marshall 2 episodes: " - "Letter to a Stranger"; "Laugh a Little Tear"

Wagon Train Mokai 1 episode: "The Charles Avery Story"

Suspicion Gina 1 episode: "The Flight"

1958 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Therese 1 episode: "The Return of the Hero"

1960 Playhouse 90 Rachel Heller 1 episode: "In the Presence of Mine Enemies"

1961 The DuPont Show with June Allyson Clare Anderson 1 episode: "The Guilty Heart"

Hong Kong Elena 1 episode: "The Innocent Exile"

1961–1963 Route 66 Katy Webster; Midge Pierrepont 2 episodes: "The Quick and the Dead" as Katy Webster; "But What Do You Do in March" as Midge Pierrepont

1962 Checkmate Vicki Angelo 1 episode: "Down the Gardenia Path"

The Dick Powell Show Miriam Marks 1 episode: "Tomorrow, the Man"

1963 The Doctors and the Nurses Terry Collins 1 episode: "Root of Violence"

Going My Way Elaine Brady 1 episode: "One Small Unhappy Family"

Temple Houston Ellena Romolo 1 episode: "Toll the Bell Slowly"

1964 Rawhide Abbie Bartlett 1 episode: "Incident at Ten Trees"

Channing Rena 1 episode: "A Bang and a Whimper"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Film

1959 Academy Award Nominated Best Supporting Actress Imitation of Life

1959 Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Award Won Most Promising Newcomer - Female

-

1959 Best Supporting Actress Imitation of Life

1962 Nominated Best Supporting Actress Freud: The Secret Passion

1958 Laurel Awards Nominated Top New Female Personality

-

1959 2nd Place Top Female New Personality

-

See also[edit]

John Weitz Chris Weitz Paul Weitz Lupita Tovar Paul Kohner

References[edit]

^ Schumach, Murray (23 February 1960). "Academy Names Oscar Finalists". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2015.  ^ Horyn, Cathy (20 February 2000). "Legacy; Growing up Weitz". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2015.  ^ Kelley, Tina (4 October 2002). "John Weitz, 79, Fashion Designer Turned Historian, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2015.  ^ Yarrow, Andrew (19 March 1988). "Paul Kohner, Hollywood
Hollywood
Agent And Film Producer, Is Dead at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.  ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (13 March 2003). "About Two Boys: Late fashion designer John Weitz inspires his Academy Award-nominated sons, Paul and Chris". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 23 August 2015.  ^ " Susan Kohner
Susan Kohner
mentioned in the record of John H Weitz and Susan Kohner". FamilySearch. Retrieved 26 August 2015.  ^ Atkinson, Brooks (15 April 1958). "Theatre: On Wickedness". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2015.  ^ Zolotow, Sam (10 December 1957). "Sponsor Collars 'Man in Dog Suit'". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2015.  ^ Wilson, Earl (6 January 1963). "Earl Wilson Reports: Susan Kohner Favors Elders". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Retrieved 25 September 2015.  ^ "Vancouver Festival Books Nichols and Susan KohnerVancouve". The New York Times. 10 April 1963. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Susan Kohner.

Susan Kohner
Susan Kohner
on IMDb Susan Kohner
Susan Kohner
at the Internet Broadway Database Susan Kohner
Susan Kohner
at Internet Off-Broadway Database Susan Kohner
Susan Kohner
at AllMovie

