Mary Badham

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This article is about the child actor. For her mother, the English actress and local TV personality, see Mary Hewitt.
Mary Badham

Mary Badham (born October 7, 1952, Birmingham), is an actress best known for her portrayal of Scout Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. She is the daughter of Army General Henry Badham Jr and English actress and Birmingham broadcasting veteran Mary Hewitt. Her older brother, John Badham, is a noted film director.

Badham had no prior film experience before being cast in "Mockingbird". As soon as she was cast by talent scout Alice Boatwright, she was flown to Hollywood, given a room at the Beverly Hills Hotel and enrolled in the Universal Studio School. Gregory Peck, who played her father in the film, was the first to greet her at the airport and often visited his home and accompanied his family on outings to Disneyland and other destinations. After the film's release, Badham and Peck remained close friends. She always addressed him as "Atticus", his character's name, until his death in 2003.

Mary Badham in 1962

The 1962 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress went to another child actress in an Alabama-related production, Patty Duke (for "The Miracle Worker"). Badham's next best-known role was 'Sport Sharewood' in "The Bewitchin' Pool", the final episode of the original Twilight Zone series.

She also appeared in the films "Let's Kill Uncle" (1966) and "This Property Is Condemned" (1966) before retiring from the acting profession.

In 1989, Badham was inducted into the Alabama Walk of Fame, along with her brother John and Mockingbird co-star Phillip Alford.

At the urging of actor/writer/director Cameron Watson, Badham came out of retirement to play an offbeat cameo opposite Keith Carradine for his film Our Very Own (2005). Watson stated he would not accept any other actress for the part.

At present Badham is an art restorer and a college testing coordinator. Married to a school teacher, and the mother of two, she also travels around the world recalling her experiences making "To Kill a Mockingbird" while expounding on the book's messages of tolerance and compassion.

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