From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Gale Sondergaard (February 15, 1899 – August 14, 1985) was an American actress. Sondergaard began her acting career in theatre, and progressed to films in 1936. She was the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her film debut in Anthony Adverse (1936). She played supporting roles in various films during the late 1930s and early 1940s, including The Cat and the Canary (1939), The Mark of Zorro (1940) and The Letter (1940). She was nominated for a second Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for Anna and the King of Siam (1946) but by the end of the decade her film appearances were fewer. Married to the director Herbert Biberman, Sondergaard supported him when he was accused of communism and named as one of the Hollywood Ten in the early 1950s, and her film career was destroyed as a result. She moved with Biberman to New York City and worked in theatre, and acted in film and television occasionally from late 1960s. She moved back to Los Angeles where she died from cerebrovascular thrombosis.