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Mary Murphy (January 26, 1931 – May 4, 2011) was an American film and television actress of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Mary Murphy
Mary Murphy 1951.jpg
Murphy in 1951
Born(1931-01-26)January 26, 1931
DiedMay 4, 2011(2011-05-04) (aged 80)
Years active1951–1975
Home townCleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Spouse(s)Dale Robertson (1956–56; divorced)
Alan Specht (1962–67; divorced)
Murphy on The Lloyd Bridges Show (1963)

Early yearsEdit

Murphy was born in Washington, D.C., and was the youngest of four children.[1] She spent most of her early childhood in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father, James Victor Murphy, died in 1940. Shortly afterwards, she and her mother moved to Southern California. She attended University High School in West Los Angeles.[1]

While working as a package wrapper at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, she was signed to appear in films for Paramount Pictures in 1951.[2]


She first gained attention in 1953, when she played a good-hearted girl who is intrigued by Marlon Brando in The Wild One. The following year, she appeared opposite Tony Curtis in Beachhead, and with Dale Robertson in Sitting Bull, and the year after that as Fredric March's daughter in the thriller The Desperate Hours, which also starred Humphrey Bogart. She co-starred with actor-director Ray Milland in his Western A Man Alone. That was one of her best roles; another was in the film she made the following year for Joseph Losey, The Intimate Stranger (1956).


Among her television appearances she was featured in the title role of defendant Eleanor Corbin in the 1962 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Glamorous Ghost." She also appeared in dozens of other television series including The Lloyd Bridges Show, I Spy, The Outer Limits , The Fugitive and Ironside. She was absent from the big screen for seven years before resuming her film career in 1972 with Steve McQueen in Junior Bonner.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

On June 3, 1956, Murphy married actor Dale Robertson in Yuma, Arizona. The marriage was annulled after six months.[1] She had a daughter.[3]


On May 4, 2011,[4] Murphy died of heart disease at her home in Beverly Hills, California, aged 80.[5]



  1. ^ a b c Collura, Joe (December 20, 2010). "Mary Murphy: By Chance a Star". Classic Images. Archived from the original on January 24, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Mary Murphy obituary". The Daily Telegraph. May 26, 2011.
  3. ^ a b McLellan, Dennis (May 16, 2011). "Mary Murphy dies at 80; small-town innocent in 'The Wild One'". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Lentz, Harris M. III (2012). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2011. McFarland. p. 247. ISBN 9780786491346. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "Mary Murphy, Known for Role in 'The Wild One', Dies at 80". The New York Times. Associated Press. May 16, 2011.
  • Parla, Paul; Mitchell, Charles P. (2000). "Mary Murphy: Wild One's Sweetheart". Screen Sirens Scream! Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction, Horror, Film Noir and Mystery Movies, 1930s to 1960s. Jefferson, N.C. and London: McFarland & Company. pp. 159–174. ISBN 0-7864-0701-8.

External linksEdit