Sunday, May 15, 2011

Actress Mary Murphy Dies at 80

Actress Mary Murphy, whose best-known role was starring opposite Marlon Brando in THE WILD ONE (1953), has passed away at the age of 80.

Murphy died at her home in Beverly Hills, California.

Mary Murphy will always be special to me, as she starred in one of my favorite Westerns, the underappreciated A MAN ALONE (1955), which was directed by and starred Ray Milland.

A MAN ALONE is a film I first became acquainted with in childhood, and I was thrilled to be able to see it again not long ago thanks to the Encore Westerns channel. It hadn't lost any of its appeal.

In A MAN ALONE Murphy played Nadine, the sheriff's daughter who hides a loner (Milland) at risk of being hung by a mob for crimes he didn't commit. Murphy was both sweet and spunky, playing a significant role in the film's overall success. Murphy was later quoted as saying Milland was "a lovely, lovely man," though unfortunately she didn't care much for the film herself.

Murphy's films also included BEACHHEAD (1954) with Tony Curtis, THE DESPERATE HOURS (1955) with Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March, and THE MAVERICK QUEEN (1956) with Barbara Stanwyck. She also regularly worked in TV before retiring from the screen in 1975.

In November 2010 Murphy was profiled by Joe Collura in Issue 425 of Classic Images. The article is available to read online.

Monday Update: There's a nice tribute to Murphy at 50 Westerns From the 50s with a beautiful lobby card of A MAN ALONE.


Blogger la peregrina said...

I hadn't heard this news, she was wonderful in The Wild One. Thanks for the link to the Classic Images article about her acting career.

11:04 AM  

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