Actress Phyllis Thaxter, the actress who so wonderfully portrayed Martha Kent in Superman: The Movie, has passed at the age of 92.
She is preceded in death by actor Glen Ford who played Jonathan Kent, and Christopher Reeve, who played Superman. However, Jeff East, who played a young Clark Kent is alive and well.
I have not seen much of Thaxter's work, but, oddly, last night I began watching Women's Prison with Ida Lupino and Audrey Totter, and the film's major character is played by none other than Phyllis Thaxter. And she's really very good in what I'd seen so far.
Thaxter's portrayal of Martha Kent contained a stunning and instantly motherly quality that surpassed surprise at the strange manner in which she finds the boy, and his odd abilities, and cut straight to the need to love a little lost child when reason may have told her to do otherwise. In the few lines and scenes she had in the movie, she and Richard Donner presented Martha Kent as a very real mother experiencing both the blessing and pain that comes with bringing a child into your life and then realizing you have to let him go.
Honestly, the wheat-field scene between East and Thaxter in the film was when I realized (way, way back in high school) what an extraordinary film Superman truly is.
Here, however, is that scene of discovery in a Kansas field.