Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Actress Elaine Stewart Dies at 81

Beautiful actress Elaine Stewart, seen in numerous small but noticeable roles at MGM throughout the early '50s, has passed away at the age of 81.

One of Stewart's first screen appearances was in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952), in which she had a bit part as a lady-in-waiting in a movie sequence.

From there Stewart's parts included a small role as the kind but ill-fated stewardess in DESPERATE SEARCH (1952) and in the final train scene of YOU FOR ME (1952), attracting the notice of Peter Lawford.

Her more substantial parts at MGM included a scene-stealing role as Lila, a young actress in THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952), pictured here with Gilbert Roland; the "B" movie CODE TWO (1953), in which she's in love with motorcycle cop Jeff Richards; and Gene Kelly's New York fiancee in BRIGADOON (1954). She had a cameo as herself in MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS (1956).

Other roles included the female lead in THE ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BABA (1954), in which she's completely stunning, and playing the good sister to Faith Domergue's not-so-good sibling in the Victor Mature Western ESCORT WEST (1958).

Stewart was long married to game show producer Merrill Heatter, and she appeared on the game shows LAS VEGAS GAMBIT and THE NEW HIGH ROLLERS.

She's survived by Heatter and their two children.

Wednesday Update: A nice obituary was published by the New York Times.

Update: Here's a second look at THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, along with reviews of EVERYTHING I HAVE IS YOURS (1952), TAKE THE HIGH GROUND! (1953), NIGHT PASSAGE (1957) (also here), and THE TATTERED DRESS (1957) (also here).


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