Sunday, February 19, 2012

Actress Elyse Knox Harmon Dies at 94

Actress Elyse Knox Harmon, who appeared in over three dozen films between 1937 and 1949, has passed away at the age of 94.

As Elyse Knox, she appeared in bit roles in major films, such as 20th Century-Fox's LILLIAN RUSSELL (1940), and starred in a long line of movies throughout the '40s. Most of her movies were "B" pictures; her most notable role may have been in the Universal horror film THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1942).

Knox married former football star Tom Harmon in 1944 and retired from acting in 1949. Tom Harmon later became a sports broadcaster, and all three of the Harmon children went into the acting profession.

Oldest daughter Sharon Kristin, known by her middle name, married Rick Nelson; their children included actress Tracy Nelson. Tracy was at one time married to actor William R. Moses, who himself came from an acting family.

Kelly Harmon was at one time married to John DeLorean, and people of a certain age will remember her as the girl in Tic Tac commercials.

The Harmons' youngest child, born Thomas Mark Harmon, followed in his father's footsteps as a college football star before becoming a popular TV actor, most recently in the megahit NCIS. In 1987 Mark Harmon married actress-singer Pam Dawber, best known as the star of MORK AND MINDY.

Elyse Knox passed away at her home on Thursday. She was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 1990.


Blogger JH said...

Elyse Knox stars in one of my favorite z-grade noirs "I Wouldn't Be In Your Shoes".

*May Contain Spoilers*

In shades of "I Wake Up Screaming" and "Fallen Angel", she's unwittingly targeted by an obsessive, love-sick cop and reluctantly has to play cat and mouse with him to get her husband released from death row for a crime he didn't commit.

It's an odd programmer with a couple of surprisingly dark and artfully directed, noir-ish scenes that will stay with you. Also you may never look at Regis Toomey the same way again.

If you like to wallow in American post-war working class paranoia and despair then also check out "Fear in the Night", "The Guilty" and "Fall Guy".

These super low-budget Cornell Woolrich adaptations feel better suited to the source material than glitzier productions like "Rear Window" and "Night Has a Thousand Eyes"

For more on "I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes" check out:

Also - I'm searching for a copy of Elyse Knox's 1949 drama "Forgotten Women" if anyone knows where I can track one down.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

JH, I'm a bit behind on answering comments (busy workweek!) and want you to know how much I appreciated your recommendation. I love a good B (or lower?) film noir, and I WOULDN'T BE IN YOUR SHOES sounds very interesting. I'm already looking askance at Regis Toomey after seeing him in THE FOREST RANGERS a few days ago (grin) so I'm intrigued to see him in this.

I'm also jotting down the other titles you mentioned. I've become very interested in Cornell Woorich films after seeing some in the past year or two, including NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES.

Good luck on the hunt for that film!! Thanks again --

Best wishes,

12:54 AM  

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