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Mary Jeanette Robison (19 April 1858 – 20 October 1942), known professionally as May Robson, was an Australian-born American-based actress, whose career spanned 58 years, starting in 1883 when she was 25 years of age. A major stage actress of the late 19th and early 20th century, Robson is best known today for the dozens of 1930s motion pictures she appeared in when she was well into her 70s, usually playing cross old women with hearts of gold.

Robson was the earliest-born person to enjoy a major Hollywood career and receive an Academy Award nomination, which she got for her leading role in Lady for a Day in 1933.[1] She was also the first Australian to be nominated for an Oscar.[2]

Early life

Mary Jeanette Robison was born on 19 April 1858 at Moama,[a] in the Colony of New South Wales,[8][b] in what Robson described as "the Australian bush".[9] She was the fourth child of Julia, née Schlesinger (or Schelesinger) and Henry Robison;[3][10] her siblings were Williams, James, and Adelaide.[8]

Hen

Mary Jeanette Robison (19 April 1858 – 20 October 1942), known professionally as May Robson, was an Australian-born American-based actress, whose career spanned 58 years, starting in 1883 when she was 25 years of age. A major stage actress of the late 19th and early 20th century, Robson is best known today for the dozens of 1930s motion pictures she appeared in when she was well into her 70s, usually playing cross old women with hearts of gold.

Robson was the earliest-born person to enjoy a major Hollywood career and receive an Academy Award nomination, which she got for her leading role in Lady for a Day in 1933.[1] She was also the first Australian to be nominated for an Oscar.[2]