Randy Stuart

Randy Stuart (born Elizabeth Shaubell; October 24, 1924 – July 20, 1996), was an American actress in film and television. A familiar face in several popular films of the 1940s and 1950s, and later in Western-themed television series, she is perhaps best remembered as Louise Carey, the wife of Scott Carey, played by Grant Williams, in The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), a science-fiction classic[1] named in 2009 as “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant to be preserved for all time in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.[2]

Randy Stuart
Alan Hale, Jr. Randy Stuart Biff Baker USA 1952.JPG
Stuart with Alan Hale Jr., in Biff Baker, U.S.A., 1952.
Born
Elizabeth Shaubell

(1924-10-24)October 24, 1924
DiedJuly 20, 1996(1996-07-20) (aged 71)
OccupationActress
Years active1947 to 1975
Spouse(s)
Kenneth W. Smith
(
m. 1943; div. 1945)

Edward Charles George
(
m. 1947; div. 1954)

Lane Allan[citation needed]
(
m. 1953; div. 1968)

Ernest Dineen Wallis
(
m. 1971; died 1982)
Children3

Early yearsEdit

Stuart's parents, John and Gladys Shaubell,[3] were itinerant musicians in the American South and the Middle West. She was born in Iola in Allen County in southeastern Kansas, and made her stage debut at the age of three.

The Shaubells relocated to Compton, California, where Stuart went to high school and Compton Junior College.[3]

RadioEdit

Stuart was a regular on The Jack Carson Show in 1946.[4]

FilmEdit

A screen test in the play The Women led to Stuart being placed under contract at 20th Century Fox. Her film debut was uncredited in the 1947 picture, The Foxes of Harrow.[citation needed] Stuart plays the birth mother of main character Stephen Fox, in the film's initial scene.

In 1948, she played Peggy, a knowing secretary (and collaborator with star Clifton Webb) in the comedy Sitting Pretty.[5] She also appeared that year (sixth-billed) as the wife of a returning veteran in Apartment for Peggy with William Holden and Jeanne Crain.

In 1949, she portrayed Lieutenant Eloise Billings, an object of desire for Cary Grant, in the Howard Hawks film I Was a Male War Bride, also starring Ann Sheridan.[6] That same year, she appeared opposite Jose Ferrer in Otto Preminger's psychological noir, Whirlpool. Stuart was billed on posters as a supporting player in the comedy / musical Dancing in the Dark, starring William Powell and Betsy Drake.[7]

In 1950, Stuart was briefly in that year's Best Picture, All About Eve, as a telephone friend of Anne Baxter. (The same film featured Marilyn Monroe, a classmate of Stuart's from dance training at Fox.) She had fourth billing in the noir comedy Stella,[8] with Ann Sheridan and Victor Mature.

In 1951, she appeared as Marge Boyd in I Can Get It For You Wholesale,[9] in what might have been her breakout role. In 1952, Stuart teamed again with Grant and Drake in the comedy Room for One More for Warner Bros.

For Star in the Dust (1956), one of the scenes featured co-star Coleen Gray and Stuart fighting for possession of incriminating letters hidden in a suitcase. The seasoned actresses invited their husbands to watch the filming of the action scene, which lasted over 50 seconds of screen time and included both women punching and wrestling each other. At the conclusion of the choreographed scene, Gray recalled in a later interview, the women simply dusted themselves off, but the two husbands "were pale and clammy and weak in the knees" having watched their wives engage in a lengthy fistfight.[10][11]

After 1957's Incredible Shrinking Man, she was cast as Nancy Dawson in the 1958 western film, Man from God's Country, starring George Montgomery.[citation needed] She also guest-starred about that time in Montgomery's short-lived television western television series, Cimarron City.

TelevisionEdit

Stuart's TV career had a solid start with her co-starring role as Louise Baker, the wife of Cold War spy Alan Hale Jr., in the 26-episode filmed adventure series, Biff Baker, U.S.A., which aired on CBS in the 1952-53 season (and was recently released on DVD).

Following her last film role in 1958, Stuart appeared for several years in TV dramas (usually Westerns), most of them produced by Warner Bros. television for the ABC network. In 1959 and 1960, Stuart had a recurring role as Nellie Cashman in 11 episodes of the ABC series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O'Brian in the title role of Marshal Wyatt Earp. Nellie was briefly a romantic interest for Earp.

