Geraldine Page, 62, a highly respected actress who won an Oscar for her film work and two Emmys for television performances, and who was a veteran of the off-Broadway movement of the 1950s, was found dead June 13 at her home in New York City.
A spokesman for the New York City medical examiner said Miss Page died after a heart attack.
At the time of her death, she was starring opposite Richard Chamberlain in a Broadway production of Noel Coward's play "Blithe Spirit," which has run since March. Her performance in that role won her a Tony nomination. She also appeared in the 1986 Sam Shepard Broadway play "A Lie of the Mind."
She won her Academy Award, as best actress, in 1986, for her portrayal in "The Trip to Bountiful" of an aging and unwanted, hymn-singing widow named Carrie Watts who returned to her hometown to search for her roots.
Her victory was announced to a thunderous standing ovation. It was her eighth Oscar nomination. Only Peter O'Toole and the late Richard Burton had been nominated for seven Academy Awards without emerging a winner at least once.
Miss Page's other Oscar nominations, for either best actress or best supporting actress, were for roles in "Hondo," "Sweet Bird of Youth," "Summer and Smoke," "Pete and Tillie," "Interiors," "You're a Big Boy Now" and "The Pope of Greenwich Village." Other film credits included "The Day of the Locust," "Toys in the Attic," "Dear Heart" and "I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can."
Her television career included a 1966 Emmy for her leading role in the ABC Stage 67 production of the drama "A Christmas Memory." In 1967, she won her second Emmy for her work in "The Thanksgiving Visitor" on ABC.
But Miss Page will undoubtedly be remembered primarily for her mastery of the stage. She first appeared on the New York stage in the early 1950s, receiving rave reviews for demanding roles in works by such legendary playwrights as Oscar Wilde, Henrik Ibsen and Federico Garcia Lorca.
A fluttery-voiced, girlish woman, she came to personify the neurotic who had been abandoned by society, or perhaps by life itself. Her characters often were southerners, were often a generation older than her and projected an air of vulnerability and torment.
Vogue magazine once said of Miss Page, "On her face one can see emotion coming like a wind across a prairie."
She first gained a degree of fame as Alma Winemiller, a sexually repressed spinster who becomes promiscuous, in the 1952 off-Broadway revival of the Tennessee Williams play "Summer and Smoke." Though the play had flopped on Broadway four years earlier, it not only became a triumph for Miss Page but became an early victory for the struggling off-Broadway theater. Another of her successes was in "Strange Interlude."
Miss Page went on to star in a series of Williams plays on Broadway. Perhaps her greatest stage success was in 1959 when she played Princess Kosmonopolis, an aging film legend, opposite Paul Newman in "Sweet Bird of Youth."
She left such a lasting mark on the role of Alexandra del Lago, the aging goddess of "Sweet Bird," that years later, when Lauren Bacall played the part, she said: "I am not Geraldine Page."
"I remember Gerry," Miss Bacall told a reporter last year, recalling the 1959 debut of "Sweet Bird." "Obviously you couldn't forget her. She had an electric blue sequined dress and a long cigarette holder; she visually jumped out at you."
Miss Page was born in Kirksville, Mo., and grew up there and in Chicago. She attended the University of Chicago and the Goodman Theater Dramatic School in Chicago. After graduating from Goodman, she organized an acting company and played in suburban Lake Zurich, Ill., for four summers.
During the winter, she pursued acting roles in New York while working as a hat-check girl and wrapping thread cones for the International Thread Co. She also studied Shakespeare, lived on $10 a week and a diet of milk and peanut butter sandwiches, and got her first roles in off-Broadway plays.
After her success in "Summer and Smoke," she received her first part in a Broadway play, the sentimental drama "Midsummer" by Vina Delmar. She played Lily, an idealistic if uneducated wife of a schoolteacher. The play ran for 109 performances and Miss Page attained star status.
Wolcott Gibbs, reviewing the play in the New Yorker, hailed her as "an actress of great charm and pathos and almost matchless technique."
Among her other major Broadway roles were two in 1954: Marcelline, the wife of a homosexual in "The Immoralist," an adaptation an Andre Gide novel, and the spinster Lizzy Curry in N. Richard Nash's "The Rainmaker."
