Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lisa Gaye Passes On

Lisa Gaye, who appeared in the cult film Rock Around the Clock (1956) and made numerous guest appearances on television, died on January 14 2016 at the age of 81.  She is survived by her sister Debra Paget, her brother Frank Griffin, and several grandchildren.

Lisa Gaye was born  Leslie Gaye Griffin in Denver, Colorado on March 6 1935. Her family moved to Los Angeles after her oldest sister,  Marcia Eloise Griffin, signed a contract with Paramount. Marcia Eloise Griffin would act under the name "Teala Loring". Her sister Debralee Griffin would later sign with 20th Century Fox and became famous as Debra Paget. Her older brother, Frank Griffin, would act under the name Ruell Shayne before going onto become a makeup artist.

It was because of a recommendation from her older sister Debra that Leslie Griffin was given a screen test by Universal-International. The studio signed her and gave her the stage name "Lisa Gaye". Her first appearance on film was in an uncredited role as a bobbysoxer in The Glenn Miller Story in 1954. Her first major role came later that year, in Drums Across the River (1954). In the Fifties she appeared in the films Rock Around the Clock (1956), Shake, Rattle & Rock! (1956), Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), and Sweethearts (1957).

While Miss Gaye's film career never quite took off, she had a very healthy career in television. She played the recurring role of Collette DuBois on The Bob Cummings Show and was a regular on the second season of How to Marry a Millionaire. She guest starred on numerous shows in the Fifties, including Passport to Danger, The Great Gildersleeve, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Science Fiction Theatre, Zorro, Mike Hammer, Have Gun--Will Travel, Black Saddle, Sea Hunt, Perry Mason, Death Valley Days, Have Gun--Will Travel, Wanted Dead or Alive, Cheyenne, Rawhide, and many others.

In the Sixties Lisa Gaye guest starred on such shows as Wagon Train, Bat Masterson, Bachelor Father, Laramie, Maverick, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, Burke's Law, My Living Doll, Perry Mason, Get Smart, The Wild Wild West, Death Valley Days, I Dream of Jeannie, The Flying Nun, and Mod Squad. She appeared in the films Night of Evil (1962), Face of Terror (1962), Castle of Evil (1966), and The Violent Ones (1967).  In 1970 Lisa Gaye retired to raise her family.

Like her sisters Teala Loring and Debra Paget, Lisa Gaye was a very beautiful woman. That alone would explain much of her success as a guest star on numerous TV shows. That having been said, she was also fairly talented and capable of playing a number of different roles. Indeed, she was cast in a number of different ethnic roles over the years: Native Americans on Have Gun--Will Travel, Death Valley Days, and many other Westerns; a gypsy on Death Valley Days; Latinas on Zorro and various Westerns; a foreign princes on Hawaiian Eye; and so on. It wasn't simply a case that Miss Gaye's looks allowed her to be somewhat convincing in many roles, but she was able to do a wide variety of accents somewhat well. What is more, she could play a wide variety of different sorts of roles as well. She was a murderer on Perry Mason, a gambler on Mr. Lucky; and a prisoner on Wanted Dead or Alive. While Lisa Gaye was very pretty and gifted with both a rather adaptable look and a rather adaptable voice, she was also quite versatile.


Unknown said...

What did she die of?

Terence Towles Canote said...

I assume it was natural causes. None of the obituaries told a cause of death.

Obbop said...

I just watched an episode of Death Valley Days and saw Lisa Gaye in the main female role of a card shark. She was very pretty and did a fine job performing her role. Curiosity led to the Web and this is one of the sites I opened to sate my curiosity. Hooray for the Web that allows the curious to sate that curiosity!!!

It appears that she led a full life and found love with a decent man since they are buried together indicating happiness while on earth.