Actresses: A Firm Sense of Role

Uta Hagen comes on swearing. In three hours, she weeps, snarls, rages at her husband, expounds a boozy philosophy, talks baby talk, goes off to the kitchen to seduce a casual visitor, and turns in a performance that stains the memory but stays there. The play is Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a psychological Grand Guignol set in the academic world, and last week, for her portrayal of Martha, a professor's rough-edged wife, Uta Hagen won the Antoinette Perry Award for the year's best performance by an actress.

With auburn hair, a...

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