July 24, 1920|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||October 28, 1969
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City|
|Spouse(s)||Ivan Tors (m.1955-1969)
(her death) (4 children)
Early life and career
Born in New York City, Dowling was a model and chorus girl before moving to California in 1943. She had two brothers, Richard Dowling and Robert Dowling, and was the elder sister of actress Doris Dowling. She attended Wadleigh High School for Girls in New York City.
Prior to her move to Hollywood, she appeared in several Broadway productions, including Quiet City, Liliom, Panama Hattie (with sister Doris), Hold On To Your Hats, and The Strings, My Lord, Are False.
Dowling—promoted by press agents of producer Samuel Goldwyn as three-dimensional ("she can sing, she can dance and she can act")—began her screen career appearing in Up in Arms (1944) for Samuel Goldwyn. At the time, newspaper columnist Sheilah Graham reported that Danny Kaye "was hoping for a big movie name to star opposite him ... but boss Sam Goldwyn thinks otherwise and has signed" Dowling. In the same year, she appeared opposite Nelson Eddy in Knickerbocker Holiday,
In 1946, newspaper columnist Hedda Hopper reported that Dowling had signed a long-term contract with Eagle-Lion Films. Soon after having appeared in The Well-Groomed Bride (1946) and Black Angel (1946), she was loaned to Columbia Pictures to appear in Boston Blackie and the Law.
Dowling had been involved in a long affair with married director Elia Kazan in New York. He couldn't bring himself to leave his wife and the affair ended when Dowling went to Hollywood under contract to Goldwyn. She was later linked with Italian poet/novelist Cesare Pavese who committed suicide in 1950 after being rejected by Dowling. One of his last poems is entitled "Death will come and she'll have your eyes".
In 1955, Dowling married film producer Ivan Tors, writer and producer of her last film. (Another source, published two years earlier, refers to Downling and Tors as "honeymooning.") She then retired from acting, going on to have three sons and a foster child with Tors: Steven, David, Peter and foster son Alfred Ndwego of Kenya. (An obituary listed Ndwego as an adopted son rather than a foster son and spelled his last name Ndewga.)
On October 28, 1969, Dowling died at the age of 49 of a heart attack at UCLA Medical Center. She was survived by her husband and four sons. Her burial was at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
|1944||Up in Arms||Nurse Lt. Mary Morgan|
|Knickerbocker Holiday||Tina Tienhoven|
|1946||The Well-Groomed Bride||Rita Sloane|
|Black Angel||Mavis Marlowe|
|Boston Blackie and the Law||Dinah Moran||Alternative title: Blackie and the Law|
|1947||Addio Mimí!||Student||Alternative title: Her Wonderful Lie|
|Blind Spot||Evelyn Green|
|The Flame||Helen Anderson|
|1948||City of Pain||Lubitza||Alternative title: La città dolente|
|1949||Duello Senza Onore||Olga||Alternative title: Duel Without Honor|
|Mad About Opera||Margaret Jones||Alternative title: Follie per l'opera|
|Una Voce nel tuo Cuore||Dolly||Alternative title: A Voice in your Heart|
|1950||My Beautiful Daughter||Lilly|
|La Strada finisce sul fiume||Barbara||Alternative title: Stormbound|
|1951||Nash Airflyte Theatre||TV, 1 episode|
|Pulitzer Prize Playhouse||TV, 1 episode|
|The Adventures of Ellery Queen||TV, 1 episode|
|Cosmopolitan Theatre||TV, 1 episode|
|1951–1952||Lights Out||TV, 2 episodes|
|1953–1954||City Detective||TV, 2 episodes|
|1955||Fireside Theater||Betty||TV, 1 episode|
- Chapman, Frank (January 20, 1946). "Bad Girl -- but Good!". New York, Syracuse. The Post-Standard. p. 49. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Carroll, Harrison (December 14, 1943). "Behind the Scenes in Hollywood". Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre. The Wilkes-Barre Record. p. 15. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Saxon, Wolfgang (2004-06-28). "Doris Dowling, 81, Is Dead; Known for Classic Films of 40's". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- Johnson, Erskine (July 3, 1943). "Screen Chats". Pennsylvania, Shamokin. Shamokin News-Dispatch. p. 5. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Miss Dowling Is Signed for Film Lead in Picture". Texas, Waco. Waco Tribune-Herald. June 6, 1943. p. 19. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Constance Dowling, 49, Is Dead; Acted on Broadway and in Films". The New York Times. Reuters. 1969-10-29. p. 52. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
- Graham, Sheilah (June 3, 1943). "Marx Brothers Plan Return To Movies". Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Winnipeg Tribune. p. 8. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Johnson, Erskine (October 18, 1943). "In Hollywood". Michigan, Ironwood. Ironwood Daily Globe. p. 7. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Hopper, Hedda (August 10, 1946). "Looking at Hollywood". Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. Harrisburg Telegraph. p. 19. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Hollywood Notes". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 19, 1946. p. 6. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Schickel, Richard (1988-05-09). "Incaution on A Grand Scale Elia Kazan: A Life". Time. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- di Vincenzo, Ludovica (2014). "Death will come and she'll have your eyes - The Times Stephen Spender Prize 2013 (commended)". Stephen Spender Trust. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- Williamson, Alan (1997-09-10). "Pavese's late love poems". The American Poetry Review. Retrieved 2008-07-02.[dead link]
- Gwynn, Edith (February 27, 1953). "Hollywood". Pennsylvania, Pottstown. Pottstown Mercury. p. 29. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The Private Life and Times of Constance Dowling". glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "Death Claims Actress". Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The Ottawa Journal. October 30, 1969. p. 28. Retrieved April 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Notable Deaths From Everywhere". Pennsylvania, Kittanning. Simpson's Leader-Times. October 29, 1969. p. 19. Retrieved April 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.