Did you watch The Flying Nun (1967 to 1970)? Remember Sally Field as Sister Bertrille? And finally, do you remember Reverend Mother Placido, her Mother Superior? I don’t think I ever missed an episode. One of the better TV shows then, I believe.
Today’s post is about Madeleine Sherwood , who played Reverend Mother Placido.
She was born on November 13, 1922 in Montreal, Quebec, as Louise Hélène Thornton.
Sherwood began her career, some have said, at the age of four, when she performed in a church play. In 1950, she moved to New York City. She made her first Broadway performance in Horton Foote’s, The Chase, replacing Kim Stanley. That was just the beginning of her career in Broadway. She became a member of the Actors Studio in 1957, working with Lee Strasberg, and is now a life member of the Studio.
During the McCarthy era, Sherwood was blacklisted. During the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, she met and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the late 50’s and 60’s. Then she went south to join CORE (Congress on Racial Equality). She was arrested during a Freedom Walk, jailed and sentenced to six months hard labour for “Endangering the Customs and Mores of the People of Alabama”. Another very interesting titbit of her life at that time, her lawyer, Fred Grey, was the first African-American lawyer to represent a white woman south of the Mason–Dixon Line. Unfortunately, during this period, she lost most of her hearing.
In the early 1990s, she returned to Canada and resettled in Victoria, BC, and Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec. Although she was a longtime resident of the United States, she has remained a Canadian citizen all her life. She has one daughter, two grandchildren and six great-grand children.
Besides her many roles on Broadway, she’s been in films and on many shows on television. Just a few are:
Danger (1 episode, 1953)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Mae Flynn Pollitt
The Edge of Night (1964) Ann Kelly #1
The Flying Nun (1967–1970) Reverend Mother Superior Placido
Pendulum (film) (1969) Mrs. Eileen Sanderson
The Guiding Light (1970–1971) Betty Eiler
The Secret Storm (1972–1973) Carmen
Wicked, Wicked (1973) Lenore Karadyne
Columbo (1 episode, 1974) Miss Brady
The Changeling (1980) Mrs. Norman
One Life to Live (1980) Bridget Leander
Nobody’s Child (1986) Nurse Rhonda
Dynasty (1 episode, 1987)
Cagney & Lacey (1 episode, 1987)
At 91 years young, she is getting a virtual Thank You and a Happy Birthday wish from the author of this blog!