By Michael Slezak
Updated January 17, 2006 at 10:41 PM EST

, who sustained a multi-decade career playing everything from blonde sexpots to cantankerous grandmothers, died Saturday of heart failure. She was 85. Winters landed her earliest roles playing saucy dames in the late 1940s, but went brunette to portray a pregnant blue-collar worker in 1951’s A Place in the Sun, scoring the first of four Academy Award nominations. She went on to win the Best Supporting Actress statuette for 1959’s The Diary of Anne Frank and 1965’s A Patch of Blue, and was also nominated for 1972’s disaster flick The Poseidon Adventure, in which she played a zaftig, former champion swimmer who strips to her skivvies and plunges underwater to save her fellow passengers. A sought-after talk-show guest who wrote two tell-all autobiographies (Shelley, Also Known as Shirley, and Shelley II: In the Middle of My Century), Winters worked well into the late 1990s, including a recurring role as Nana Mary on the hit sitcom Roseanne.

addCredit(“Shelley Winters: Tonya Evatt/AP”)

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