Adams in 1952
|Born||Betty Jane Bierce
August 7, 1918
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Died||May 21, 2014
Palm Desert, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Spouse(s)||Second husband: Thomas Turnage (1945-2000; his death)|
Adams was born in San Antonio, Texas and received a full scholarship to Juilliard, which she turned down to spend years studying at the Pasadena Playhouse. From there she got her start on Lux Radio Theatre and then with the Harry Conover Modeling Agency, where she was given her nickname "Poni". (This was supposedly due to her love of horses, but in reality it was to provide her with a more memorable stage name.) She returned to using her real name in 1945. She may be best known for her role as Nina in House of Dracula (1945), but she also has the distinction of acting in early adaptations of both major DC Comics franchises: Batman, where she played Vicki Vale in the second Batman serial, Batman and Robin, and also a character in the first Superman television series.
Personal life and death
Her first husband was a United States Navy pilot who died in World War II. In 1945, she married Thomas K. Turnage, a decorated Major General with the Army. Turnage served in the Korean War and earned the Distinguished Service Medal and Bronze Star. He later served as the last administrator of the Veterans Administration before the VA became a cabinet department during Ronald Reagan's presidential term. Adams and Turnage had two children.
Poni Adams died on May 21, 2014 from natural causes at the age of 95.