Kathleen Crowley

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Kathleen Crowley
Beauty pageant titleholder
Kathleen Crowley 1960.JPG
Crowley as "Kiz" in Maverick (1960)
Born Betty Jane Kathleen Crowley
(1930-12-26) December 26, 1930 (age 84)
New Jersey, US
Title(s) Miss New Jersey 1949
Miss America 1949

Betty Jane Kathleen Crowley (born December 26, 1930)[1] is an American actress who was crowned Miss New Jersey in 1949 and hence a contestant for Miss America that same year (she finished sixth).

As an actress, she specialized in being phenomenally seductive in films and television series. Most well known for playing a variety of sirens on the ABC/Warner Brothers series, Maverick (1957) opposite James Garner, Jack Kelly, and Roger Moore, she appears in eight episodes, a series record for leading ladies:

  • "The Jeweled Gun" (with Jack Kelly)
  • "Maverick Springs" (with James Garner and Jack Kelly)
  • "The Misfortune Teller" (with James Garner)
  • "A Bullet for the Teacher" (with Roger Moore)
  • "Kiz" (with Roger Moore)
  • "Dade City Dodge"
  • "The Troubled Heir"
  • "One of Our Trains Is Missing" (the last three with Jack Kelly).

In his 2012 autobiography, The Garner Files (p. 62), James Garner cited Crowley as the leading lady from the series that he most vividly remembers after more than a half century:

Fifty years later, two guest stars stand out in my mind. Kathleen Crowley was one of those actresses who worked a lot in the '50s. She did several Mavericks and always played charming grifters. Her character's relationship with Maverick was unusual: We didn't trust each other as far as we could throw a bull calf, but we liked each other. And Kathleen was gorgeous. She wasn't very tall, but she had classic beauty. Nobody considered her much of an actress, but I did.

Crowley made eighty-one television appearances and was cast in twenty movies between 1951 and 1970. One of her last movie roles was in Downhill Racer with Robert Redford. She made three guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of defendant and title character Marylin Clark in the 1958 episode, "The Case of the Lonely Heiress." Many of her films were low-budget science fiction, and horror movies, but she seemed to appear in practically every narrative television series produced in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Her television credits include Crossroads, Bourbon Street Beat, Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, Bat Masterson, The Americans. Bonanza, Colt .45, Bronco, Branded, Redigo, My Three Sons, The Donna Reed Show, Checkmate, Route 66, Thriller, Batman (episodes 21 and 22), Disneyland, Family Affair, Rawhide, The High Chaparral and The Lone Ranger (episode 145). She also appeared in episodes of Cheyenne, in particular "Town of Fear" in 1957. She also made an appearance on the TV series The Virginian.

Crowley was frequently confused with Patricia "Pat" Crowley, an actress who appeared as a leading lady in different episodes of many of the same television series but was no relation. The two Crowleys never worked together. Fess Parker noted in his Archive of American Television interview that there were two actresses named Crowley whom everyone was always mixing up, one tall (Pat) and one short (Kathleen), and that he was paired for one project, despite being six and half feet tall, with the shorter Crowley.

In the Philip Roth novel American Pastoral, the protagonist marries Miss New Jersey 1949. The character in the book is named Dawn Dwyer and has few similarities to Crowley's post-Miss New Jersey life.


  1. ^ "Kathleen Crowley - The Private Life and Times of Kathleen Crowley. Kathleen Crowley Pictures.". Retrieved 10 April 2014. 

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