Friday, July 03, 2015

A Birthday Tribute to Susan Peters

Luminous actress Susan Peters was born in Spokane on July 3, 1921.

Like Gail Russell, Peters had soulful eyes and a sort of glowing fragility on screen. And like Russell, she was gone all too soon: a hunting accident, paralysis, and an early death at the age of 31.

Susan Peters only made 19 films and a couple of shorts, but in her brief career she achieved a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in RANDOM HARVEST (1942).

Peters' work, including her brave wheelchair-bound role in THE SIGN OF THE RAM (1948), makes a classic film fan ache for what might have been.

I especially loved her in SONG OF RUSSIA (1944), which is somehow simultaneously wacky (Susan teaching children to make Molotov cocktails!) and moving (including a fantastic musical score). She's seen here with Robert Taylor:

With Jean-Pierre Aumont in ASSIGNMENT IN BRITTANY (1944):

With Lana Turner and Laraine Day in a publicity photo for KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY (1945):

For more information on Susan Peters, a biographical article is currently available online from Films of the Golden Age.

Susan Peters left us far too soon, but happily for movie fans, the work of a brief, shining career lives on.

Susan Peters movies reviewed at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: SUSAN AND GOD (1940), THE BIG SHOT (1942), YOUNG IDEAS (1943), ASSIGNMENT IN BRITTANY (1943) (also here), SONG OF RUSSIA (1944) (also here), KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY (1945) (also here), and THE SIGN OF THE RAM (1948).

Update: And here's a review of DR. GILLESPIE'S NEW ASSISTANT (1942).

July 2016 Update: I paid my respects at Susan Peters' gravesite at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California.


Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

A luminous presence. I had no idea she made 19 films. She packed a lot into a short life.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

A lovely tribute to a most compelling actress.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you both for your thoughts...what a lovely screen presence she was. So glad to know you both enjoy her work also.

Best wishes,

9:47 AM  
Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

Lovely tribute Laura. Peters also had a short lived TV show she did at the end of her life. I'd love to see it! I think the Library of Congress has it in their archives.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

A very beautiful lady and obviously talented. I must see one of her movies. A very sad and lonely ending to her short life. Thank you laura for posting this tribute.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you Raquel! I know how much you like her too. I would love to see that TV show also.

Randall, I hope you get to see one of her films, she is a special actress.

Best wishes,

11:53 AM  

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