Linda Darnell — who was killed in a fire at a friend's home at age 44 — was regarded as one of great natural beauties of motion pictures.
She made her movie debut in 1939's "Hotel for Women," directed by George Ratoff. Her next movie, "Day-Time Wife," also directed by Ratoff, was the first of several films she made with Tyrone Power.
In 1946, Darryl Zanuck selected Darnell to star as the heroine of "Forever Amber."
It was the break she had worked for over the last seven years. She had played mean, sultry and even nasty roles to show her worth as an actress. She accepted secondary parts in numerous pictures simply because they had a sharp vigorous, biting effect that isn't typically characteristic of heroines.
Among her more than 50 motion pictures were "Star Dust," "Mark of Zorro," "Blood and Sand," "It Happened Tomorrow," "Hangover Square," "Forever Amber," "A Letter to Three Wives" and "No Way Out."
On the night of the fire that killed her, Darnell and her friend Jeanne Curtis, her former secretary, had stayed up late watching a telecast of "Star Dust" at Curtis' suburban Chicago home. Darnell was burned over 80% of her body and died a short time later in the hospital.