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Doris Dowling

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Doris Dowling
Dowling in 1948
Born(1923-05-15)May 15, 1923
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedJune 18, 2004(2004-06-18) (aged 81)
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City
Years active1944-1984
(m. 1952; div. 1956)
(m. 1956; div. 1959)
Leonard B. Kaufman
(m. 1960)

Doris Dowling (May 15, 1923 – June 18, 2004) was an American actress of film, stage and television. Best known for the films The Crimson Key (1946) and Bitter Rice (1949). Also known for playing Irene Adams on My Living Doll (1964-1965) and other TV show appearances such as The Andy Griffith Show, Perry Mason, and The Incredible Hulk.

Early years


Dowling was born in Detroit, Michigan,[1] but grew up in New York City with siblings Robert, Richard, and Constance (who also became an actress). After graduating from Hunter College High School, she spent a short time with a Folies Bergère group in San Francisco before her mother brought her back to New York to attend Hunter College.[2]



After her time as a chorus girl on Broadway, Dowling followed her elder sister Constance to Hollywood. Her first credited film role was that of Gloria, an apparent escort who takes a shine to Ray Milland in the 1945 film The Lost Weekend.

She next appeared in The Blue Dahlia, which starred Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake.[3] Dowling portrayed Ladd's wife but was six inches taller so Ladd stood on ramps or boxes or, in many of their scenes together she was either sitting or lying down.

As work grew scarce after the war, she emigrated to Italy to revive her career as her sister had done.[4]

In Italy, Dowling starred in several acclaimed films, including Bitter Rice. She appeared in Orson Welles's European production of Othello in 1951, playing Bianca.[1]

Back in the United States, she returned to film in Running Target (1956)[1] and appeared in the 1977 production The Car.[5]



Upon returning to the United States, much of Dowling's work was in theater and on television. She appeared in such television shows as One Step Beyond, Have Gun – Will Travel, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Cheyenne, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Science Fiction Theater, Adam 12, Bonanza, Perry Mason, The Andy Griffith Show and, late in her career, Kojak, Barnaby Jones, The Incredible Hulk, and The Dukes of Hazzard. She co-starred with Bob Cummings and Julie Newmar in the sitcom My Living Doll.[6][7]



Dowling shared the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble Performance in 1972 - 1973 for her performance in a revival of The Women on Broadway.[8] Her other Broadway credits include Panama Hattie (1942), Banjo Eyes (1942), Beat the Band (1942), and New Faces of 1943 (1943).[9]

Personal life


Dowling dated Billy Wilder during the 1940s[10] and married three times. In 1952, she became bandleader Artie Shaw's seventh wife. They had a son, Jonathan, before divorcing in 1956. Later that year, on April 27, 1956, Dowling married film executive Robert F. Blumofe;[11] they divorced in 1959.[12] She married Leonard Kaufman on April 20, 1960, to whom she remained married until her death in 2004.[13]



Dowling died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on June 18, 2004, at age 81.[4] She is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.[14]


Year Title Role Notes
1944 And Now Tomorrow Maid of Honor Uncredited
1945 Bring On the Girls Girl Uncredited
1945 The Lost Weekend Gloria
1946 The Blue Dahlia Helen Morrison
1947 The Crimson Key Margaret Loring
1948 The Emperor Waltz Tyrolean Girl Uncredited
1949 Bitter Rice Francesca
1950 Sarumba Hildita
1950 Alina Marie
1950 Hearts at Sea Doris
1951 Othello Bianca
1956 Running Target Smitty
1958 Wink of an Eye Myrna Duchane
1958 The Party Crashers Mrs. Hazel Webster
1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Angie Season 6 Episode 9: "The Money"
1966 Birds Do It Congresswoman Clanger
1977 The Car Bertha
1981 Separate Ways Rebecca Stevens


  1. ^ a b c "Doris Dowling". The Telegraph. June 22, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Chapman, Frank (January 20, 1946). "Bad Girl -- but Good!". The Post-Standard. New York, Syracuse. The Post-Standard. p. 49. Retrieved April 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  3. ^ "Doris Dowling, 81, actress in 'Lost Weekend'". The Boston Globe. June 22, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Doris Dowling". The Gettysburg Times. Pennsylvania, Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Times. June 22, 2004. p. 2. Retrieved February 10, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  5. ^ "Familiar Names Turn to Film". Santa Cruz Sentinel. California, Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Sentinel. August 12, 1976. p. 25. Retrieved February 10, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  6. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. P. 733.
  7. ^ "YouTube". Youtube.com. Retrieved May 24, 2019.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Awards for 1972-1973". Outer Critics Circle. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  9. ^ "Doris Dowling". Playbillvault.com. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  10. ^ Phillips, G.D. (2010). Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813139517. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  11. ^ "Doris Dowling Is Married". The Kansas City Times. Missouri, Kansas City. The Kansas City Times. April 28, 1956. p. 1. Retrieved February 10, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  12. ^ "Doris Dowling Granted Divorce". The Indiana Gazette. Pennsylvania, Indiana. The Indiana Gazette. March 10, 1959. p. 12. Retrieved February 10, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  13. ^ "Doris Dowling Married Today". The Indiana Gazette. Pennsylvania, Indiana. The Indiana Gazette. April 20, 1960. p. 18. Retrieved February 10, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  14. ^ Wagner, Laura (Winter 2015). "Doris Dowling: A Scandalous Woman". Films of the Golden Age (83): 72–73.

Demetria Fulton; previewed Dowling in Barnaby Jones in the episode titled, "The Last Contract" (12/31/1974).