Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Actress Mary Murphy Passes On

Actress Mary Murphy, perhaps best known for her role in The Wild One (1953), passed on 4 May 2011 at the age of 80. The cause was heart disease.

Mary Murphy was born in Washington, D.C. on 26 January 1931. She was only six months old when her family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Following her father's death, her mother moved the family to Southern California. She was a package wrapper at Saks at the time that Paramount Pictures discovered her in a café. She made her film début in an uncredited part in The Lemon Drop Kid (1951). She appeared in bit parts in such films as When Worlds Collide (1951), My Favourite Spy (1951), The Atomic City (1952), and Houdini (1953). Her first major role and her breakthrough role would be Katie Bleeker, the small town love interest of Marlon Brando's biker in The Wild One.

Over the next few years Miss Murphy appeared in such films as The Mad Magician (1954), Sitting Bull (1954), The Desperate Hours (1955), and The Maverick Queen (1956). From the late Fifties onward, her career would mostly spent on television. Miss Murphy only appeared in three more films after 1956: Live Fast, Die Young (1958),  The Electronic Monster  (1958), and Crime and Punishment U.S.A. (1959). On television she appeared in such shows as Cavalcade of America, Wagon Train, The Restless Gun, The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor, and The Millionaire.

The Sixties Mary Murphy spent mostly in television. She guest starred on such shows as The Rebel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, Dr. Kildare, The Fugitive, Honey West, and I Spy. She appeared in the films as Two Before Zero (1962) and 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962). In the Seventies she appeared in the  films Junior Bonner (1972) and I Love You...Goodbye (1974).. She appeared on the shows Circle of Fear and The Streets of San Francisco. She retired in the Seventies and worked in a Los Angeles art gallery.

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