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Alexis Smith

Alexis Smith

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Also Known As: Gladys Smith Died: June 9, 1993
Born: June 8, 1921 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Penticton, British Columbia, CA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Radiating aristocratic sophistication and beauty, Alexis Smith started her career on the stage and some argued that was the medium where she left her most lasting impression. However, the imposing Canadian-born starlet was featured in a number of notable motion pictures during her 1940s and '50s heyday, including "The Constant Nymph" (1943), "Night and Day" (1946), "Of Human Bondage" (1946), and "The Woman in White" (1948). She was often cast as rather aloof, upper-class characters, though her image softened somewhat following an appearance in the Bing Crosby musical "Here Comes the Groom" (1951). When opportunities became scarce for her in the late 1950s, Smith concentrated on stage work and, with careful preparation, opened up a whole new chapter in her career. Although she had done summer stock at various times in her life, Smith's sensational turn on Broadway in Stephen Sondheim's musical "Follies" (1971-72) gave her a major third act boost and a Tony Award for Best Actress. She continued in productions like "The Women" (1973), "Summer Brave" (1975), and "Platinum" (1978), while also accepting the occasional movie or television assignment. Remembered fondly by fans of both film and live theatre,...

Radiating aristocratic sophistication and beauty, Alexis Smith started her career on the stage and some argued that was the medium where she left her most lasting impression. However, the imposing Canadian-born starlet was featured in a number of notable motion pictures during her 1940s and '50s heyday, including "The Constant Nymph" (1943), "Night and Day" (1946), "Of Human Bondage" (1946), and "The Woman in White" (1948). She was often cast as rather aloof, upper-class characters, though her image softened somewhat following an appearance in the Bing Crosby musical "Here Comes the Groom" (1951). When opportunities became scarce for her in the late 1950s, Smith concentrated on stage work and, with careful preparation, opened up a whole new chapter in her career. Although she had done summer stock at various times in her life, Smith's sensational turn on Broadway in Stephen Sondheim's musical "Follies" (1971-72) gave her a major third act boost and a Tony Award for Best Actress. She continued in productions like "The Women" (1973), "Summer Brave" (1975), and "Platinum" (1978), while also accepting the occasional movie or television assignment. Remembered fondly by fans of both film and live theatre, the glamorous Smith was able to move beyond the limitations of contract player casting and took steps to ensure that she had sufficient opportunities to display her abilities as both an actress and a singer/dancer.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Age Of Innocence (1993) Louisa Van Der Luyden
2.
 Marcus Welby, MD -- A Holiday Affair (1988) Tessa Menard
3.
 Tough Guys (1986) Belle
4.
 Trout, The (1982) Woman
5.
 Casey's Shadow (1978) Sarah Blue
7.
 The Young Philadelphians (1959) Carol Wharton
8.
 This Happy Feeling (1958) Nita Holloway
9.
 Beau James (1957) Allie Walker
10.
 The Eternal Sea (1955) Sue Hoskins
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Los Angeles from age five
:
Discovered by Warner Bros. Talent scout while appearing in a leading role in a student production of "The Night of January 16th" at L.A. City College; signed to long-term contract after screen test
1940:
Made screen debut in a small role in "Lady With Red Hair", starring Miriam Hopkins and Claude Rains
1941:
Played first leading lady roles in the films, "Dive Bomber" and "Steel Against the Sky"; future husband Craig Stevens featured in supporting cast of both films
1950:
Left Warners; last film there, "Montana", opposite Errol Flynn
:
Guest starred on TV anthology dramas such as "The Rheingold Theater" and "On Trial" in the early 1950s
1959:
Left feature films after "The Young Philadelphians"; retired shortly thereafter
1971:
Career revived when she starred on Broadway in the role of Phyllis Stone in Steven Sondheim's "Follies"
1975:
Returned to feature films with a leading role in "Jacqueline Susann's 'Once Is Not Enough'"
:
Received another Tony nomination when she returned to Broadway to star in the short-lived musical, "Platinum"
:
Acted in the TV miniseries, "A Death in California" and "Dress Gray"
1988:
Played Lily Garrison Shannon on the short-lived ABC drama series, "Hothouse"
1990:
Played recurring role of Lady Jessica Montford on one season of the long-running CBS drama series, "Dallas"
1993:
Last film, "The Age of Innocence"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Los Angeles City College: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

Alexis Smith's real name, Gladys Smith, was also the real name of an even bigger motion picture star--Mary Pickford.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Craig Stevens. Actor. Married 1944; played the title role in the popular TV series "Peter Gunn" (1958-61) and the subsequent 1967 feature version.

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