Susan Cabot

Susan Cabot (born Harriet Pearl Shapiro; July 9, 1927 – December 10, 1986) was an American film and television actress.

Susan Cabot
Susan Cabot, circa 1950
Harriet Pearl Shapiro

(1927-07-09)July 9, 1927
DiedDecember 10, 1986(1986-12-10) (aged 59)
Cause of deathHomicide
Resting placeHillside Memorial Park Cemetery
Years active1947–1970
Martin Sacker
(m. 1944; div. 1951)

Michael Roman
(m. 1968; div. 1983)

Early life

Born to a Russian Jewish family in Boston, Massachusetts, Cabot led an early life filled with turmoil; she was raised in eight different foster homes.[1] She completed her education in New York City, and found employment as an illustrator. She supplemented her income by working as a singer, and also worked in theatre.


She made her film debut by chance when Kiss of Death (1947) was filmed in New York, and she played a bit part. She expanded her acting work into television and was seen by a Hollywood talent scout who took her to Hollywood to work for Columbia Pictures. This brief period was not successful, and she moved to Universal Studios where she was signed to an exclusive contract. After a series of roles for which Cabot was mainly cast in B-movie westerns, she became dissatisfied and asked to be released from her contract. She returned to New York, where she resumed her stage career with a role in A Stone for Danny Fisher. She was invited to return to Hollywood and appeared in a few more films, including The Wasp Woman (1959), her final film role.

Personal life

She married her first husband, the artist Martin Sacker, in 1944, and divorced him in 1951. Subsequently, Cabot was romantically linked with King Hussein of Jordan for several years.[2] She bore her only child, a son, in 1961.[3] In 1968, she married her second husband Michael Roman with whom she raised her son, Timothy Scott Roman, before again divorcing in 1983.[4]


In the last years of her life, Cabot suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts, and was prey to a wide range of irrational, powerful fears. She was under a licensed psychologist's care, but the psychologist found her so troubled and ill that the sessions became "emotionally draining". Cabot became increasingly unable to care for herself. The interior of her home was littered with years of trash, and spoiled food lay everywhere.[5]

In the weeks immediately prior to her death, Cabot's mental health deteriorated significantly.[5] On December 10, 1986, Cabot's 25-year-old son, Timothy Scott Roman, beat her to death in her home in Encino, California, with a weightlifting bar.[4] He was charged with second-degree murder.[6]

At trial, Roman testified that his mother had awakened him while screaming, not recognizing him, and calling for her mother, Elizabeth. When he attempted to call emergency services, she attacked him with a barbell bar and a scalpel. Roman seized the bar from her and beat her repeatedly on the head.[5]

He then hid the bar and scalpel, and told police that a man in a ninja mask had killed his mother (believing no one would believe his story about her mental illness). Roman's defense attorneys claimed their client's aggressive reaction to his mother's attack was due to the drugs he took to counteract his dwarfism and pituitary gland problems.[5]

At the close of the trial, prosecutors changed the charge to voluntary manslaughter,[6] as no evidence had been presented at trial to support premeditation (which was required for a murder conviction). Superior Court Judge Darlene E. Schempp deliberated 10 minutes, and then convicted Roman of involuntary manslaughter. Roman, who had already spent two-and-a-half years in jail,[5] was sentenced to three years' probation on November 28, 1989.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1947 Kiss of Death Restaurant extra Uncredited
1950 On the Isle of Samoa Moana
1951 The Enforcer Nina Lombardo Uncredited
Alternative title: Murder, Inc.
1951 Tomahawk Monahseetah Alternative title: Battle of Powder River
1951 The Prince Who Was a Thief Girl Uncredited
1951 Flame of Araby Clio Alternative title: Flame of the Desert
1952 The Battle at Apache Pass Nona
1952 The Duel at Silver Creek Jane "Dusty" Fargo Alternative title: Claim Jumpers
1952 Son of Ali Baba Tala
1953 Gunsmoke Rita Saxon Alternative titles: A Man's Country
1954 Ride Clear of Diablo Laurie Kenyon Alternative title: The Breckenridge Story
1957 Carnival Rock Natalie Cook
1957 Sorority Girl Sabra Tanner Alternate titles: The Bad One
Sorority House
1957 The Viking Women and the Sea Serpent Enger Alternative titles: Undersea Monster
Viking Women
1958 War of the Satellites Sybil Carrington
1958 Machine Gun Kelly Florence "Flo" Becker
1958 Fort Massacre Piute Girl
1958–1959 Have Gun - Will Travel Angela
Becky Carver
2 episodes
1959 Surrender - Hell! Delia Guerrero Alternative titles: Blackburn's Guerrillas
Blackburn's Headhunters
1959 The Wasp Woman Janice Starlin Alternative titles: The Bee Girl
Insect Woman
1970 Bracken's World Henrietta Episode: "One, Two, Three... Cry"


  1. "The Private Life and Times of Susan Cabot". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  2. Barker, Mayerene (April 13, 1989). "Defendant May Be Son of Hussein, Lawyer Says : Accused of Murdering Actress Mother in '86". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  3. Doherty, Rosa (12 January 2018). "CIA files reveal Jordan's King Hussein fathered a child with Jewish Hollywood actress". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  4. Brettell, Andrew; King, Noel; Kennedy, Damien; Imwold, Denise; Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather (2005). Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies. Barrons Educational Series. p. 220. ISBN 0-7641-5858-9.
  5. Lerner, Patricia Klein (October 11, 1989). "Son Convicted of Killing Actress Mother". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  6. Harris, Michael D. (November 29, 1989). "Actress Susan Cabot's son gets probation in her death". United Press International. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
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