To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Constance Towers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Constance Towers
Constance Towers, 1960.jpg
Towers in 1960
Born (1933-05-20) May 20, 1933 (age 87)
Alma materJuilliard School
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1952–present
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Eugene McGrath
(m. 1959; div. 1966)

(m. 1974; died 2018)

Constance Mary Towers (born May 20, 1933)[2] is an American film, stage, and television actress, and singer. She gained prominence for her appearances in several mainstream 1950s films before transitioning to theater, starring in numerous Broadway productions through the 1970s. Her accolades include two Emmy Award nominations.

A native of Montana, Towers began her career doing radio plays as a child in the Pacific Northwest before relocating to New York City where she studied music at the Juilliard School. She made her film debut in the Technicolor comedy picture Bring Your Smile Along (1955) by Blake Edwards before earning recognition for her roles in John Ford's civil war film The Horse Soldiers (1959) and western Sergeant Rutledge (1960). She later appeared in two roles in Samuel Fuller's hard-edged experimental thrillers Shock Corridor (1963) and The Naked Kiss (1964).[3]

Beginning in 1965, Towers embarked on a career in theater, making her Broadway debut in the musical Anya, opposite Lillian Gish, followed by a 1966 production of Show Boat at Lincoln Center. Towers starred in four other Broadway productions throughout the 1970s, most notably as Anna in The King and I in 1977 and 1978. Her later career largely has been based in television, with roles as matriarch Clarissa McCandless on the daytime drama Capitol from 1982 to 1987, and the villainous Helena Cassadine on General Hospital, which she began portraying in 1997.

Early life

Towers was born May 20, 1933[4] in Whitefish, Montana, one of two daughters born to Ardath L. (née Reynolds) and Harry J. Towers, a pharmacist.[5] Her mother, originally from Nebraska, was of Irish descent, while her father was an Ireland native from Dublin who immigrated to the United States through Philadelphia.[5] Towers' family relocated throughout western Montana in her early childhood, living in Whitefish, Missoula, and Kalispell, as well as in Moscow, Idaho.[5][6]

In 1940, when Towers was in first grade, she was discovered by talent scouts visiting Montana in search of child actors for radio programs.[7] Towers's family subsequently relocated to Seattle, Washington,[6] and she began working as a child voice actress in Pacific Northwest-based radio programs over the following three years.[7] According to her official website, Towers was offered a contract with Paramount Pictures at age 11, but the offer was declined by her parents. At age 12, she worked at a small local movie theater in her hometown of Whitefish.

In her adolescence, her family relocated to New York City after her father took a job there as an executive vice president for a pharmaceutical company.[5][7] There she attended the Juilliard School, studying music,[4] and American Academy of Dramatic Arts.[8] She studied singing with well known voice teacher Beverley Peck Johnson.[9]


1955–1964: Early film work

Towers in The Horse Soldiers (1959)
Towers in The Horse Soldiers (1959)

While attending Juilliard, Towers was discovered by a film agent.[5] "I was very lucky," Towers recalled. "An agent saw me and believed in me and we were walking down Fifth Avenue and the manager of the St. Regis Hotel asked if I could sing. My agent told him yes and he asked if I could open in three weeks. I learned a series of songs, put on a dress, sang to the critics and got good reviews. That night a casting man from Columbia Pictures saw me and flew me to L.A. to meet with Harry Cohn, president of Columbia. They had me read with Jack Lemmon, then signed me to a contract."[5]

Towers made her film debut in a supporting part in the film Bring Your Smile Along (1955),[10] followed by a supporting part in the crime thriller Over-Exposed (1956). Standing at 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m), Towers initially struggled to obtain leading film roles due to her height.[1] In 1958, she was cast in her first leading role as Hannah Hunter in John Ford's civil war film The Horse Soldiers (1959) opposite John Wayne and William Holden.[7] The following year, she appeared in Ford's follow-up film Sergeant Rutledge (1960), a racially themed crime Western.[11]

Towers in Shock Corridor (1963)
Towers in Shock Corridor (1963)

In 1963, Towers was cast in a supporting role in Samuel Fuller's experimental thriller Shock Corridor (1963), which tells the story of a journalist who commits himself to a psychiatric hospital to solve a murder. Her role as a stripper in the film was described by The New York Times as "hard, driving and realistic."[12] In preparation for the role, Towers spent time at exotic dance clubs in Los Angeles.

