Real name: Anne Baxter
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Baxter was born in Michigan City, Indiana to Kenneth Stuart Baxter and Catherine Wright; her maternal grandfather was architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Baxter's father was a prominent executive with the Seagrams Distillery Co. and she was raised in New York City amidst luxury and sophistication. At age ten, Baxter attended a Broadway play starring Helen Hayes, and was so impressed that she declared to her family that she wanted to become an actress. By the age of thirteen, Anne had appeared on Broadway. During this period, Baxter learned her acting craft as a student of the famed teacher Maria Ouspenskaya.
In 1950 she was chosen to co-star in All About Eve, largely because of a resemblance to Claudette Colbert, who had initially been chosen to co-star in the film. Baxter received a nomination for Best Actress for the title role of Eve Harrington, which is one of Baxter's enduring legacies to the history of cinema. Later during that decade, Baxter also continued to act in professional theater. According to a program from the production, Baxter appeared on Broadway in 1953 opposite Tyrone Power in Charles Laughton's John Brown's Body, a play based upon the narrative poem by Stephen Vincent Benét (though the Internet Broadway Database states that Power's co-star was Judith Anderson).Baxter with Yul Brynner, from the trailer for The Ten Commandments (1956)
Today, Baxter is probably best remembered for her compelling role as the Egyptian princess Nefertiri opposite Charlton Heston's portrayal of Moses in Cecil B. Demille's award winning The Ten Commandments (1956).
In 1983, she starred in the television series Hotel after replacing Bette Davis in the cast after Davis took ill. Baxter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6741 Hollywood Blvd.
Though her second marriage to Galt did not last much longer, Baxter and Galt had two daughters together: Melissa and Maginel. Privately during this period, Baxter chose to refer to herself as Ann Galt amongst her neighbors in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, probably as a way to downplay her star status and to raise her daughters as normally as possible. Baxter was briefly married again in 1977 to David Klee, a prominent stockbroker, but was widowed when he died unexpectedly due to illness. They purchased a sprawling property in Easton, Connecticut which they extensively remodeled, however Klee would not live to see the renovations completed. The house itself was architecturally reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's flat-roofed structures. Baxter had the living room fireplace re-built to resemble the fireplace in her grandfather's masterpiece, Fallingwater. Baxter never re-married.
Baxter died from a brain aneurysm on December 12, 1985, while walking down Madison Avenue in New York City. She is buried on the estate of Frank Lloyd Wright in Spring Green, Wisconsin .
Baxter was survived upon her passing by her three adult daughters. A footnote is that Baxter was a lifelong friend of the late costume designer Edith Head, who appeared with Baxter in a cameo role in the Columbo episode in which Baxter starred. Upon Head's death in 1981, Baxter's daughter Melissa was bequeathed Head's extraordinary collection of jewelry. Melissa Galt today works as an interior designer in Atlanta. Baxter's daughter Katrina Hodiak ultimately married and had children. Baxter's daughter Maginel Galt is reportedly a Catholic nun living and working in Rome, Italy.