In 1980, Oscar winner Joanne Woodward came to Little Rock to film the TV movie Crisis at Central High. In the movie she played Elizabeth Huckaby, who was vice principal for girls at Central High during the desegregation of the school. Huckaby had written a book about her experiences which was published earlier in 1980.
The film, which aired on TV on February 4, 1981, also starred Charles Durning and Henderson Forsythe. Several local actors also appeared in the movie. While much of the interior scenes were shot in Dallas, there were exterior scenes shot at the Central High. Other Little Rock locations were also used.
Woodward was born on February 27, 1930. In the early 1950s, she split her time between theatre and TV, both based in New York City. In only her third year of making motion pictures, she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role(s) in The Three Faces of Eve. As she continued to make movies, she received three other Best Actress nominations over the decades.
In the past two decades, she has focused more on directing and producing theatre, with some voice work for films. Her last motion picture onscreen role was in 1993’s Philadelphia, where she played Tom Hanks’ mother.