Zamah Cunningham - Rotten Tomatoes

Zamah Cunningham

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Zamah Cunningham enjoyed a 50-year career on the stage, screen, and television, including movies directed by D.W. Griffith and such stage productions as On the Town and Watch on the Rhine -- but modern audiences will remember her almost exclusively for her occasional appearances on The Honeymooners in the role of Mrs. Manicotti, the Kramdens' corpulent neighbor. Cunningham was born in 1892 and made her professional debut in 1909 at the age of 16, when she joined a road company in a production of Hitchy Koo. She made the jump to feature films in the silent era, working in some of Griffith's productions, including America. Cunningham was an attractive actress in her teens and twenties, svelte and appealing by the standards of the day, but as she grew older and her girth increased, she gradually evolved into a character actress, similar in type to Sara Allgood or, in more recent years, Rebecca Schull, capable of comic relief or implied menace. Later, she transcended even those boundaries as her weight and size ballooned. Cunningham's Broadway work included the original production of On the Town (as Maude P. Dilly) and the Broadway production and national tour of Watch on the Rhine with Paul Lukas. She was also a regular on the television series Matinee Theatre and made appearances on Studio One, Kraft TelevisionTheatre, and other anthology series, in addition to the movies Dream Girl (1948), Key to the City (1950), Here Come the Girls (1953), and Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965). She was most familiar to audiences, however, for her years on Cavalcade of Stars and The Jackie Gleason Show, including a season of The Honeymooners (1955-1956). On the Gleason variety shows, Cunningham was seen in various roles ,while on the free-standing Honeymooners series she played Mrs. Manicotti exclusively. Her later Broadway credits included a role in the thriller Shadow of a Gunman in 1958, and she worked in television and movies into her seventies. Cunningham died in 1967 at the age of 74.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Baby, the Rain Must Fall
  • Mrs. T.V. Smith
1965
No Score Yet Here Come the Girls (Champagne for Everybody)
  • Mrs. Snodgrass
1953
No Score Yet Key to the City
  • Mrs. Butler
1950
No Score Yet Dream Girl
  • Mme. Kimmeloff, Music Teacher
1948

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