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May 28, 1928
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Died||March 15, 2015
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Milo O. Frank Jr. (1951–2004; his death)|
Sally Forrest (born Katherine Feeney; May 28, 1928 – March 15, 2015), was an American film, stage and TV actress of the 1940s and 1950s.
Born in San Diego, she studied dance from a young age and shortly out of high school was signed to a contract by MGM. to Michael and Marguerite (née Ellicott) Feeney. Her father was a U.S. Navy career officer, who moved his family to various naval bases, finally settling in San Diego. He and his wife later became ballroom dancers and taught dance classes, where their daughter began learning her lifelong craft.
Forrest began her film career as a chorus dancer in MGM musicals of the 1940s. She made her acting debut in Not Wanted (1949), scripted and produced by Ida Lupino. The controversial subject of unwed motherhood was a raw and unsentimental view of a condition that was seldom explored by Hollywood. The film launched her to star in two further Lupino projects, Never Fear (1949) and Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951), as well as other film noir films, including Mystery Street (1950), directed by John Sturges, the star-studded While the City Sleeps (1956), directed by Fritz Lang. Her musical background and training as a jazz and ballet dancer brought roles in the transitional musicals that rounded off the golden age of MGM; most notable was Excuse My Dust (1951).
Most of her films were made at MGM, which prided itself as family entertainment, but RKO, headed by the eccentric and controlling Howard Hughes, presented a very different creative challenge. Son of Sinbad (1955), now a cult classic, was one of his many pet projects where he had a personal interest in re-designing the star's skimpy wardrobe. With each rehearsal, Sally noticed her harem dance costume slowly disappearing, until it was barely compliant with the Production Code.
In 1953, after moving to New York with her husband, writer and producer Milo Frank (who was hired to be head of casting for CBS), her film work transitioned to theatre and TV. She starred on Broadway in The Seven Year Itch, and appeared in major stage productions of Damn Yankees, Bus Stop, As You Like It and No No Nanette. Later she returned to Hollywood and continued working at RKO and Columbia Pictures. Her final film was RKO's While the City Sleeps in 1956, a murder mystery co-starring Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, Vincent Price and her frequent collaborator Ida Lupino.
Forrest and Frank were one time owners of the former Benedict Canyon home of Jean Harlow and Paul Bern on Easton Drive in Beverly Hills. They sold to Jay Sebring prior to his murder at the nearby home of Sharon Tate.
Forrest, a widow since 2004, died of cancer on March 15, 2015, aged 86, at her home in Beverly Hills, California. She was survived by her niece, Sharon Durham, and nephews, Michael and Mark Feeney.
- Till the Clouds Roll By (uncredited showgirl) (1946)
- The Unfinished Dance (chorus) (1947)
- Fiesta (choreography assistant) (1947)
- Are You With It? (uncredited dancer) (1948)
- The Pirate (uncredited dancer) (1948)
- The Kissing Bandit (choreography assistant) (1948)
- Easter Parade (uncredited dancer) (1948)
- Take Me Out to the Ball Game (uncredited dancer) (1949)
- Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (uncredited acting) (1949)
- Dancing in the Dark (uncredited acting) (1949)
- Scene of the Crime (uncredited acting) (1949)
- Whirlpool (uncredited acting) (1949)
- Flame of Youth (credited as Katherine Lang) (1949)
- Not Wanted (1949)
- Never Fear (AKA The Young Lovers) (1949)
- My Blue Heaven (uncredited acting) (1950)
- Mystery Street (1950)
- Vengeance Valley (1951)
- Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951)
- Valentino (choreography assistant) (1951)
- Excuse My Dust (1951)
- The Strip (1951)
- The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (MGM promotional documentary) (1951)
- Bannerline (1951)
- The Strange Door (1951)
- Code Two (1953)
- Son of Sinbad (1955)
- Ride the High Iron (1956)
- While the City Sleeps (1956)
- Schlitz Playhouse (TV series) "Barrow Street" (1952)
- Lux Video Theatre (TV series) (1953)
- The Ford Television Theatre (TV series) "The Life of the Party" (1953)
- Suspense (TV series) "The Darkest Night" (1953)
- Studio One in Hollywood (TV Series) "Letter of Love", "The Edge of Evil" (1953)
- The United States Steel Hour (TV Series) (1953)
- Armstrong Circle Theatre (TV Series) (1953)
- Screen Directors Playhouse (TV Series) "Want Ad Wedding" (1955)
- Front Row Center (TV Series) "The Teacher and Hector Hodge" (1955), "Guest in the House" (1956)
- Celebrity Playhouse (TV Series) "They Flee By Night" (1956)
- Ford Star Jubilee (TV variety show) "You're the Top" musical number (1956)
- The Red Skelton Hour (TV Series) "The Magic Shoes", "Valentine's Day Double Date" (1956)
- Climax! (TV Series) "Burst of Fire" (1958), "The Man Who Stole the Bible" (1957), "Child of the Wind/Throw Away the Cane" (1956), "Pink Cloud" (1955)
- The Ed Sullivan Show (TV variety show) Episode #11.2 (1957)
- The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (TV variety show) Episode #1.8 (1957), Episode #2.27 (1958), Episode #2.31 (1958)
- Pursuit (TV Series) "Epitaph for a Golden Girl" (1958)
- The Millionaire (TV Series) "Millionaire Emily Baker" (1959)
- General Electric Theater (TV Series) "Strictly Solo" (1960)
- Rawhide (TV Series) "Incident of the Swindler" (1964), "Incident of the Widowed Dove" (1959)
- Family Affair (TV Series) "Our Friend Stanley" (1967)
- Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies (television documentary) (2000)
- Colker, David (March 28, 2015). "Sally Forrest, dancer lifted to dramatic roles by Ida Lupino, dies at 86", latimes.com; retrieved 2015-03-29.
- Sally Forrest, Actress in 1940s and '50s Film Musicals" [obituary] (March 27, 2015), nytimes.com; retrieved 2015-03-29.
- Sally Forrest biography, artsmeme.com, December 8, 2013; accessed August 14, 2015.
- Sally Forrest at the Internet Movie Database
- Barnes, Mike (March 25, 2015). "Sally Forrest, Actress and Protege of Ida Lupino, Dies at 86". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- Fleming, E.J. (2009). Paul Bern: The Life and Famous Death of the MGM Director and Husband of Jean Harlow. McFarland; 1st Edition (January 9, 2009). p. 299. ISBN 978-0786439638.
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