Sally Forrest (born Katherine Feeney; May 28, 1928 – March 15, 2015), was an American film, stage and TV actress of the 1940s and 1950s. She studied dance from a young age and shortly out of high school was signed to a contract by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Forrest in Vengeance Valley, 1951
May 28, 1928
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Died||March 15, 2015 86) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Milo O. Frank Jr (1951–2004; his death)|
She was born in San Diego 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 in the 1940s as a chorus dancer in MGM musicals. She made her acting debut in Not Wanted (1949), written and produced by Ida Lupino. The film's controversial subject of unwed motherhood was a raw and unsentimental view of a condition that was rarely explored by Hollywood at that time. Forrest starred in two more 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, and 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 under contract to 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, Forrest noticed her harem dance costume slowly disappearing, until it was barely compliant with the Motion Picture 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 owners of the former Benedict Canyon home of Jean Harlow and Paul Bern on Easton Drive in Beverly Hills. They rented it 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 a niece and two nephews.
- Till the Clouds Roll By (uncredited showgirl) (1946) - Showgirl (uncredited)
- The Unfinished Dance (1947, chorus)
- Fiesta (1947, choreography assistant)
- Are You With It? (1948) - Dancer (uncredited)
- The Pirate (1948) - Fiesta Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
- The Kissing Bandit (1948, choreography assistant)
- Easter Parade (1948, uncredited dancer)
- Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) - Dancer at Wharf Party (uncredited)
- Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949) - Miss Cadwaller, Dr. Gibbs' Secretary (uncredited)
- Not Wanted (1949) - Sally Kelton
- Scene of the Crime (1949) - Minor Role (uncredited)
- Flame of Youth (1949) - Miss O'Brien (credited as Katherine Lang)
- Whirlpool (1949) - Minor Role (uncredited)
- Dancing in the Dark (1949) - Secretary (uncredited)
- Never Fear (AKA The Young Lovers) (1950) - Carol Williams
- Mystery Street (1950) - Grace Shanway
- My Blue Heaven (1950) - Minor Role (uncredited)
- Vengeance Valley (1951) - Lily
- Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951) - Florence Farley
- Valentino (1951, choreography assistant)
- Excuse My Dust (1951) - Liz Bullitt
- The Strip (1951) - Jane Tafford
- The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (1951, MGM promotional documentary)
- Bannerline (1951) - Richie Loomis
- The Strange Door (1951) - Blanche de Maletroit
- Code Two (1953) - Mary Hartley
- Son of Sinbad (1955) - Ameer
- While the City Sleeps (1956) - Nancy Liggett
- Ride the High Iron (1956) - Elsie Vanders
- 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) (final appearance)
- Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies (television documentary) (2000)
- Obituary 2004 June 23, 2004), variety.com; retrieved 2018-02-19
- Bio, imdb.com; retrieved 2018-02-19
- Sally Forrest, Actress in 1940s and '50s Film Musicals" [obituary] (March 27, 2015), nytimes.com; retrieved 2015-03-29.
- 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 biography, artsmeme.com, December 8, 2013; accessed August 14, 2015.
- Sally Forrest on IMDb
- Barnes, Mike (March 25, 2015). "Sally Forrest, Actress and Protege of Ida Lupino, Dies at 86". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- "Sally Forrest, actress - obituary". The Telegraph. April 6, 2015. Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- 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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