Phyllis Kirk

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Phyllis Kirk
Thin Man television program 1957.JPG
Kirk as Nora Charles with Peter Lawford in The Thin Man, 1957.
BornPhyllis Kirkegaard
(1927-09-18)September 18, 1927
Syracuse, New York,
United States
DiedOctober 19, 2006(2006-10-19) (aged 79)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California,
United States
OccupationActress
Years active1949-70
Spouse(s)Warren Bush (? - 1992)
 
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Phyllis Kirk
Thin Man television program 1957.JPG
Kirk as Nora Charles with Peter Lawford in The Thin Man, 1957.
BornPhyllis Kirkegaard
(1927-09-18)September 18, 1927
Syracuse, New York,
United States
DiedOctober 19, 2006(2006-10-19) (aged 79)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California,
United States
OccupationActress
Years active1949-70
Spouse(s)Warren Bush (? - 1992)

Phyllis Kirk (September 18, 1927[1] - October 19, 2006) was an American actress.

Contents

Early life and career

Born Phyllis Kirkegaard in Syracuse, New York[2] (some sources state Plainfield, New Jersey), she contracted polio as a child which resulted in health problems for the rest of her life.[3] As a teen, she moved to New York City to study acting and changed her last name to "Kirk". She began her career on Broadway before embarking on a television and film career.[4]

Kirk is best known for her many roles throughout the 1950s. She appeared with Vincent Price in the 3-D horror film House of Wax in 1953. Her most notable television role was opposite Peter Lawford in The Thin Man (1957—1959), where they played Nick and Nora Charles. She also appeared with Jerry Lewis in his 1957 film The Sad Sack, with Robert Ryan, Anita Ekberg, and Rod Steiger in the 1956 film Back from Eternity. Kirk was a regular on The Red Buttons Show and appeared as a guest on some television programs, including an episode of The Twilight Zone ("A World of His Own").

As her acting career slowed down, Kirk began serving as an activist for various social causes. She vocally opposed death row inmate Caryl Chessman's death sentence and visited Chessman in prison until his execution in 1960. After the Watts Riots in 1965, she funded preschool programs for underprivileged families in South Los Angeles.[4] She also granted interviews and wrote for the American Civil Liberties Union newspaper. Kirk made her last onscreen appearance in a 1970 episode of The F.B.I. before leaving show business altogether to enter public relations. She worked as a publicist for CBS News, and retired in 1992.[5]

Personal life

Kirk was married to television producer and screenwriter Warren Bush until his death in 1992.[5]

A Democrat, she attended the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California.[6]

Death

Kirk died on October 19, 2006 of a post-cerebral aneurysm at age 79 in Woodland Hills, California.[7] She was buried with her husband Warren Bush in the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Filmography

Film
YearFilmRoleNotes
1950Our Very OwnZaza
A Life of Her OwnJerry
Two Weeks with LoveValerie Stresemann
Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. MaloneKay, Malone's Secretary
1951Three Guys Named MikeKathy Hunter
1952Just This OnceYoung Lover on FerryUncredited
About FaceAlice Wheatley
The Iron MistressUrsula de Varamendi
Stop, You're Killing MeNurseUncredited
1953House of WaxSue Allen
Thunder Over the PlainsNorah Porter
1954Crime WaveEllen LaceyAlternative title: The City is Dark
River BeatJudy Roberts
1955Canyon CrossroadsKatherine Rand
1956Johnny ConchoMary Dark
Back from EternityLouise Melhorn
1957That Woman OppositeEve AtwoodAlternative title: City After Midnight
The Sad SackMajor Shelton
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1952The Philco Television PlayhouseDolly1 episode
Tales of Tomorrow1 episode
1952–1956Studio OneVarious roles4 episodes
1953World by the TailTelevision movie
Armstrong Circle Theatre1 episode
The United States Steel HourBetty Lou1 episode
1953–1954Lux Video Theatre2 episodes
Goodyear Television PlayhouseGirl3 episodes
The WebMeg Loomis2 episodes
1953–1957Robert Montgomery PresentsVarious roles4 episodes
1954Suspense1 episode
Your Show of Shows1 episode
Justice1 episode
1955Appointment with Adventure (CBS anthology series)1 episode
Playwrights '56Girl friend1 episode
Letter to LorettaJess Blackston1 episode
The Red Buttons ShowRegular performerUnknown episodes
1955–1956Climax!Various roles3 episodes
1956Schlitz Playhouse of StarsBarbara Hunter1 episode
Celebrity PlayhouseLaurie Westbrook2 episodes
Playhouse 90Nancy Tennant1 episode
1956–1957The Ford Television TheatreVarious roles4 episodes
1957The Errol Flynn Theatre2 episodes
The 20th Century Fox HourBarbara Sherwood1 episode
1957–1959The Thin ManNora Charles72 episodes
May 22, 1958The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie FordHerself1 episode
1960Dick Powell's Zane Grey TheaterAnn Bagley1 episode
The Twilight ZoneVictoria WestEpisode: "A World of His Own"
1970The F.B.I.Nora Tobin1 episode

Award nominations

YearAwardResultCategorySeries
1959Emmy AwardNominatedBest Actress in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic SeriesThe Thin Man

References

  1. ^ "Phyllis Kirk: 1927 - 2006 `House of Wax,' `Thin Man' star". chicagotribune.com. 2006-10-23. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Weaver, Tom (2001). I was a Monster Movie Maker: Conversations with 22 SF and Horror Filmmakers. McFarland. p. 122. ISBN 0-7864-1000-0. 
  3. ^ Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the Silent Era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 395. ISBN 1-55783-551-9. 
  4. ^ a b "'House of Wax' actress Kirk dies at 79". usatoday.com. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  5. ^ a b Vallance, Tom (2006-10-23). "Phyllis Kirk". The Independent (London). p. 2. Retrieved 2008-11-04. [dead link]
  6. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7opAIZ9dv3E
  7. ^ "'House of Wax' actress Phyllis Kirk dead". arts.abc.net.au. 2006-10-23. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 

External links