Currently starring in a New York production of Sam Shepard‘s new play Heartless, Lois Smith made her first screen appearance in East of Eden (1955), based on the novel by John Steinbeck. In 1988, Smith created the role of Ma Joad in the Steppenwolf Theatre production of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. (She is pictured at right with Gary Sinise, who starred as Tom Joad in the adaptation.) Smith has appeared in over 50 films and scores of theater productions — for which she has won numerous awards, including the Obie and the Drama Desk Award.