Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Colleen Gray: We will always enjoy her work.

Colleen Gray
October 23, 1922 - August 3, 2015

Film fans are mourning the loss of lovely Colleen Gray, star of classic film-noir such as Nightmare Alley, Kiss of Death, Kansas City Confidential and The Killing.  Westerns like the revered Red River, and the less revered Town Tamer, Black Whip and Arrow in the Dust.  Sci-fi fun flicks like The Leech Woman and classic television guest appearances on Perry Mason, Rawhide, 77 Sunset Strip, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and as Chief Clifford's wife on McCloud.

Red River
John Wayne, Colleen Gray

Ms. Gray's round-up of leading men includes the tops in the business:  Tyrone Power, John Wayne, Bing Crosby, William Holden, Dana Andrews, Victor Mature, Sterling Hayden, John Payne and Dana Andrews.

Kiss of Death
Victor Mature, Colleen Gray

If I recall my Saturday Night at the Movies hosted by Elwy Yost correctly, Colleen said that "Vic" became her protector against notably grumpy director Henry Hathaway on Kiss of Death.

Ms. Gray possessed a warmth that was as sincere as any found onscreen.  She was a welcome ray of sunshine in the shadowy world of noir.  She was a lively and winning comedienne in two family comedies of 1950, Father Was a Bachelor and Frank Capra's remake of his own Broadway Bill with music, Riding High.  When I think of Ms. Gray, I always think of this spirited number:


Sunshine Cake was written by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen, herein performed by Mr. Bing Crosby, Mr. Clarence Muse and Ms. Colleen Gray with kibbitzing from "Broadway Bill" himself in his stall.



 

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful tribute. I watched Kansas City Confidential the day she died. She really was a ray of sunshine... her eyes were shining so bright in the movie as the hopeful future lawyer!
    Oh, and nice little anecdote about Victor Mature :)
    Kisses!
    Le

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  2. A film noir main stay and a beautiful lady. Nice tribute.

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    1. Truly Colleen had a career to be proud of.

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  3. A lovely tribute. One of the best functions and blessings of the world of film bloggers is to shine a light on these wonderful people who were not superstars, but who contributed their share and are fondly remembered because of it.

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    1. I've seen so many lovely thoughts printed on this lady. Such an outpouring of affectionate memories, and every one is a personal take.

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  4. Ms. Grey was such a pretty actress. Alas, in our household she will forever be "the Leech woman", but we are learning to appreciate her long and varied career.

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    1. Hey, that's not a bad thing. It's good to be remembered. I think it must have taken an extraordinary amount of control to put that script over.

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  5. I'm really glad you posted this tribute. In some ways, I am a horrible classic movie fan, because whenever I see Coleen Grey I NEVER remember her name. I always say, "Oh, that girl. She's always good." I think your post will help me to say next time, "Ah yes, Coleen Grey. She's always great."

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    1. Very nicely said. I'm afraid Nancy Gates is my gal that I see, appreciate and then - wait for it - oh, it's her!

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  6. I watched her in "Kansas City Confidential" the day she died only I didn't find out about her passing till the next day. I found it... I don't know how to say it but the TCM Film Noir class and their Summer of Darkness had just ended and she was known for her noir films.

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    1. It's strange how the universe works sometimes. I was starting to read my first Nero Wolfe novel when author Rex Stout passed away. The miracle is in the work that remains for us to enjoy. It keeps folks alive.

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