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Herta Ware

Personal information
Birth nameHerta Schwartz
Birth dateJune 9, 1917
Place of birthWilmington, Delaware
Date of deathAugust 15, 2005 (aged 88)
Death placeTopanga, California

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Herta Ware (June 9, 1917 - August 15, 2005) was an American actress and political activist.

Ware was born Herta Schwartz in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Helen Ware, a musician and violin teacher, and Lazlo Schwartz, an actor who was born in Budapest. Her mother's brother was activist Harold Ware and her maternal grandmother was labor organizer and socialist Ella Reeve Bloor. Ware made her Broadway debut in "Let Freedom Ring", co-starring Will Geer, whom she married in 1934. The couple appeared together in other New York plays as well, including "Bury the Dead" (1936), "Prelude" (1936), "200 Were Chosen" (1936) and "Journeyman (1938).

The politically-minded couple moved to Los Angeles in the early 1940s and settled in Santa Monica, California where Geer pursued a movie career, but ultimately became best known as "Grandpa Walton" on the television series The Waltons. Geer and Ware were also social and labor activists, and in the 1950s they were blacklisted for Geer's refusal to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Ware herself was probably best known for her performance as the ailing wife of embittered Jack Gilford in Cocoon. Geer and Ware had three children, including actress Ellen Geer. Although they divorced in 1954, they remained close. Ware also had a daughter, actress Melora Marshall, by another marriage.

During that period, she helped found the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga, where every plant mentioned in the works of Shakespeare is grown. She died in Topanga, California.

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