Elizabeth Wilson Dead: Graduate, 9 to 5 Actress Dead at 94

Elizabeth Wilson, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin
Elizabeth Wilson, pictured here on the left in "9 To 5" with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, passed away at the age of 94. Moviestore/REX_Shutterstock

Tony-winning actress Elizabeth Wilson passed away on Saturday, May 9, in New Haven, Conn. Wilson, most known for her roles in The Graduate and 9 to 5, was 94. Elizabeth Morton, Wilson’s dear friend, confirmed the news to The New York Times.

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Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., Wilson told Connecticut magazine back in 2012 she always knew she wanted to be an actress. After getting her start on Broadway in 1953’s Picnic, she went on to secure a Tony for her role in 1972 drama Sticks and Bones. Wilson was also nominated for several Emmy awards, including her role in NBC’s 1987 miniseries Nutcracker: Money, Madness and Murder.

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The actress, who had a small role as a waitress in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds, played Mrs. Braddock in The Graduate before making a name for herself when she appeared alongside Jane Fonda in 1980’s 9 to 5 — but she was at first criticized for her looks.

elizabeth wilson in the graduate
Dustin Hoffman and Elizabeth Wilson in The Graduate. Getty Images

“The deal was, my nose was too big and they wanted me to have surgery,” she told Connecticut magazine about being offered her first big break in the 1940s. “My jaw was crooked, and I’d have to have that fixed, too. And they didn’t like my name; it was too common,” she recalled. “I don’t know how I managed to do this, but I said, ‘I don’t think so.’ Imagine! I can’t believe I had the wisdom.”

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Wilson is survived by her sister, Mary Muir Wilson, with whom she lived in Connecticut.

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