Joan Banks

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Banks in 1937.

Joan Banks (October 30, 1918 – January 18, 1998) was an American film, television, stage and radio actress who often appeared in dramas with her husband, Frank Lovejoy.


Born in Petersburg, West Virginia, Banks became a regular on the 1930s radio series Gangbusters, with weekly episodes based on real criminal incidents. She married fellow Gangbusters actor Frank Lovejoy. The couple had two children (a boy and a girl).

Films and television[edit]

Banks began her Hollywood career with small roles in such films as Cry Danger (1951) and Washington Story (1952). She became better known in the 1950s and early 1960s for her many appearances as a supporting actress. She made five appearances on Perry Mason, including four roles as the murderer: in 1957 she played Karen Alder in "The Case of the Negligent Nymph;" in 1960 she played Mrs. Joseph Manley in "The Case of the Mythical Monkeys," in 1961 she played Rhonda Houseman in "The Case of the Left-Handed Liar," and in 1964 she played Nellie Conway in "The Case of the Woeful Widower." She also made four appearances on National Velvet, and single appearances on shows like I Love Lucy, Private Secretary, Date with the Angels, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Rough Riders, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Bewitched, and two appearances on Hazel.

On October 2, 1962, Frank Lovejoy died of a heart attack in bed at the couple's New York residence. At the time, he and Banks were appearing together in a New Jersey stage production of Gore Vidal's play The Best Man,[1] but they had been off the night he was stricken. Banks' career in radio continued after her work in television subsided, and she appeared in 33 episodes of CBS Radio Mystery Theater from 1974 to 1980.


Joan Banks died in Los Angeles, California in 1998 from lung cancer at the age of 79. She was buried next to her husband in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.[2]


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