Fuller cast Towers again in a lead role in his following film The Naked Kiss (1964), another lurid and hard-edged thriller, in which she plays a crazed prostitute who attempts to assimilate in suburbia after having battered her pimp.[13] The film received some critical acclaim: Eugene Archer of The New York Times commented: "Patently absurd as the plot may be, Mr. Fuller has filmed it with flair, and he has drawn a richly amusing performance from Miss Towers. Between his stylish handling of sensational nonsense and Mr. Marton's turgid floundering around a serious theme, Mr. Fuller's wild little movie has a decided edge."[14]

The same year, Towers appeared in the thriller Fate Is the Hunter, which chronicles the investigation of an airline crash. She also worked as a model for the Heart Fund Benefit at a fashion show held in Reno, Nevada. Between 1961 and 1965, she had five guest roles on the series Perry Mason; In her first two appearances she played the murderer: Jonny Baker in "The Case of the Missing Melody" (1961) and Esther Metcalfe in "The Case of the Prankish Professor" (1963).

1965–1990: Theater career

Towers in a Broadway production of The King and I,  1977
Towers in a Broadway production of The King and I, 1977

After several film, television and stage roles (including a West Coast tour of Guys and Dolls), Towers made her Broadway debut playing the title role in Anya, a short-lived 1965 musical.[15]

Towers appeared as Julie in a 1966 production of Show Boat at Lincoln Center.[16] She also starred in Carousel in 1966 and The Sound of Music in 1967, which she would reprise in 1970, 1971 and 1980 at the Jones Beach Theater in Long Island, New York.[17]

She briefly played Anna Leonowens in 1968, and later she played opposite Yul Brynner in a long-running revival of The King and I on tour and then on Broadway (1976–1978).[18] Clive Barnes praised Towers in the role,[19] and theatre writer John Kenrick calls her performance on the 1977 cast album "great."[20]

In 1995 she played the role of Phyllis in Stephen Sondheim's Follies.[21]

From the mid-1960s until the 1990s, Towers' career was primarily focused on theater, though she did appear in films occasionally. She starred in the 1974 television film Once in Her Life, which earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Special Program. She also appeared on television, playing Marian Hiller, the wife of Dr. Sanford Hiller in Love is a Many Splendored Thing (1971–72).

She had a starring role as noble widow Clarissa McCandless in Capitol (1982–87, the show's entire run), playing rival to the scheming matriarch Myrna Clegg (Carolyn Jones, Marla Adams, Marj Dusay) in trying to see her son succeed in politics and the long-term love of powerful Senator Mark Denning (Ed Nelson). A memorable storyline had her being shot by Mark's mentally ill wife Paula (Julie Adams) and later finding out that her husband Baxter (Ron Harper) was still alive. For this part, she received a Soap Opera Digest Nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

1991–present: Television; General Hospital

Towers during a visit to the set of the television show General Hospital as part of Los Angeles Navy Week 2011
Towers during a visit to the set of the television show General Hospital as part of Los Angeles Navy Week 2011

Towers had a supporting part in the film The Next Karate Kid (1994) and appeared on television as John Abbott's former secretary, Audrey North, on The Young and the Restless (1996). She later played Madame Julianna Deschanel on Sunset Beach (1997). In 1998, Towers had supporting parts in the horror film The Relic (1998), and the thriller A Perfect Murder (1998), playing the mother of Gwyneth Paltrow's character.

