Alice Drummond, Character Actress, Dies at 88


Alice Drummond, shown in 1992, worked in theater, television and film productions.

Carsey-Werner, via Everett Collection

Alice Drummond, an actress who was a Broadway regular in the 1960s and ’70s then played an array of older women, from mild-mannered to deranged, in blockbuster films like “Ghostbusters,” “Awakenings” and “Doubt,” died on Wednesday in the Bronx. She was 88.

Her friend and executor, the actress June Gable, said that the cause was complications of a fall Ms. Drummond sustained about two months ago.

Ms. Drummond acted on and off Broadway and on television before her first role in a feature film: a brief appearance in the 1970 Rob Reiner comedy “Where’s Poppa?”

Slight of build, she often projected an air of befuddled vulnerability on camera and in later years tended to be typecast as an elderly and sometimes infirm woman.

She harnessed that air for dramatic effect in “Awakenings” (1990), the film adaptation of a memoir by the neurologist Oliver Sacks, in which she played one of Robin Williams’s catatonic patients, and as a nun alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in “Doubt” (2008).