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Claire Trevor (March 8, 1910 - April 8, 2000) was an American actress. She was nicknamed the "Queen of Film Noir" because of her many appearances in "bad girl” roles in film noir and other black-and-white thrillers. She appeared in over 60 films.

Early life

Trevor was born as Claire Wemlinger in Bensonhurstmarker, Brooklynmarker, New Yorkmarker in 1910 (some sources state 1909, 1911 or 1912), the only child of a 5th Avenue merchant-tailor and his wife. Her family was of Irish American and French American descent.

Career

Trevor's acting career spanned more than seven decades and included success in stage, radio, television and film. Trevor often played the hard-boiled blonde, and every conceivable type of "bad girl" role. After attending American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she began her acting career in the late '20s in stock. By 1932 she was starring on Broadway; that same year she began appearing in Brooklyn-filmed Vitaphone shorts. Her first credited film role was in the 1933 film Life in the Raw, with her feature film debut coming that same year in Jimmy and Sally (1933), with her portraying "Sally Johnson". From 1933 through 1938 Trevor starred in twenty nine films, often having either the lead role or the role of heroine. In 1937 she starred with Humphrey Bogart in Dead End, which would lead to her being nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

By 1939 she was well established as a solid "leading lady". Some of her most memorable performances during this period were opposite John Wayne, including the classic 1939 western Stagecoach, which was Wayne's breakthrough role. She also starred opposite Wayne in Allegheny Uprising that same year, and again in 1940 in Dark Command. Over a decade later, she would again costar with Wayne, gaining her final Oscar nomination for The High and the Mighty.

Another two of Trevor's more memorable roles come starring opposite Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet and Born to Kill, in the latter playing a divorcee who gets more than she bargained for by falling in love with a bad boy who impulsively murders. Key Largo the following year, gave Trevor the role of Gaye Dawn, the washed up nightclub singer and gangster's moll. She won the Academy Award for Best supporting Actress for the film.

Trevor moved into supporting roles in the 1950s, with her appearances becoming increasingly rare after the mid 1960's. She returned for one final film, playing Sally Field's mother in Kiss Me Goodbye (1982). Following a few television appearences, Trevor retired from acting in 1987. She made a special appearance at the 70th annual Academy Awards in 1998.

Personal life

Trevor married film producer Clark Andrews in 1938, but they divorced four years later. Her second marriage to Cylos William Dunsmoore produced a son, Charles. The marriage ended in divorce in 1947. The next year, Trevor married Milton Bren, another film producer and soon after moved to Newport Beach, Californiamarker.

In 1978 her son Charles Dunsmoore died in an airliner crash and her last husband, Milton Bren, died from a brain tumor in 1979.

Death

Claire Trevor died of respiratory failure in Newport Beach, April 8, 2000 at the age of 90. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Claire Trevor has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker at 6933 Hollywood Blvd.

Legacy

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvinemarker was named in Trevor's honor. Both her Oscar and Emmy trophies are on display in the Arts Plaza there, next to the Claire Trevor Theatre.

Filmography

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1933 Jimmy and Sally Sally Johnson
The Mad Game Jane Lee
The Last Trail Patricia Carter
Life in the Raw Judy Halloway
1934 Elinor Norton Elinor Norton
Baby Take a Bow Kay Ellison
Wild Gold Jerry Jordan
Hold That Girl Tonie Bellamy
1935 Spring Tonic Betty Ingals
Black Sheep Jeanette Foster
My Marriage Carol Barton
Navy Wife Vicky Blake
Dante's Inferno Betty McWade
1936 Career Woman Carroll Aiken
Star for a Night Nina Lind
To Mary - with Love Kitty Brant
Human Cargo Bonnie Brewster
Song and Dance Man Julia Carroll
15 Maiden Lane Jane Martin
1937 Big Town Girl Fay Loring
Second Honeymoon Marcia
One Mile from Heaven Lucy 'Tex' Warren
King of Gamblers Dixie Moore
Time Out for Romance Barbara Blanchard
Dead End Francey Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1938 Five of a Kind Christine Nelson
Valley of the Giants Lee Roberts
Walking Down Broadway Joan Bradley
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse Jo Keller
1939 Stagecoach Dallas
I Stole a Million Laura Benson
Allegheny Uprising Janie MacDougall
1940 Dark Command Miss Mary Cloud
1941 Texas Mike King
Honky Tonk 'Gold Dust' Nelson
1942 The Adventures of Martin Eden Connie Dawson
Crossroads Michelle Allaine
Street of Chance Ruth Dillon
1943 The Woman of the Town Dora Hand
Good Luck, Mr. Yates Ruth Jones
The Desperadoes Countess Maletta
1944 Murder, My Sweet Mrs. Helen Grayle
1945 Johnny Angel Lilah 'Lily' Gustafson
1946 The Bachelor's Daughters Cynthia
Crack-Up Terry Cordell
1947 Born to Kill Helen Trent
1948 Raw Deal Pat Cameron
The Velvet Touch Marian Webster
The Babe Ruth Story Claire (Hodgson) Ruth
Key Largo Gaye Dawn Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1949 The Lucky Stiff Marguerite Seaton
1950 Borderline Madeleine Haley, aka Gladys LaRue
1951 Best of the Badmen Lily
Hard, Fast and Beautiful Millie Farley
1952 Stop, You're Killing Me Nora Marko
My Man and I Mrs. Ansel Ames
Hoodlum Empire Connie Williams
1953 The Stranger Wore a Gun Josie Sullivan
1954 The High and the Mighty May Holst Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1955 Man Without a Star Idonee
Lucy Gallant Lady MacBeth
1956 The Mountain Marie
1958 Marjorie Morningstar Rose Morgenstern
1962 Two Weeks in Another Town Clara Kruger
1963 The Stripper Helen Baird
1965 How to Murder Your Wife Edna
1967 The Cape Town Affair Sam Williams
1982 Kiss Me Goodbye Charlotte Banning
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1953-1954 The Ford Television Theatre Felicia Crandell 2 episodes
1954-1955 Lux Video Theatre 2 episodes
1954-1956 General Electric Theater Cora Leslie 2 episodes
1955 Stage 7 1 episode
1956 Climax! 1 episode
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars 1 episode
Producers' Showcase Fran Dodsworth 1 episode
1956-1961 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Mary Prescott
Mrs.

Meade
2 episodes
1957 Playhouse 90 Elizabeth Owen 1 episode
1959 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Savannah Brown 1 episode
Wagon Train C.L. Harding 1 episode
The Untouchables Kate Clark 'Ma' Barker 1 episode
1960 The United States Steel Hour 1 episode
1961 The Investigators Kitty Harper 1 episode
1962 Dr. Kildare Veronica Johnson 1 episode
1983 The Love Boat 1 episode
1987 Murder, She Wrote Judith Harlan 1 episode
Breaking Home Times Grace Porter Television movie


References

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