Towers' best-known soap part is as villainous Helena Cassadine on General Hospital which she began playing late in 1997, continuing until her character was killed off in 2015, but made guest appearances in 2016, 2017, 2019 and most recently February 2020.[8] In October 2020, though Towers didn't actually appear on-screen, she briefly reprised the role of Helena through a phone call.[22]

Towers guest-starred in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Forsaken" in 1993. She also appeared in Designing Women, Frasier, Baywatch and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Other television roles include State Trooper, Hawaii Five-O, The Rockford Files, L.A. Law, The 4400, and Cold Case.[23]

In 2008, Towers starred in the Los Angeles revival of Arthur Allan Seidelman's production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks;[24] the play premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in 2001 with Uta Hagen and David Hyde Pierce in the two roles.[25]

Personal life

Towers was first married to Eugene McGrath from 1959 until their divorce in 1966. In 1974, she married actor and former ambassador to Mexico John Gavin.[26] She has two children from her first marriage. She also has two stepchildren from her marriage to Gavin.[27] Gavin died on February 9, 2018, aged 86.

Towers serves as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Blue Ribbon of the Los Angeles Music Center.[28]



Year Title Role Director Notes Ref.
1955 Bring Your Smile Along Nancy Willows Blake Edwards
1956 Over-Exposed Shirley Thomas Lewis Seiler
1959 The Horse Soldiers Miss Hannah Hunter of Greenbriar John Ford
1960 Sergeant Rutledge Mary Beecher John Ford
1963 Shock Corridor Cathy Samuel Fuller
1964 Fate Is the Hunter Peg Burke Ralph Nelson
1964 The Naked Kiss Kelly Samuel Fuller
1974 Once in Her Life Joan Baldwin Peter Levin Television film
Nominated – Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Special Program
1985 Fast Forward Jessie Granger Sidney Poitier
1985 Sylvester Muffy Tim Hunter
1991 Memories of Midnight Sister Larissa Gary Nelson Television film
1992 The Nutt House Mrs. Henderson Adam Rifkin
1992 The Sands of Time Sister Larissa Gary Nelson Television film
1994 The Next Karate Kid Louisa Pierce Christopher Cain
1995 Thunder in Paradise 3 Cavanna Douglas Schwartz
1997 The Relic Mrs. Blaisedale Peter Hyams
1998 A Perfect Murder Sandra Bradford Andrew Davis
2008 The Awakening of Spring Mrs. Gable Arthur Allan Seidelman
2013 A Fuller Life Herself Samantha Fuller Documentary
2015 Aghápe Mature Leean Radick Cembrzynski Short film
2017 The Storyteller Rosemary Joe Crump


