Olive Deering

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Olive Deering
Olive Deering (1943).jpg
Olive Deering in 1943
Born Olive Corn
(1918-10-11)October 11, 1918
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died March 22, 1986(1986-03-22) (aged 67)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1947–1973
Spouse(s) Leo Penn (19??-1952; divorced)

Olive Deering (October 11, 1918 – March 22, 1986) was an American actress of film, television, and the stage, active from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. She was a life member of The Actors Studio,[1] as was her brother, Alfred Ryder. Both of Olive Deering's Parents were Jewish.


Her first stage role was a walk-on bit in Girls in Uniform (1933). She appeared onstage in Moss Hart's Winged Victory, Richard II (starring Maurice Evans) and Counsellor-at-Law (starring Paul Muni). She received kudos for her performance in the Los Angeles production of Tennessee Williams's Suddenly Last Summer. Other stage appearances included No For An Answer, Ceremony of Innocence, Marathon '33, The Young Elizabeth, They Walk Alone, and Garden District.[2]

The films she appeared in included Shock Treatment and Caged. In 1948, director Cecil B. DeMille cast her as Miriam, the Danite girl who loves Samson, in his film Samson and Delilah. In his autobiography, DeMille wrote that Deering was "one whose talent and dedication to her art should carry her very far in the theater, whether on screen or stage."[3] DeMille cast her again, this time in the role of the real biblical Miriam, the sister of Moses, in The Ten Commandments.[4]

Deering also appeared on many radio programs, which included True Story and Against the Storm, playing in more than 200 television programs, including Desdemona on the Philco Summer Playhouse production of Othello. Among her television appearances was the role of murderer Rebecca Gentrie in the 1958 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Empty Tin." She had a memorable supporting role in the classic Sci Fi TV series Outer Limits, in an episode titled The Zanti Misfits, which aired 12/30/63. One of her last television appearances was in an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour called "One of the Family" (original air date February 8, 1965).[5]


She died of cancer at the age of 67, and was interred in Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York. Divorced from film director Leo Penn, she had no children and was survived only by her brother, actor Alfred Ryder.


  1. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 
  2. ^ New York Times obituary, nytimes.com, March 27, 1986; accessed July 9, 2014.
  3. ^ DeMille, Cecil B. (1959). The Autobiography of Cecil B. DeMille. Prentice Hall. p. 400. ISBN 0-82-405757-0. 
  4. ^ Orrison, Katherine (1999). Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille's Epic The Ten Commandments. Vestal Press. p. 51. ISBN 1-46-173481-9. 
  5. ^ New York Times obituary, ibid.

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