From 1958 to 1961, Stuart guest-starred four times on Clint Walker's ABC/Warner Bros. Western, Cheyenne, including a role opposite Robert Colbert in the 1960 episode "Two Trails to Santa Fe". In another 1960 role, she played the mentally unbalanced Claire Russo in the episode "Tangled Trail" of Ty Hardin's ABC/WB series, Bronco, which rotated with Cheyenne. Her other Western appearances were twice on Lawman. Cimarron City, Colt .45, and Maverick.[citation needed]

Her non-Western appearances included the ABC/WB dramas 77 Sunset Strip (as Lucy Norton in the 1962 Cold War-themed episode "The Reluctant Spy", opposite Efrem Zimbalist Jr.), Bourbon Street Beat, The Roaring 20s, One Step Beyond, and Hawaiian Eye (two appearances). She also guest-starred on CBS fantasy-drama The Millionaire.

Stuart's NBC roles included an episode of top-rated Bonanza, "The Duke", directed by Robert Altman and first aired in March 1961, in which she played a saloon girl called Marge Fuller. Earlier, she was twice on the 1955-56 NBC comedy It's a Great Life, with Frances Bavier.[citation needed] After a hiatus of five years from television, Stuart returned in 1967 and 1968 as Eileen Gannon, wife of Harry Morgan's character, Officer Bill Gannon, on NBC's popular Dragnet. Her final TV appearance was as Miss Kallman in the 1975 episode "The Covenant" of ABC's Marcus Welby, M.D., with Robert Young in the title role.[citation needed]

Later yearsEdit

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Stuart (known by her married name, Betty Wallis) was instrumental in developing the alumni program at Chaminade College Preparatory School in West Hills, California, from which her two youngest children had graduated.

Personal Life and deathEdit

Stuart was married and divorced three times, with a fourth marriage lasting over a decade, until her husband Ernest Dineen Wallis's death in 1982. Stuart died July 20, 1996, at the age of 71 in Bakersfield, California.[citation needed]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1947 The Foxes of Harrow Mrs. Fox Uncredited
1948 Sitting Pretty Peggy
1948 The Street with No Name Helen Jennings Uncredited
1948 Apartment for Peggy Dorothy
1949 The Fan American Girl
1949 I Was a Male War Bride Lt. Eloise Billings
1949 Whirlpool Miss Landau Uncredited
1949 Dancing in the Dark Rosalie Brooks
1950 Stella Claire
1950 All About Eve Girl
1951 I Can Get It for You Wholesale Marge Boyd
1952 Room for One More Gladys Foreman
1956 Star in the Dust Nan Hogan
1957 Incredible Shrinking Man Louise Carey
1958 Man from God's Country Nancy Dawson

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Library of Congress press release, December 30, 2009, accessed thru https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-09-250/
  2. ^ Film Journal International, December 30, 2009, accessed thru http://www.filmjournal.com/content/thriller-lands-national-film-registry
  3. ^ a b "Bright Hollywood Starlets To Shine Here Armed Forces Day". Tucson Daily Citizen. Arizona, Tucson. May 13, 1950. p. 2. Retrieved August 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  4. ^ Hilton, Chuck (February 20, 1946). "On The Beam". The Mason City Globe-Gazette. Iowa, Mason City. p. 2. Retrieved August 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  5. ^ "'Sitting Pretty', Top-Comedy, Promises Laughs for All Family". Hope Star. Arkansas, Hope. August 13, 1948. p. 6. Retrieved August 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  6. ^ Corby, Jane (August 27, 1949). "Roxy's 'I Was a Male War Bride' Stars Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. p. 12. Retrieved August 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  7. ^ Fidler, Jimmy (November 14, 1949). "Hollywood Roundup". The Evening Standard. Pennsylvania, Uniontown. p. 5. Retrieved August 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  8. ^ "Family Story Makes Laughs". The Eugene Guard. Oregon, Eugene. August 27, 1950. p. 36. Retrieved August 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  9. ^ Corby, Jane (April 21, 1951). "Screenings". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. p. 14. Retrieved August 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  10. ^ Magers, Boyd (1999). Westerns Women Interviews with 50 Leading Ladies of Movie and Television Westerns from the 1930s to the 1960s. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7864-2028-5. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  11. ^ Fitzgerald, Mike. "An Interview with Coleen Gray". Western Clippings. Retrieved 28 October 2019.