Sharon Douglas, actress – obituary


Sharon Douglas, who has died aged 95, was a minor however standard actress throughout the Golden Age of American movie and radio throughout the Nineteen Forties and Fifties.

She was born Rhoda-Nelle Rader in Stevens County, Oklahoma, on October 16 1920 and educated regionally. She arrived in Hollywood in 1939 on the invitation of an agent pal who had promised to search out her work. Quickly she shaped an unlikely friendship with Hedda Hopper, who took an prompt liking to the younger starlet and made her a protégé.

Sharon Douglas (her adopted stage title was a tribute to her mom’s Scottish origins) was a daily on Hedda Hopper’s standard radio present throughout the Nineteen Forties, which drew massive audiences to hearken to the actress-turned-columnist “dish the filth”. She persuaded NBC to rent Sharon Douglas to play Lana Turner in an early radio play based mostly on the display screen siren’s formative years. Later Hedda Hopper launched the younger starlet to Howard Hughes, who made her his private cost underneath his reign as mogul at RKO; the studio pitched her as a rival to the favored femme fatale of the second, Jane Greer.

Sharon Douglas’s first movie roles have been mere bit elements, till she was supplied a number one function within the crime drama A Gentleman After Darkish (1942), the story of a suave jewel thief (Brian Donlevy) who goes straight after the start of his daughter, a lot to the annoyance of his grasping spouse (Miriam Hopkins).

Different roles adopted, within the quick Wedtime Tales (1943), and in The Navy Manner (1944) with Robert Lowery and Jean Parker, amongst others. She was then given the feminine lead within the backbone chiller Fog Island (1945), about an aged father and former convict Leo Grainger (George Zucco) and regal daughter Gail, who dwell in an ominous creaking mansion maintained by Allerton the butler (George Lloyd), on a distant island. Sharon Douglas additionally co-wrote the movie’s title monitor Liebestraum (“Love’s Dream”). In 1946 she was reunited with Brian Donlevy within the comedy Our Hearts Have been Rising Up.

It was on radio, nevertheless, the place Sharon Douglas actually discovered her métier. Her radio appearances included The Gallant Coronary heart (1944), described by Radio Life journal as a “gritty and actual have a look at at present’s younger folks” and a unbroken function in The Second Mrs Burton, a few housewife (Douglas) struggling to deal with a scheming husband and his controlling mother-in-law. The Lifetime of Riley, broadcast weekly on the radio throughout the Second World Conflict, and starring William Bendix, was a monumental success, operating for 132 weeks.

Sharon Douglas grew to become a frequent volunteer on the Hollywood Canteen, the membership for servicemen, the place she may very well be seen ready tables with different famous beauties of movie noir resembling Marie Windsor, Audrey Totter and Gene Tierney.

Her profession continued on radio all through the Nineteen Forties and Fifties, becoming a member of Fred Astaire for The Sky’s the Restrict (1949) and he or she was a daily stooge on The Abbott & Costello Present (1949-52). In 1946, she married Edward Nassour, a Lebanese-born producer, with whom she had 4 youngsters. He and his brother William shaped the Nassour Studios, notable for producing Abbott and Costello’s movie Africa Screams and, for tv, the jungle serial Sheena: Queen of the Jungle.

One night time in December 1962, Sharon Douglas was woke up by a commotion at their dwelling in Sherman Oaks. Venturing downstairs, she discovered her husband lifeless from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 51.

There have been an extra two short-lived marriages, each ending in divorce.

After her divorce from Phillip Gabriel, a businessman, in 1968, she returned to work, showing in tv commercials, with an occasional movie or tv function.

Her youngsters survive her.

Sharon Douglas, born October 16 1920, died June 18 2016


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