Joan Lorring, Oscar-nominated actress from ‘The Corn Is Green’ and other films, dies at 88

Correction: An earlier version of this obituary incorrectly reported Ms. Lorring’s name at birth. She was born Madeline Ellis, not Mary Magdalene Ellis.


Joan Lorring, the Oscar-nominated actress, died May 30 at 88. (Vitagraph Inc.)
June 2

Joan Lorring, the Oscar-nominated actress who appeared opposite Bette Davis in the film “The Corn Is Green,” died May 30 in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. She was 88.

Her daughter Santha Sonenberg confirmed the death. The cause was not reported.

Ms. Lorring was born Madeline Ellis on April 17, 1926, in Hong Kong. She left for the United States with her mother in 1939 to escape the coming Japanese invasion. The two settled in California, where she started working in radio.

Ms. Lorring went on to a career as a stage, screen and television performer. Her earliest American film was the 1944 MGM production “Song of Russia.”

Signed with Warner Bros., Ms. Lorring was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress in “The Corn Is Green” (1945) in the role of Bessie Watty.

Ms. Lorring also appeared opposite Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre in the 1946 movies “Three Strangers” and “The Verdict.”

Broadway roles included Marie in “Come Back, Little Sheba,” with Shirley Booth, for which she won the Donaldson Award in 1950.

Her many television appearances included “The Star Wagon,” a 1966 movie with Dustin Hoffman and Orson Bean, and “The Love Boat” in 1980.

Ms. Lorring’s husband, Dr. Martin Sonenberg, an endocrinologist, died in 2011. Survivors include two daughters, Santha Sonenberg and Andrea Sonenberg; and two grandchildren.

— From staff and wire reports

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