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Tales of Tomorrow Martha Episode: "Seeing-Eye Surgeon"
1957 State Trooper Doris Woodley Episode: "Beef ala Murder"
1958 Mike Hammer Jean Barr Episode: "Overdose of Lead"
1957–1958 The Bob Cummings Show Patricia Plumber Episodes: "Bob Gives Psychology Lessons" and "Bob's Forgotten Fiancée"
1960 Adventures in Paradise Laura Knight Episode: "Sink or Swim"
1961 Zane Grey Theater Beth Woodfield Episode: "Knight of the Sun"
1964 The Outer Limits Laura James Episode: "The Duplicate Man"
1965 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Louise Menke Episode: "Exit from a Plane in Flight"
1961–1965 Perry Mason Various roles 5 episodes
1971–1972 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Marian Hiller Series regular
1975 Hawaii Five-O Mrs. Thorncrest Episode: "Death's Name Is Sam"
1977 Lanigan's Rabbi Vinnie Barcas Episode: "In Hot Weather, the Crime Rate Soars"
1979 The Rockford Files IRS Agent Sally Sternhagen Episode: "The Big Cheese"
1979 Fantasy Island Shirley Forbush Episode: "Hit Man/The Swimmer"
1981 Fantasy Island Maggie Dunphy Episode: "Perfect Husband, The/Volcano"
1982–1987 Capitol Clarissa McCandless Series regular
1986 On Wings of Eagles Margot Perot Miniseries
1987 Murder, She Wrote Margaret Witworth Episode: "Murder, She Spoke"
1988 The Loner Kate Shane Pilot
1987–1988 L.A. Law Charlotte Kelsey Episodes: "Rohner vs. Gradinger" and "Full Marital Jacket"
1989 MacGyver Francine Leyland Episode: "Ma Dalton"
1989 Midnight Caller Teresa Chandler Episode: "Blood Red"
1990 Designing Women Louise Pollard Episode: "The Mistress"
1991 Matlock Alice Windemere Episode: "The Suspect"
1992 Baywatch Maggie James Episode: "Sea of Flames"
1992 2000 Malibu Road Camilla O'Keefe Series regular, 6 episodes
1992 Civil Wars Harriet Guilford Episode: "Das Boat House"
1993 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Taxco Episode: "The Forsaken"
1994 Frasier Clarice Warner Episode: "Slow Tango in South Seattle"
1994 Thunder in Paradise Cavanna Episodes: "Deadly Lessons: Part 1" and "Deadly Lessons: Part 2"
1994 Silk Stalkings Karen Krane Episode: "Ask the Dust"
1995 Caroline in the City Barbara Episode: "Caroline and the Folks"
1995 High Society Boatie Episode: "Tomb with a View"
1996 The Young and the Restless Audrey North Recurring role
1997 Sunset Beach Madame Julianna Deschanel Recurring role, 9 episodes
  • 1997–2007
  • 2009–2013
  • 2014–2017; 2020
General Hospital Helena Cassadine Series regular (1997–2002), Recurring guest star (2003—2017)
Nominated: Daytime Emmy Award for America's Favorite Villain (2002)
1998 Kelly Kelly Kate Episode: "The Kilt Show"
2000 Providence Candice Whitman Episode: "Syd in Wonderland"
2006 Criminal Minds Deb Mason Episode: "Riding the Lightning"
2007 The 4400 Audrey Parker Episode: "Audrey Parker's Come and Gone"
2009 Cold Case Caroline Kemp Episode: "Libertyville"
2013 1600 Penn Bunny Thoroughgood Episode: "So You Don't Want to Dance"
2014 Men at Work Mary Episode: "Suburban Gibbs"
2016 11.22.63 Old Sadie Dunhill Episode: "The Day in Question"

Stage credits

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1960–1961 Guys and Dolls Sarah Brown Civic Light Opera Company, Los Angeles, California [30]
1962–1964 Camelot Guenevere U.S. touring production [17]
1965 Anya Anya Ziegfeld Theatre, New York City [30]
1966 Show Boat Julie New York State Theatre, New York City [31]
1966 Carousel Julie Jordan City Center Theater, New York City [32]
1967–1968 The Sound of Music Maria Rainer City Center Theater, New York City [33]
1967 Dumas and Son Marie Los Angeles Civic Light Opera [17]
1968 The King and I Anna Leonowens City Center Theatre, New York City [17]
1970 The Engagement Baby Vivian Whitney Helen Hayes Theatre, New York City [30]
1971 Ari Kitty Fremont Mark Hellinger Theatre, New York City [30]
1972 The King and I Anna Leonowens Jones Beach Theater, Long Island [17]
1972 I Do! I Do! Agnes Chateau de Ville, Saugus, Massachusetts [17]
1973 The King and I Anna Leonowens State Fair Music Hall, Dallas, Texas [17]
1973 My Fair Lady Eliza Doolittle Indianapolis, Indiana [17]
1973 Mame Mame Springfield, Missouri [17]
1973 The Desperate Hours Eleanor Hilliard Arlington Park, Illinois [17]
1974 Oh Coward! Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, Connecticut [17]
1977–1979 The King and I Anna Leonowens Uris Theatre, New York City [30]
1980 The Sound of Music Maria Rainer Jones Beach Theater, Long Island [34]
1991 The Speed of Darkness N/A Associate producer
Belasco Theatre, New York City
1995 Follies Phyllis Stone Theatre Under the Stars, Houston, Texas
5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington
1998 Something Wonderful McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, California [17]


