5 Classic Movies Starring Anne Baxter

A Broadway performer who successfully transitioned to Hollywood, actress Anne Baxter made a name for herself in a variety of popular pictures before winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. But it was her turn as the titular Eve Harrington in the showbiz classic All About Eve (1950) that propelled her to stardom. She reached her peak as Nefretiri in The Ten Commandments (1956), before slowly fading from feature films. Here are five classic movies featuring Anne Baxter.

After signing a seven year contract with 20th Century Fox, Baxter landed her first big role when director Orson Welles cast her in the sprawling family drama, The Magnificent Ambersons. Adapted from Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the film followed the declining lives of a wealthy Midwestern family struggling with the social and economic changes wrought by the birth of the automobile. Baxter played Lucy Morgan, the daughter of automobile manufacturer Eugene (Joseph Cotten) who falls for George (Tim Holt), son of Eugene's spurned lover, Isabel Amberson (Dolores Costello). Though the focus of The Magnificent Ambersons was on its larger-than-life director, Baxter stood out with a breakthrough performance that helped propel her career.

A powerful melodrama starring Tyrone Power, The Razor's Edge featured Baxter in a supporting role that earned the actress her only Academy Award. Directed by Edmund Goulding, the film focused on Larry Darrell (Power), a disillusioned World War I veteran who joins members of the Lost Generation in Paris in order to find himself. He falls for socialite Isabel Bradley (Gene Tierney), only to lose her to a wealthier man. Baxter delivered a powerhouse performance as Sophie MacDonald, Darrell's drunk, unstable girlfriend who's romance with him is broken up by Isabel, leading to her tragic downfall. Baxter's turn in The Razor's Edge was without parallel, with even the actress herself stating it was the best of her career.

Starring opposite the great Bette Davis, Baxter delivered her signature performance in this showbiz drama directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Baxter starred as the titular Eve Harrington, an aspiring actress taken under the wing of fading star Margo Channing (Davis), a fiery, booze-swilling Broadway legend nearing the end of her career. Margo sees promise in Eve, but never anticipates her becoming a scheming backstabber willing to trample over anyone in her rise to stardom. Davis has long been remembered for her tempestuous turn as Margo, but that wouldn't have been possible without Baxter's equally high-quality performance. Baxter and Davis were nominated for Best Actress, but both lost out to Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday.

A lesser film from director Alfred Hitchcock, I Confess nonetheless featured a strong performance by Baxter opposite Montgomery Clift. Clift starred as Father Michael Logan, a pious priest who hears the confession of a murder, but refuses to turn him over to the police because he's bound by the sacrament of the confessional. Meanwhile, a police inspector (Karl Malden) thinks the evidence points to Father Logan because he was caught in an alleged compromising position with the wife (Baxter) of a prominent politician. I Confess was the first picture Baxter made with Warner Bros., after the actress signed a two-picture deal in 1953.

One of the greatest historical epics of all time, The Ten Commandments featured a who's-who of Hollywood stars in this large scale biblical tale of the life of Moses. Directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the film starred Charlton Heston as Moses, the adopted son of the Egyptian Pharaoh who discovers his Hebrew heritage and decides to make life easier for his enslaved people. That rankles his half-brother, Ramses (Yul Brynner), who banishes Moses from the kingdom, leading to the Deadly Plagues, a chase across the desert, and the parting of the Red Sea. Baxter played Nefretiri, who's betrothed to Ramses even though she's really in love with Moses. Baxter was one of many actresses considered for the role, including Audrey Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, and Jane Russell, and was even in consideration to play Moses' wife, Sephora (Yvonne De Carlo).