Saturday, April 29, 2017

Kathleen Crowley R.I.P.

Kathleen Crowley, who frequently guest starred on television shows in the Fifties and Sixties, died on April 23 2017 at the age of 87.

Kathleen Crowley was born Betty Jane Crowley in Green Bank section of Washington Township, Burlington County, New Jersey. It was three years after she graduated from Egg Harbour High School that she won the Miss New Jersey pageant. She would be a finalist in the Miss America pageant. She was named "Miss Congeniality" and won a scholarship which she used towards studying acting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Kathleen Crowley made her television debut in an adaptation of A Star is Born on the anthology series Robert Montgomery Presents in 1951. That same year she also appeared in episodes of Kraft Theatre, Starlight Theatre, and Armstrong Circle Theatre. She made several guest appearances on TV shows in the Fifties, making eight alone on the classic Western Maverick. She also guest starred on such shows as Chevron Theatre, The Lone Wolf, The Lone Ranger, Studio 57, General Electric Theatre, Disneyland, The 20th Century-Fox Hour, Climax, Cheyenne, Colt .45, Wagon Train, The Restless Gun, Death Valley Days, Laramie, Bat Masterson, 77 Sunset Strip, and Tales of Wells Fargo. She was a regular on the short lived show Waterfront. She made her film debut in The Silver Whip in 1953. During the Fifties she appeared in such films as The Farmer Takes a Wife (1953), Sabre Jet (1953), Target Earth (1954), Ten Wanted Men (1955), Female Jungle (1956), The Quiet Gun (1957), The Phantom Stagecoach (1957), The Flame Barrier (1958), and The Rebel Set (1959).

In the Sixties Miss Crowley guest starred on such shows as 77 Sunset Strip, Thriller, Surfside 6, Checkmate, Route 66, The Farmer's Daughter, The Virginian, Perry Mason, Gidget, Batman, Bonanza, The Donna Reed Show, My Three Sons, Family Affair, and The High Chaparral. She appeared in the films Showdown (1963), Downhill Racer (1969), and The Lawyer (1970). Miss Crowley retired from acting not long after marrying John Rubsam in 1969.

Kathleen Crowley was certainly beautiful, which is perhaps why she so often played the love interest in both films and TV shows. That having been said, she also had quite a bit of range. In two episodes of Maverick she played confidence artist Melanie Blake, who very nearly outsmarted Bret Maverick himself. In the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Lonely Heiress" she played an heiress trying to find the con man who swindled her sister only to be charged with his murder. In the Batman episode "The Penguin Goes Straight"/"Not Yet, He Ain't" she played a naive socialite who is fooled by The Penguin into thinking he has gone straight. Throughout her career she appeared in a diverse array of TV shows, including several Westerns, some dramas, and even a good number of sitcoms. Kathleen Crowley didn't simply have looks. She had talent as well.

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