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Rosemary Murphy, Emmy-winning actress, dies at 89

By Carolyn Sung, CNN
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 2321 GMT (0721 HKT)
Rosemary Murphy, left, sits with Mary Badham, top right, and other children in a scene from the film
Rosemary Murphy, left, sits with Mary Badham, top right, and other children in a scene from the film "To Kill A Mockingbird."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Murphy played Miss Maudie Atkinson in "To Kill a Mockingbird"
  • She won an Emmy for a role in "Eleanor and Franklin"
  • She also appeared in soap operas

(CNN) -- Rosemary Murphy, an Emmy Award-winning actress, has died. She was 89.

Murphy died Saturday night at her home in Manhattan, her agent confirmed to CNN. The New York Times cited cancer as the cause of death.

Murphy was known for her film role as Miss Maudie Atkinson in the 1962 classic "To Kill a Mockingbird." Murphy played the neighbor to widower and lawyer Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck.

In 1976, it was Murphy's portrayal of Sara Delano Roosevelt, the mother of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in the ABC television movie "Eleanor and Franklin" that earned her an Emmy. The following year she was nominated for another Emmy when she reprised her role as Roosevelt for the sequel, "Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years."

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Murphy also appeared on Broadway receiving Tony nominations for roles in 1960's "Period of Adjustment" as the wife of a Korean War veteran; as Dorothy Cleaves, a wife who finds out about her husband's infidelity in "Any Wednesday"; and in "A Delicate Balance," where she played an alcoholic named Claire.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" now an e-book

She continued to work in television, portraying the mother of presidents. In the 1984 miniseries "George Washington" Murphy played Mary Ball Washington, the mother of the nation's first president. She also portrayed Rose Kennedy, the mother of President John F. Kennedy, in 1991's "A Woman Named Jackie."

Her later TV credits include the long-running soap operas, "The Young and the Restless" and "As the World Turns." According to IMDB, one of Murphy's last roles was for the film "The Romantics" with Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin and Josh Duhamel.

Murphy's survivors include a sister, Mildred Pond.

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