  1. ^ a b Thomas, Bob (October 30, 1958). "Towering Connie Finally Makes It". Press & Sun-Bulletin. Binghamton, New York. p. 34 – via
  2. ^ "Constance Towers". Master Works Broadway. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Complete Samuel Fuller". Harvard Film Archive. Archived from the original on October 4, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Willis 1969, p. 263.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Robbins, Jody (March 19, 2001). "Actress has fond memories of growing up in the Flathead". Missoulian. Missoula, Montana. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Towers, Constance (2011). "An Interview with Constance Towers". Shock Corridor (Blu-ray). Interviewed by Charles Dennis. The Criterion Collection.
  7. ^ a b c d Thomas, Nick (July 21, 2014). "Tinseltown Talks: Constance Towers recalls two John Ford classics". Victorville Daily Press. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Constance Towers Playing Helena Cassadine on General Hospital -". Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  9. ^ Anthony Tommasini (January 22, 2001). "Beverley Peck Johnson, 96, Voice Teacher". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Bring Your Smile Along (1955)". Turner Classic Movies. Rovi. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  11. ^ Crowther, Bosley (May 26, 1960). "Movie Review: Sergeant Rutledge". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Crowther, Bosley (September 12, 1963). "Screen: Romantic Middle-Aged Men and Women:'Of Love and Desire' Stars Merle Oberon 3 Other Films Arrive at Local Theaters 'Shock Corridor' Leave It to the Girls". Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  13. ^ "The Naked Kiss (1964)". Turner Classic Movies. Rovi. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  14. ^ Archer, Eugene (October 29, 1964). "' Thin Red Line' and 'Naked Kiss' Open". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  15. ^ Affron 2002, p. 329.
  16. ^ Rodgers 2002, p. 316.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Towers, Constance 1934–". Archived from the original on April 23, 2020.
  18. ^ "Biography - Constance Towers". American Theatre Wing. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  19. ^ Barnes, Clive (May 3, 1977). "King and I, reminder of golden age". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. 50. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  20. ^ Kenrick, John. "Comparative CD Reviews: Part III. The King and I" (Copyright 1998–2003), accessed January 30, 2011.
  21. ^ The Singer's Musical Theatre Anthology: Vocal Duets Book Only. Hal Leonard Corporation. 1987. p. 5. ISBN 9781480318564.
  22. ^ Cushman, Dustin (October 29, 2020). "General Hospital's Helena Cassadine Is Back From The Dead". United States: SheKnows Media. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  23. ^ "Constance Towers Credits". TV Guide. November 28, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  24. ^ Stoudt, Charlotte (November 5, 2008). "'Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  25. ^ Oxman, Steven (June 10, 2001). "Review: 'Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks'". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  26. ^ Bacon, Doris Klein (August 29, 1983). "John Gavin Is Our Man in Mexico and Constance Towers Is His Woman in the (TV) Capitol". People.
  27. ^ Bacon, Doris Klien (August 29, 1983). "John Gavin Is Our Man in Mexico and Constance Towers Is His Woman in the (TV) Capitol". People. Time Inc. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  28. ^ "Los Angeles Music Center: Blue Ribbon: Board of Directors". Music Center. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  29. ^ "'Once in Her Life'". Florence Morning News. Florence, South Carolina. February 9, 1974. p. 27 – via
  30. ^ a b c d e f "Constance Towers". Playbill. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  31. ^ Hischak 2008, p. 678.
  32. ^ Hischak 2008, p. 131.
  33. ^ Wilson, Barbara R. (March 16, 1967). "That's show business". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. p. 27 – via
  34. ^ Steritt, David (July 7, 1980). "Turning Jones Beach alive with 'The Sound of Music'; The Sound of Music Starring Constance Towers, Earl Wrightson. Presented at the Jones Beach Theater". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on September 22, 2015.


External links

This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 04:08
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.