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Actress Nancy Gates (1926-2019)


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The death of the actress Nancy Gates was announced this week. She died at her Los Angeles-area home on March 24, 2019 at the age of 93.

She appeared in two noteworthy films with Frank Sinatra. In "Suddenly" (1954), she played a widow whose California home was taken over by conspirators (including Sinatra's character) planning to assassinate the U.S. president during his nearby fishing vacation. The movie, which also starred Sterling Hayden and James Gleason, took its title from the name of the California town.

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In Vincente Minnelli's 1958 drama "Some Came Running" -- based on the 1957 novel by James Jones -- Sinatra played a World War II veteran whose return to his Indiana hometown after 16 years caused a bit of an impact locally. Arthur Kennedy (a Best Supporting Actor nominee for the film) co-starred as Sinatra's brother, a successful jeweler. Gates (pictured below with Kennedy) played the jeweler's secretary, who had a longtime crush on her boss. The film also starred Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine (a Best Actress Oscar nominee) and Martha Hyer (nominated for Best Supporting Actress).

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Gates, a Dallas-area native whose career began at RKO at the age of 15, also appeared with Rod Taylor in the 1956 sci-fi tale "World Without End." She co-starred with Randolph Scott in the 1960 Western "Comanche Station." 

Among her other film credits: "The Magnificent Ambersons" (in an uncredited role) "The Great Gildersleeve" (1942), "Hitler's Children" (1943), "The Spanish Main" (1945), "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952, uncredited), "The Member of the Wedding" (1952, which starred Ethel Waters, Julie Harris and Brandon de Wilde) and "Torch Song" (1953, headlined by Joan Crawford, Michael Wilding and Gig Young). 

She also appeared in numerous television series before her retirement in 1969 to devote more time to her family.

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