In 1963, Miss Page played Nina Leeds in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude." In 1982, she portrayed the mother superior who defends a young nun accused of murder in "Agnes of God."
In 1954, she appeared in her first film, "Hondo," a John Wayne western, for which she received her first Academy Award nomination, for best supporting actress.
The former New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson once wrote of her, "Miss Page is not a forceful woman; she does not impose herself on the parts she plays. But somewhere behind and beneath the modesty and prosiness of her personality lies an extraordinary perception, which illuminates the characters she plays."
Miss Page explained her own views on her art in a 1985 interview: "Acting isn't simply a matter of going to the theater from 8 to 11. It's a day-to-day process of collecting details . . . choosing from experiences. I hoard them over the years, then pull one out for a role. I never turn my motor off. I have a passionate curiosity about people and . . . things. I guess you could say I'm nosy."
Miss Page's marriages to Alexander Schneider and actor Rip Torn ended in divorce. Her survivors include two sons and a daughter.
ROBERT W. POWERS,
38, an administrative staff officer with the World Bank, where he had worked since 1981, who had taught English at Georgetown Preparatory School, died of cancer June 13 at George Washington University Hospital. He lived in Springfield.
After teaching at Georgetown Prep from 1973 to 1978, he spent three years as a senior analyst with Eagle Technology, a concern that did consulting work for the Navy, in Arlington.
Mr. Powers was born in Washington and grew up in Rockville. He was a graduate of Good Counsel High School and Loyola of Montreal College in Canada. He received a master's degree in English literature from the University of Waterloo in Ontario and a master's degree in public administration from George Washington University.
He had been featured in a WUSA (Channel 9) news broadcast in November that dealt with the way patients were coping with cancer. Mr. Powers was a member of Grace Presbyterian Church in Springfield.
His marriage to Yvonne Powers ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, the former Diane Grubb, and their two children, Dana and Cameron Powers, all of Springfield; a daughter by his first marriage, Janis Powers of Rockville; his parents, Walter and Mary Powers of Rockville, and a brother, Patrick, of Ijamsville, Md.
MARY (JAN) BACHE,
78, an area resident since 1958 who was active in church groups, died June 5 at Bethesda Naval Hospital after a heart attack. She lived in Kensington.
She was a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Kensington, where she helped found a senior citizens club and helped establish an adult Sunday school that examined religious and social issues.
Mrs. Bache was a native of Perth Amboy, N.J., and received nurse's training at a hospital in Johnstown, Pa. She was a hospital nursing supervisor in Johnstown and was an Army nurse during World War II before moving here.
She worked as an office manager for a Washington dentist from the mid- to late 1960s.
Mrs. Bache accompanied her husband, Benjamin Allan Bache, to Army posts in this country and in Europe. He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1957 and died in 1976.
Her survivors include a son, Army Lt. Col. William Hyatt Bache of Vicenza, Italy; a daughter, Nina Perkins of London; four brothers; eight sisters, and three grandchildren.
72, a retired editorial secretary who had been an area resident since 1957 and was a native of Hungary, died of cancer June 13 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She lived in Washington.
After moving here, she worked for the Boy Scouts of America, the Home Economics Association and the National Science Teachers Association for about 20 years before retiring in the mid-1970s.
Mrs. Maday came to this country in 1948. She lived in Massachusetts and in California before moving here.
She was a member of the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington.
Survivors include her husband, Bala, of Washington; a son, Steven, of Rockville; a daughter, Kathryn, of Bethesda; a brother, Steven C. Szollosy of Downey, Calif., and five grandchildren.
ALBERT P. LEVY,
79, a certified professional engineer who worked for the Navy Department for 28 years before retiring in 1968, died June 12 at Alexandria Hospital. He lived in Alexandria.
He was a member of Aguda Achim Congregation of Northern Virginia in Alexandria, where he was a past president of the congregation and its men's club.
Mr. Levy was born in Ankara and came to this country in 1912. He lived in New York state before moving here and joining the Navy Department in 1940.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Rae, of Alexandria; a daughter, Rosalyn E. Jonas of Bethesda, and two grandchildren.