Hollywood News

Oscar and Golden Globes Nominated Yesteryear Actor Cara Williams Dies at 96

Yesteryear actor Cara Williams, who appeared in films like The Defiant Ones that earned her nominations for both Oscars and Golden Globes, died on Saturday, according to Variety report.


She was 96.

Williams’ daughter Justine Jagoda and her great-nephew Richard Potter, confirmed the news to the publication. “Not only was she a sparkling actress with impeccable comedic timing, she was also funny, over-the-top, warm-hearted and loving,” Jagoda told Variety in a statement. “She could make anyone laugh and smile if they had a bad day. She was everything that you could wish for in a mother and more. It’s a sad loss to lose a woman from this incredible era.”

One of the last living actors of the golden age of Hollywood, Williams was born as Bernice Kamiat, in 1925, in Brooklyn, to Jewish immigrant parents.

After her parents separated, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother, where she was enrolled in the Hollywood Professional School and chose Cara Williams as her stage name. “At age 16, Williams was signed by 20th Century-Fox and began appearing in small, often unbilled parts in films such as Wide Open Town, Happy Land and In the Meantime, Darling,” according to the Variety report.

Williams made her screen debut with the 1941 film Wide Open Town, and appeared in Oscar-nominated films like Sweet and Low Down (1944), Boomerang (1947), and Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956). She was seen in the 1944 Oscar-winning film Laura. This was followed by a television sting in the early 1950s, when she played supporting roles in the musicals The Girl Next Door and The Great Diamond Robbery.


She is renowned for appearing in the 1951 comedy film Monte Carlo Baby, that also featured Audrey Hepburn.

While she was at a career-high, Williams married actor John Drew Barrymore in 1952, her second husband after Alan Gray.

She also appeared in a CBS television spin-off comedy series Pete and Gladys, where she played the lead role that earned her an Emmy Award nomination.

Williams was married thrice, with Los Angeles real estate figure Asher Dann being her last partner till his death, in 2018.

She is survived by daughter Jagoda and son John Blyth Barrymore.