Elizabeth Wilson was an actress best known for her work in the films The Graduate and 9 to 5. In the former she played the mother of Dustin Hoffman’s character, one of many instances where she would play a mother. She would work with The Graduate's director, Mike Nichols, again in the films Catch-22, The Day of the Dolphin and Regarding Henry. Her first role playing a mother, however, was in a production of Springtime for Henry, which toured Japan after WWII, and her final role was in 2012’s Hyde Park on Hudson, as the mother of Bill Murray’s Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 9 to 5 she played Roz, opposite Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.
Wilson was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1987 for her role in Nutcracker: Money, Madness and Murder, starring Lee Remick as a socialite who plots her father’s murder. In the miniseries, based on true events, Wilson played Remick’s character’s helpless mother, Berenice Bradshaw. In 1972, Wilson won a Tony Award for best performance by a featured actress in a play for the role of Harriet, a Vietnam veteran’s emotionally scarred mother, in David Rabe’s anti-war drama Sticks and Bones.
Wilson’s career spanned nearly seven decades and included turns in the television series All in the Family (as Edith Bunker’s cousin), Murder, She Wrote, Gideon's Crossing and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She also had recurring roles as the characters Frieda Hechlinger on East Side/West Side, Annie Bogert on Doc, Kathy Kelly on Morningstar/Eveningstar and Rosiland Dupree on Delta.
Wilson studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and made her debut on Broadway in 1953 in Picnic. She would continue her stage work over the years with roles in The Importance of Being Earnest, the 1996 revival of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance and her last Broadway performance, the 1999 revival of Waiting in the Wings, to name a few.
Wilson died May 9, 2015, in New Haven, Connecticut. She was 94.