As Holm often recalled, when she walked on to the set the first day of shooting and said, "Good morning," Davis responded by saying, "Oh … good manners."

"I never spoke to her again — ever," Holm said.

Holm, who also had a small role as a mental patient who befriends star Olivia de Havilland's character in the 1948 Oscar-winning drama "The Snake Pit," was often at odds with the studio over the kinds of roles she should play.

She bought out the rest of her Fox contract and returned to New York, where she starred in the 1950-52 Broadway comedy "Affairs of State" and replaced Gertrude Lawrence in the original Broadway production of "The King and I."

But she returned to Hollywood in the mid-1950s to play supporting roles in two MGM musical comedies: "The Tender Trap," starring Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds, and "High Society," starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Sinatra.

She later played Aunt Polly in the 1973 movie-musical version of "Tom Sawyer" and appeared in films such as "Three Men and a Baby."

A 1992 inductee in the American Theatre Hall of Fame, Holm appeared often on Broadway, including taking over the starring role in the original production of "Mame" in 1967.

On television, she starred in the short-lived, 1954 situation comedy "Honestly Celeste" and played a supporting role in the 1970-71 situation comedy "Nancy."

She also made frequent guest appearances and played the Fairy Godmother in the 1965 musical television production of "Cinderella,"starring Lesley Ann Warren in the title role.

Holm received three Emmy nominations, including a 1979 nomination for her supporting role in the mini-series "Backstairs at the White House."

She spent a season on the prime-time soap opera "Falcon Crest" in the mid-1980s and a year on the afternoon soap opera "Loving" in the early '90s. And she played Hattie Greene, the wise and compassionate grandmother on "Promised Land," the 1996-99 family dramatic adventure series.

An only child, Holm was born in New York City on April 29, 1917. Her Norwegian-born father, Theodor Holm, worked with the American branch of Lloyd's of London and her mother, Jean (Parke) Holm, was an American portrait artist and author.

The theater was an early attraction.

"I think if you do what you love, it comes through in everything," she told the Asbury Park Press in 2007. "I knew at 6 that I wanted to act."

Holm, who trained in singing, dancing and acting as a child, studied drama at the University of Chicago.

In 1936, after playing ingenue leads in a summer stock company in Pennsylvania, she joined the touring production of Leslie Howard's "Hamlet," in which she played a lady of the court and was the understudy for the actress playing Ophelia.

She made her Broadway debut in 1938 in a small role in the short-lived comedy "Gloriana," and she received positive critical attention a year later playing the small part of Mary L. in William Saroyan'sPulitzer Prize-winning comedy "The Time of Your Life."

Holm, who was knighted by King Olav of Norway and appointed to the National Arts Council by President Ronald Reagan, was active in various social causes, including being a spokeswoman for UNICEF. She also served as chairman of Arts Horizons, which brings the arts to schoolchildren.

Holm married Basile, her fifth husband, in 2004. She had two sons, Theodore Holm Nelson and Daniel Dunning, from previous marriages. They survive her, as do three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Photos: Notable deaths of 2012