Audrey Totter, known for her ruthless and tough roles in 1940s film noir, died last week at the age of 95.
Totter, who played in “Lady in the Lake” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” died in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke, her daughter Mea Lane told The Los Angeles Times
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“Lady in the Lake” was Totter’s breakout role, and she went on to appear in “The Unsuspected” and “High Wall,” telling the New York Times later in life that she enjoyed playing the “bad girl” roles.
She had a relatively short run in the film world, working for MGM from 1944 to the 1950s, before she married Dr. Leo Fred, a teacher at the UCLA School of Medicine, and quitting to have her daughter.
But Totter continued to make television appearances in the later ’50s, playing on a variety of series, including “Perry Mason,” “Hawaii Five-O” and appearing as Nurse Wilcox in “Medical Center.” She retired in 1987.
As her film noir career became revitalized with the Internet’s easy access to older movies, Totter told the Toronto Star in 2000 that she started to receive job offers again, the Times said.
“What could I play?" the Times quoted her from that interview. "A nice grandmother? Boring! Critics always said I acted best with a gun in my hand."
Many of the film noir movies were considered B movies at the time, but they became popular and much-studied over the decades.
The Washington Post referred to the Star article also, quoting Totter
, “For years nobody bothered with me — didn’t know who I was, didn’t care. Now I’m recognized on the street, I’m asked for my autograph, I get loads of fan mail. Who knew these movies would be so popular 50 years later? Maybe it’s because the world isn’t like that anymore. The fantasy of it. They painted with light in those days, it’s a look that just isn’t done anymore.”
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