- Gave backyard performances as a child during World War I; money collected from sales of hand-knit wash rags and homemade cakes was donated to the war effort.
- Left college to perform at the Pasadena Playhouse, where she was eventually discovered by talent agents from Universal.
- Changed the spelling of her last name because she wanted six letters to balance out her first name on marquees.
- Was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933.
- Semi-retired from acting after WWII.
- Created hand-printed art books and learned oil painting while living in Italy in 1954; had a successful one-woman show at Manhattan Hammer Galleries in 1961.
- Returned to acting for a desired cameo role with Peter O'Toole in the 1982 film My Favorite Year.
- At 87, became the oldest Academy Award nominee for her supporting role in Titanic (1997).
- Published her memoirs in the 1999 book I Just Kept Hoping.
- Passed away in September 2010, just two months after she turned 100.
- 1998, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1997, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 1997, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 1997, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- Ward Ritchie — Ex-significant Other
- Sylvia Sheekman Thompson — Daughter
- Blair Gordon Newell — Ex-husband
- Arthur Sheekman — Husband (deceased)
- Alice Deidrick Stewart — Mother
- Thomas Stewart — Brother
- Fred Finch — Stepfather
- Frank Stewart — Father
- Attended University of California, Berkeley, California, United States