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Frances Farmer

Frances Farmer

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Also Known As: Died: August 1, 1970
Born: September 19, 1913 Cause of Death: cancer of the esophagus
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington, USA Profession: Cast ... actor
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BIOGRAPHY

A stunning leading lady of the late 1930s, actress Frances Farmer's promising career was curtailed by her alcoholism and mental illness. But her greatest claim to fame was not her films, but her decade-long psychological collapse that led to her institutionalization in 1944, where she later claimed that she was systematically raped and abused at the hands of hospital staff. Prior to her tragic fall, Farmer made great strides in Hollywood in a short time, starring in the musical "Rhythm on the Range" (1936) and the melodrama "Come and Get It" (1936), both of which helped tag her as a rising star. Dissatisfied with being controlled by the studio, she departed for the summer stock stages of upstate New York before returning to the Hollywood fold for "The Toast of New York" (1937) and "Flowing Gold" (1940). By this time, Farmer had developed a reputation for being difficult and ultimately made her final major film opposite Tyrone Power in "Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake" (1942). Her arrest for driving drunk in 1942 precipitated a mighty fall that saw Farmer wind up in mental institutions in California and her native Washington, where she was subjected to controversial therapies and routinely abused. She eventually reclaimed her life and freedom, going on to enjoy somewhat of a comeback as the host of "Frances Farmer Presents" (WFBM-TV, 1958-64), but continued to suffer from personal demons near the end of her life, leaving a long trail of shattered emotions and unfulfilled promise.

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