|Born||March 3, 1926|
Port Jefferson, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 8, 1976 (aged 50)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, Santa Monica|
(m. 1956; div. 1963)
(m. 1949; div. 1955)
Catherine N. Downs (March 3, 1926 – December 8, 1976) was an American film actress.
Downs was born in Port Jefferson, New York. She was the daughter of James Nelson Downs and Edna Elizabeth Newman. A former Vogue cover model, she was brought to Hollywood in 1944 by a 20th Century-Fox talent scout. She initially found little work as an actress, as the studio used her as a model, with limited opportunities to act.
Downs began her film career with small roles in State Fair (1945) and The Dolly Sisters (1945). In 1946, she played the title role in My Darling Clementine and Clifton Webb's unfaithful wife in The Dark Corner. Following the success of My Darling Clementine, Downs was cast in a prison drama For You I Die (1947), an Abbott and Costello comedy The Noose Hangs High, and several Western films.
In 1947, Downs was inexplicably dropped by Fox, and she was never employed by another major studio.
By the beginning of the 1950s, she was appearing in low-budget films, including some science-fiction (sci-fi) stories, including the 1958 sci-fi/fantasy Missile to the Moon. She appeared in a television episode of The Lone Ranger in 1952. She portrayed Ann Howe in the syndicated TV series The Joe Palooka Story (1954). In 1959 she portrayed "Amelia Roberts" in the episode "Marked Deck" (S1E21) of the western TV series Bat Masterson.
Downs worked sporadically on TV during the 1960s, with her final appearance in 1965 on Perry Mason as murder victim and title character Millicent Barton in "The Case of the Hasty Honeymooner".
Downs eventually abandoned acting at 40. She remained unemployed for the rest of her life. She is now a cult-figure among sci-fi fans for her work in these Poverty Row epics.
On October 8, 1949, in Las Vegas, Downs married Joe Kirkwood Jr., who played the character Joe Palooka in films and on TV. The couple divorced on February 24, 1955. They had long been out of touch, when, in 1976, Kirkwood heard that Downs was in dire financial straits. Kirkwood was setting up a trust fund for her when he learned she had died of cancer at the age of 50.
On July 21, 1956, Downs married Robert M. Brunson, an electronics executive. They divorced on July 29, 1963.
She is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica.
|1945||Diamond Horseshoe||Miss Cream Puff||Uncredited|
|State Fair||Girl on carousel||Uncredited|
|The Dolly Sisters||Miss Mascara||Uncredited|
|1946||The Dark Corner||Mari Cathcart|
|Do You Love Me||Clothes model||Uncredited|
|My Darling Clementine||Clementine Carter|
|1947||For You I Die||Hope Novak|
|1948||The Noose Hangs High||Carol Scott|
|Panhandle||Jean 'Dusty' Stewart|
|1949||Massacre River||Katherine 'Kitty' Reid|
|1950||The Sundowners||Kathleen Boyce|
|Short Grass||Sharon Lynch|
|1951||Joe Palooka in Triple Cross||Anne Palooka|
|1952||Best Laid Plans||Mary Seaton|
|Gobs and Gals||Betty Lou Prentice|
|1953||Bandits of the West||Joanne Collier|
|The Flaming Urge||Charlotte Cruickshank|
|1955||The Big Tip Off||Sister Mary Joan of Arc|
|Kentucky Rifle||Amy Connors|
|The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues||Lois King|
|1956||The Oklahoma Woman||Susan Grant|
|The She Creature||Dorothy Chappel|
|1957||Curfew Breakers||Mrs. Bowman|
|The Amazing Colossal Man||Carol Forrest|
|1958||Missile to the Moon||June Saxton|
|1958||Tombstone Territory||Patricia Camden|
- Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-4766-2599-7. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
- "Cathy Downs - The Private Life and Times of Cathy Downs. Cathy Downs Pictures". glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Women in the Films of John Ford
- Scott, John L. (January 11, 1948). "Cathy Downs Surmounts Her Handicap of Beauty". Los Angeles Times. p. 33. Retrieved February 3, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company. p. 537. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
- "hollywoodusa.co.uk". Archived from the original on June 7, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "Cathy Downs Married to Joe Kirkwood". Los Angeles Times. October 10, 1949. p. 2. Retrieved February 3, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Downs' biodata at The New York Times
- "Cathy Downs Divorces Actor Joe Kirkwood". Los Angeles Times. February 25, 1955. p. 2. Retrieved February 3, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Cathy Downs Awarded Divorce". The News Journal. Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press. July 30, 1963. p. 35. Retrieved February 3, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
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