Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

R.I.P. Colleen Gray


cody1949
 Share

Recommended Posts

  The fine actress of the late '40's has passed away of natural causes at the age of 92.  I will remember her always from Nightmare Alley and Kiss of Death. She had a small part in Red River, but she sure played her scene with John Wayne with great conviction.  He should have taken her with him, but then that would have changed the development of that classic western. Red River, my second favorite western next to Shane.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very sad to hear of this.  My introduction to her was in that electric opening scene in Red River.  She was only on the screen for a few minutes, but she shone so brightly she carried as much weight in the movie as the other actors.  I then searched her out in other pictures.  That led me to Nightmare Alley, and The Killing.  I see from IMDB, most of her work was in television.  A loss to movies.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose, above all other films, I will remember Coleen Gray for the innocence that she brought to the role of Molly in Nightmare Alley. She once spoke of the great excitement she felt in being co-starred with a matinee idol of her's, Tyrone Power, and what a kind gentleman he had been on that film set with her.

 

Ironically, I was watching her for the first time in Lucky Nick Cain this week, not knowing of her death that same day.

 

R.I.P., Ms Gray, and thank you for nothing but fond memories.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always been puzzled by the trajectory of her career- she was a beautiful woman and a pretty good actress, and she started out so well- KISS OF DEATH, a romantic comedy with William Holden, RED RIVER, NIGHTMARE ALLEY, KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL...then it was TV roles, a brief "resurgance" in THE KILLING and some Z-Films like LEECH WOMAN, THE VAMPIRE and PHANTOM PLANET. (LEECH WOMAN and PHANTOM PLANET were both featured on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 during the Sci-Fi era, with the former being one of my favorite episodes.)

 

she maintains a sort of dignity in the bad movies, but I always wondered how it was that she ended up there...but at least she has five or so real classics to her credit, which is more than can be said for many.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adam Bernstein wrote a very good obituary of Gray in today's Washington Post:

 

Coleen Gray, doe-eyed beauty of film noir, dies at 92

 

“I was always the goody-two-shoes,” actress Coleen Gray often said, “but I wanted to be a sex symbol.” She had grown up on corn and dairy farms in the Midwest, and her doe-eyed beauty and unaffected style drew the notice of Hollywood directors.

 

She won featured roles in much-admired crime dramas of the late 1940s and 1950s, notably “Kiss of Death,” “Nightmare Alley” and “The Killing” — but not, to her regret, as a femme fatale or hard-bitten dame.

 

Instead, film scholar Eddie Muller wrote in his book on the film noir genre “Dark City Dames,” Ms. Gray’s most frequent role was “the slumming angel of reason and redemption, ably wrestling straying men away from the precipice.”.....

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

SAD NEWS. I was just thinking of her the other day and wondering if she was still alive (after watching Kansas City Confidential again). She projected such a fresh faced innocent girl next door quality in many of her roles, but with toughness underneath. I wish TCM would rerun that Noir Dames discussion show they had with RO around 15 years ago. It would've been perfect for the Summer of Darkness series. She was the last survivor from that show (Marie Windsor, Audrey Totter and I think Jane Greer were also on it)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always been puzzled by the trajectory of her career- she was a beautiful woman and a pretty good actress, and she started out so well- KISS OF DEATH, a romantic comedy with William Holden, RED RIVER, NIGHTMARE ALLEY, KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL...then it was TV roles, a brief "resurgance" in THE KILLING and some Z-Films like LEECH WOMAN, THE VAMPIRE and PHANTOM PLANET. (LEECH WOMAN and PHANTOM PLANET were both featured on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 during the Sci-Fi era, with the former being one of my favorite episodes.)

 

she maintains a sort of dignity in the bad movies, but I always wondered how it was that she ended up there...but at least she has five or so real classics to her credit, which is more than can be said for many.

 

 

Possibly due to the studios divesting themselves of their contract roster in the 50s, when many were forced to free lance and take what they could get. Leech Woman has always been a guilty pleasure of mine (esp. the MST3000 version! LOL)...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SAD NEWS. I was just thinking of her the other day and wondering if she was still alive (after watching Kansas City Confidential again). She projected such a fresh faced innocent girl next door quality in many of her roles, but with toughness underneath. I wish TCM would rerun that Noir Dames discussion show they had with RO around 15 years ago. It would've been perfect for the Summer of Darkness series. She was the last survivor from that show (Marie Windsor, Audrey Totter and I think Jane Greer were also on it)

 

OMG.

I did not even know this existed.

I SECOND THE MOTION!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Possibly due to the studios divesting themselves of their contract roster in the 50s, when many were forced to free lance and take what they could get. Leech Woman has always been a guilty pleasure of mine (esp. the MST3000 version! LOL)...

 

TERRY

"Tell me, does my aunt keep

any liquor in the house?"

 

MIKE NELSON

"Well, there's never enough

to keep. I can show you some

stains by the couch though..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember the critic, Pauline Kael, referred to Coleen Gray, as "that good, underrated actress" in, I believe, a reference to The Killing. For those who respected Kael's opinions (i am usually among them), that is a worthy tribute.m

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw Nightmare Alley (1947) for the first time only a few weeks ago.  I was impressed with Ty, Joan Blondell, Helen Walker and the young lady who played Molly.

I then looked 'Molly' up on the imdb and it was then a case of, 'oh yeah ... her.  Very good.'  And it struck me that she might have been a good interview for TCM considering all of the noire she made.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw Nightmare Alley (1947) for the first time only a few weeks ago.  I was impressed with Ty, Joan Blondell, Helen Walker and the young lady who played Molly.

I then looked 'Molly' up on the imdb and it was then a case of, 'oh yeah ... her.  Very good.'  And it struck me that she might have been a good interview for TCM considering all of the noire she made.

 

 

She was part of a group interview with RO about 15 years ago......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just watched Leech Woman.  Not a bad SciFi, but definitely not one of the better ones.  Gray actually got first billing in it and plays the main character.

 

She does a good job in that. Campy and entertaining 50s scifi....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So sad to hear of her death. Coleen Gray was beautiful, talented, and yes, sexy (I remember reading somewhere decades ago where the writer referred.to her in NIGHTMARE ALLEY as foxy; I concur). It would've been great if TCM had done a recent interview with her.

 

After.costarring together in KISS OF DEATH and FURY AT FURNACE CREEK (Imho a very good western btw), Coleen and Victor Mature were briefly viewed by Fox as a potential team. The studio proposed to remake (again) SEVENTH HEAVEN with them in 1948 or 1949; the studio probably decided against it due to the deciding the subject was dated.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So sad to hear of her death. Coleen Gray was beautiful, talented, and yes, sexy (I remember reading somewhere decades ago where the writer referred.to her in NIGHTMARE ALLEY as foxy; I concur). It would've been great if TCM had done a recent interview with her.

 

After.costarring together in KISS OF DEATH and FURY AT FURNACE CREEK (Imho a very good western btw), Coleen and Victor Mature were briefly viewed by Fox as a potential team. The studio proposed to remake (again) SEVENTH HEAVEN with them in 1948 or 1949; the studio probably decided against it due to the deciding the subject was dated.

 

 

I have yet to see the original Seventh Heaven. :( Still on TCM's no play list...........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...