Herta Ware (Herta Ware)

Herta Ware

Actress. Married to “The Walton’s” actor, Will Geer. She  helped him found The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum for Blacklisted actors in Topanga, California.  As an actress she is best known for her portrayal of Jack Gilford’s wife ‘Rosie Lefkowitz’ in the 1985 film “Cocoon.”  Herta was an actress that graced Stage, Film, and Television.  She was a young singer and songwriter when she met Will Geer.  At the time he was the companion of Gay activist Harry Hey. Will left Harry and married Herta in 1934.  Years later Harry would say to Herta, “I had Will first!” to which she replied, “But I had him longest!”  After her marriage she appeared in such Broadway productions as  “The Cradle Will Rock,” “Let Freedom Ring,” “The Glass Menagerie,” and “Skin of Our Teeth.”  Herta would soon go on to find that acting was not the only passion in her life.  Will and Herta lent their help during the Labor Movement in the ’30s and ’40s.  In 1951 Will Geer was one of the actors victimized by the McCarthy Era’s Communist Witch Hunt.  Geer was blacklisted, and his blacklisting was supported by the Screen Actors’ Guild.  Will and Herta lost their home.  The couple would do a lot of traveling before they moved to Topanga, which is now the Theatricum Botanicum.  The Geer Family earned a living selling vegetables, fruit and herbs and theatre.  The blacklist was broken in 1961.  Will soon landed the role he would become most known for Playing ‘Grandpa Walton’ in 1972. The Theatricum Botanicum was formed in 1973.  Will Geer died suddenly of a Heart Attack in 1978.  Herta would finally make her film debut in 1980 with “The Black Marble.”  Other films she appeared in include “2010” in 1984, “Slam Dance,” and “Promised Land,” both in 1987 “Species,” and “Top Dog,” both in 1995 and “Cruel Intentions,” in 1999.  She also made several Television appearances on show’s like  “Knots Landing,” “Scarecrow and Mrs. King,” “Cagney and Lacey” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”  She also made a memorable appearance on “The Golden Girls” in 1988, where she played an elderly woman turned out in the street when she could no longer pay the bills at her rest home.  Herta was last seen in the 2000 Minnie Driver Comedy “Beautiful.” (bio by: The Perplexed Historian)  Family links:  Spouse:  Will Geer (1902 – 1978)* *Calculated relationship


  • June, 09, 1917
  • USA


  • August, 08, 2005
  • USA


  • Will Geer Estate
  • California
  • USA

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