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February 1, 1926
Dallas, Texas USA
|Occupation||Film, television actress|
|Years active||1942 – 1969|
|Spouse(s)||J. William Hayes (1946-1992) (his death) 4 children|
Gates, born in Dallas, Texas, entered acting at a young age, receiving a contract with RKO at the age of 15. Her first screen appearance, uncredited, was in the 1942 film The Magnificent Ambersons. That same year she had her first credited role, in The Great Gildersleeve. In 1943 she went on contract with RKO, her first film with them being Hitler's Children that same year. She began receiving roles in mostly B-movies, many of which were westerns or sci-fi, eventually receiving lead roles as the heroine. In 1948 she starred opposite Eddie Dean in Check Your Guns, and in 1949 she played alongside Jim Bannon, Marin Sais, and Emmett Lynn in an episode of the Red Ryder serial, titled Roll, Thunder, Roll. She would star in several other films over the next ten years, especially in westerns like Comanche Station (1960), and in support roles, most notably in two Frank Sinatra films, Some Came Running and Suddenly.
In total Gates starred or co-starred in 34 films and serials. She retired from acting in 1969.
Gates made a total of 55 television appearances. She made two appearances on the television series Maverick, three appearances on Perry Mason, three on Wagon Train, six on Lux Video Theater, and two on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1957 she had a memorable role as defendant Martha Bradford in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Crooked Candle;" then in 1964 she was cast in the role of the defendant, Mary Douglas, in "The Case of the Woeful Widower." In 1965 she again played the role of Perry's client, this time as Claire Armstrong, the title character, in "The Case of the Candy Queen."
She retired in 1969 to be closer to her family. She had married Hollywood attorney and business manager J. William Hayes. They had four children, including Hollywood producers Jeffrey M. Hayes and Chip Hayes. Hayes died in 1992.
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