Gertrude Michael

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Gertrude Michael
Gertrude Michael Argentinean Magazine AD.jpg
Born Lillian Gertrude Michael
(1911-06-01)June 1, 1911
Talladega, Alabama, U.S.
Died December 31, 1964(1964-12-31) (aged 53)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation actress
Years active 1932–1961

Gertrude Michael (June 1, 1911 – December 31, 1964) was an American film, stage and television actress.


Born as Lillian Gertrude Michael in Talladega, Alabama, she reportedly graduated from high school at the age of 14. She became a singer on the radio. She attended the University of Alabama and Converse College, Spartanburg, SC. Her childhood home in Talladega, Alabama was destroyed by fire in 2007.

In 1929 in Cincinnati she made her stage debut in a stock company. She subsequently appeared on Broadway in Rachel Crothers' Caught Wet (1931). She entered the movies playing Richard Arlen's fiancée in Wayward (1932), but her best-remembered role is probably as Rita Ross in Murder at the Vanities (1934), one of the last pre-Code films, in which she sang an ode to marijuana (Sweet Marijuana).

Among her television appearances, Michael was seen eleven times on Fireside Theater between 1950-1955 and three times on Schlitz Playhouse. She also made a guest appearance on Perry Mason in 1958 as Helen Rucker in "The Case of the Sun Bather's Diary."

She had an affair with writer Paul Cain (aka Peter Ruric).[citation needed] After they broke up, Cain wrote the role of the alcoholic lover (based on Michael) in his only novel published during his lifetime, Fast One.[citation needed]

Michael died, aged 53, from undisclosed causes, in Beverly Hills, California.

Partial filmography[edit]

Television appearances[edit]

  • Sea Hunt .... Mrs. Friedrich (1 episode, 1961)
  • Perry Mason .... Helen Rucker (1 episode, 1958)
  • Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (3 episodes, 1952–1957)
  • The 20th Century-Fox Hour .... Kate (1 episode, 1957)
  • The New Adventures of Charlie Chan .... Joyce Fenton (1 episode, 1957)
  • Cameo Theatre (1 episode, 1955)
  • Four Star Playhouse .... Fanny (1 episode, 1955)
  • The Ford Television Theatre .... Belle (1 episode, 1954)
  • Private Secretary .... Hollywood Star (1 episode, 1954)
  • The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse .... Coralee (1 episode, 1954)
  • Crown Theatre with Gloria Swanson (1 episode, 1954)
  • Meet Corliss Archer ... Mrs. Wilson (1 episode)
  • Cavalcade of America .... Major Pauline Cushman (1 episode)


External links[edit]