Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sally Forrest R.I.P.

Actress and dancer Sally Forrest died on March 15 2015 at the age of 86. The cause was cancer.

Sally Forrest was born Katherine Feeney on May 28 1924 in San Diego, California. Her parents were amateur ballroom dancers. As a result she started studying dance from an early age. It was not long after she graduated high school that she was signed to MGM. She made her film debut in an uncredited role as a dancer in Till the Clouds Roll By in 1946. She appeared in uncredited roles as a dancer in Are You with It? (1948), t The Kissing Bandit (1948), and Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) before appearing in a more slightly more substantial, but still uncredited role as Dr. Gibbs's secretary in Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949). She received her first lead role in Not Wanted (1949), playing a woman who has a child out of wedlock. Initially directed by Elmer Clifton, Ida Lupino took over directing after Mr. Clinton had a heart attack. Ida Lupino would direct Miss Forrest in another 1949 film, Never Fear, in which she played a dancer who has contracted polio. Miss Forrest finished out the Forties in such films as Flame of Youth (1949) and Mystery Street (1950).

Ida Lupino directed Sally Forrest one last time in Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951), in which Miss Forrest played a tennis prodigy.  During the Fifties Sally Forrest appeared in such films as Vengeance Valley (1951), Excuse My Dust (1951), The Strip (1951), Bannerline (1951), The Strange Door (1951), Son of Sinbad (1955), and While the City Sleeps (1956).  During the Fifties her career turned primarily to television, and she guest starred on such shows as Schlitz Playhouse, Lux Video Theatre, Ford Television Theatre, Suspense, Studio One, The United States Steel Hour, Climax, The Red Skelton Hour, Climax, The Millionaire, and Rawhide. On Broadway she replaced Vanessa Brown as The Girl in The Seven Year Itch.

In the Sixties Sally Forrest guest starred on the TV shows Rawhide and Family Affair before retiring from acting.

Sally Forrest began her career as a dancer and she was a very talented one. Her notorious dance scene at the banquet in Son of Sinbad (which the MPAA Production Code Administration objected strenuously to) shows just how skilled she was at dance. While she began her career as a dancer and she was talented at it, she was also very talented as an actress. In such films as Not Wanted, Never Fear, and Hard, Fast, and Beautiful she played emotional roles with a subtlety that many other actresses would have lacked. Even when her part in a film was not particularly large (such as While the City Sleeps), Miss Forrest still left a lasting impression.

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