v t e

Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

Katina Paxinou
Katina Paxinou
(1943) Agnes Moorehead
Agnes Moorehead
(1944) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1945) Anne Baxter
Anne Baxter
(1946) Celeste Holm
Celeste Holm
(1947) Ellen Corby
Ellen Corby
(1948) Mercedes McCambridge
Mercedes McCambridge
(1949) Josephine Hull (1950) Kim Hunter
Kim Hunter
(1951) Katy Jurado
Katy Jurado
(1952) Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly
(1953) Jan Sterling
Jan Sterling
(1954) Marisa Pavan
Marisa Pavan
(1955) Eileen Heckart (1956) Elsa Lanchester
Elsa Lanchester
(1957) Hermione Gingold
Hermione Gingold
(1958) Susan Kohner
Susan Kohner
(1959) Janet Leigh
Janet Leigh
(1960) Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno
(1961) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1962) Margaret Rutherford
Margaret Rutherford
(1963) Agnes Moorehead
Agnes Moorehead
(1964) Ruth Gordon
Ruth Gordon
(1965) Jocelyne LaGarde (1966) Carol Channing
Carol Channing
(1967) Ruth Gordon
Ruth Gordon
(1968) Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn
(1969) Karen Black/ Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton
(1970) Ann-Margret
Ann-Margret
(1971) Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters
(1972) Linda Blair
Linda Blair
(1973) Karen Black
Karen Black
(1974) Brenda Vaccaro
Brenda Vaccaro
(1975) Katharine Ross
Katharine Ross
(1976) Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
(1977) Dyan Cannon
Dyan Cannon
(1978) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1979) Mary Steenburgen
Mary Steenburgen
(1980) Joan Hackett
Joan Hackett
(1981) Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange
(1982) Cher
Cher
(1983) Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
(1984) Meg Tilly
Meg Tilly
(1985) Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
(1986) Olympia Dukakis
Olympia Dukakis
(1987) Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
(1988) Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
(1989) Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
(1990) Mercedes Ruehl
Mercedes Ruehl
(1991) Joan Plowright
Joan Plowright
(1992) Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder
(1993) Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest
(1994) Mira Sorvino
Mira Sorvino
(1995) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
(1996) Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger
(1997) Lynn Redgrave
Lynn Redgrave
(1998) Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
(1999) Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson
(2000) Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly
(2001) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(2002) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2003) Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman
(2004) Rachel Weisz
Rachel Weisz
(2005) Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson
(2006) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2007) Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
(2008) Mo'Nique
Mo'Nique
(2009) Melissa Leo
Melissa Leo
(2010) Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer
(2011) Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
(2012) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2013) Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette
(2014) Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
(2015) Viola Davis
Viola Davis
(2016) Allison Janney
Allison Janney
(2017)

v t e

Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Award for New Star of the Year – Actress

Lois Maxwell
Lois Maxwell
(1948) Mercedes McCambridge
Mercedes McCambridge
(1950) Pier Angeli
Pier Angeli
(1952) Colette Marchand (1953) Pat Crowley, Bella Darvi, Barbara Rush
Barbara Rush
(1954) Karen Sharpe, Kim Novak, Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine
(1955) Anita Ekberg, Victoria Shaw, Dana Wynter
Dana Wynter
(1956) Carroll Baker, Jayne Mansfield, Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood
(1957) Carolyn Jones, Diane Varsi, Sandra Dee
Sandra Dee
(1958) Linda Cristal, Susan Kohner, Tina Louise
Tina Louise
(1959) Janet Munro, Tuesday Weld, Angie Dickinson, Stella Stevens
Stella Stevens
(1960) Ina Balin, Hayley Mills, Nancy Kwan
Nancy Kwan
(1961) Ann-Margret, Jane Fonda, Christine Kaufmann
Christine Kaufmann
(1962) Sue Lyon, Patty Duke, Rita Tushingham
Rita Tushingham
(1963) Tippi Hedren, Elke Sommer, Ursula Andress
Ursula Andress
(1964) Mia Farrow, Mary Ann Mobley, Celia Kaye
Celia Kaye
(1965) Elizabeth Hartman
Elizabeth Hartman
(1966) Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter
(1967) Katharine Ross
Katharine Ross
(1968) Olivia Hussey, Marianne McAndrew
Marianne McAndrew
(1969) Ali MacGraw
Ali MacGraw
(1970) Carrie Snodgress (1971) Twiggy
Twiggy
(1972) Diana Ross
Diana Ross
(1973) Tatum O'Neal
Tatum O'Neal
(1974) Susan Flannery
Susan Flannery
(1975) Marilyn Hassett (1976) Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange
(1977) Irene Miracle (1979) Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(1980) Nastassja Kinski
Nastassja Kinski
(1981) Pia Zadora
Pia Zadora
(1982) Sandahl Bergman
Sandahl Bergman
(1983)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 54357694 LCCN: no90008780 ISNI: 0000 0001 1472 8543 GND: 143541420 SUDOC: 146676769 BNF: cb1419

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