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Frances Rafferty (June 16, 1922 – April 18, 2004) was an American actress, dancer, World War II pin-up girl and MGM contract star.

Life and career

Early life

Born in Sioux City, Iowamarker, she moved with her family to Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker at age nine. At a young age she studied dancing, and her physical attributes and dancing skills led to work in the film industry.


Signed by MGM Studios, Frances made her film debut in 1942. She appeared in minor and secondary roles, and although she had a part in the 1944 film Dragon Seed with Katharine Hepburn and Walter Huston, her significant parts were limited almost exclusively to "B" movies.

During World War II she was a volunteer pin-up girl for YANK magazine, a publication for the soldiers of the United States military. In the 1950s, Rafferty turned to acting in network television shows. From 1954-1959 she appeared as Ruth Ruskin Henshaw in all 111 episodes of the Desilu Studios sitcom on CBS, December Bride, with co-stars Spring Byington as her mother, Lily Ruskin, and Dean Miller as her husband, Matt Henshaw. Rafferty also appeared in a number of different television programs throughout the 1950s and 1960s and after retiring in 1965 made one final appearance in a 1977 episode of Karl Malden's ABC series, The Streets of San Francisco.

Personal life

She was married to John Harlan from 1944 until their divorce in 1947. In 1948 she married Thomas R. Baker, and together they had two children. Following her retirement from acting, Rafferty and her husband operated a ranch where they bred and raised quarter horses.

Frances Rafferty died in 2004 in Paso Robles, California.

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