More Obits—Film Noir Actress Jane Greer

LOS ANGELES – Actress Jane Greer, a film noir star and former wife of bandleader Rudy Vallee, has died. She was 76. Greer, who as an icy brunette bested both Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas in 1947’s noir classic “Out of the Past,” died Friday of complications from cancer, said her son, Alex Lasker.

The native of Washington, D.C. and former beauty contestant and model caught the eye of Hollywood after appearing in Life magazine. She later signed with RKO, after studio head Howard Hughes became smitten with her. Greer was best known for her role as the seductive Kathie Moffat in “Out of the Past,” which cemented her reputation as a noir vixen. “She was a bad girl you could fall in love with – who could take on Robert Mitchum and really make him melt,” Lasker said.

Throughout the 1940s and '50s, she worked consistently, appearing in “Dick Tracy, Detective,” “The Prisoner of Zenda,” and “Man of a Thousand Faces.” Her career slowed by the mid 1950s, although she continued to act. In 1984, Greer appeared in “Against All Odds,” a remake of “Out of the Past.” In it, she played the mother of her original character. She later acted in David Lynch’s TV series “Twin Peaks.”

Bummer. I really enjoyed her in Out of the Past, but I was disappointed to discover that my video store carries none of her other noir films, as best I can tell.

Have you any favorites, Eve?

I’ve seen surprsingly few of her films (keep getting her confused with Lizbeth Scott!). “Where Love Has Gone” was an enjoyably awful weepie, though . . . I do hope TCM or AMC reruns “Out of the Past” as a tribute, soon.

Another obit: Dorothy Fay Ritter (Tex’s wife and John’s mom). She was a B cowgirl in the late 1930s and early '40s.

I met Ms. Greer in 1995 at a Film Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was just as stunning in her seventies as ever, gracious, and with such poise and elegance. I recall having hair half way down my back at the time, hirsute, and generally just felt so “common” in her presence, but she treated one and all fans with respect, dignity and a smile.

Sir Rhosis

R.I.P. Jane.
We all gotta go some time.

Out of the Past was her most famous movie, but The Big Steal was as entertaining as all hell.