Stage icon Uta Hagen has died in New York, aged 84.

The acclaimed actress, who shot to fame after playing MARTHA in the original production of WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF in the 1960s, has been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2001.

A three-time TONY award-winner, Hagen was born in Germany but her family moved to America when she was just seven. She became fascinated by acting after watching SAINT JOAN when she was nine.

She made her acting debut as OPHELIA in a 1937 production of HAMLET.

Hagen's career suffered after World War II when she was ostracised for her outspoken political beliefs, so she set up a performing arts school to teach other stage and screen hopefuls.

Despite being known largely for her stage work, Hagen - who was married to JOSE FERRER - also starred in a number of movies, including THE OTHER and THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL.

16/01/2004 17:10