Dorothy Malone found success in Hollywood at a young age.
RKO Pictures signed the then-brunette Maloney at 18, and she made her film debut in 1943's “Gildersleeve on Broadway” and “The Falcon and the Co-Eds.” She signed with Warner Bros. in 1945 (and by that time was officially known as Dorothy Malone) and made a splash in a small but juicy supporting role as a flirtatious book seller opposite Humphrey Bogart in 1946's “The Big Sleep.”
Eventually becoming a blonde, Malone made a series of forgettable films including 1949’s “Flaxy Martin” and 1955’s “Sincerely Yours” with Liberace. In 1956, she teamed up with director Douglas Sirk (as well as Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall) and won a supporting actress Oscar as a hard-drinking nymphomaniac in “Written on the Wind.” She worked with Sirk again 1957’s “The Tarnished Angels.”
She never shied away from doing TV during her movie heyday, appearing in “Route 66,” “Death Valley Days” and “Dr. Kildare.” She also played Constance MacKenzie Carson on the 1964-68 ABC prime-time melodrama “Peyton Place,” based on the novel and 1957 movie. Baby boomers may also remember her from the first Frankie Avalon-Annette Funicello musical comedy, 1963’s “Beach Party.” Her last film role was as Hazel Dobkins in 1992’s “Basic Instinct.”
Malone died January 19, 2018, at an assisted living center in Dallas. She was 93.
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