Lizabeth Scott Photo

Lizabeth Scott photo

Lizabeth Scott poses for the camera in front of various photographs of her 1946 vehicle The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, in which she co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, and Kirk Douglas. (See also: “Lizabeth Scott Dead at 92.”)

Directed by Lewis Milestone (Best Director Oscar winner for All Quiet on the Western Front), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers was screened as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Oscar Noir” series at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Monday, June 28, 2010.

Scott, born Emma Matzo (Sept. 29, 1922, in Scranton, Penn.) to Slovakian parents, began her film career as a Paramount contract player in 1945. Her film debut – in a leading role – was in John Farrow's romantic melodrama You Came Along, in which she was Robert Cummings' love interest, a super-sultry gal named Ivy Hotchkiss.

Among Scott's other vehicles – usually film noirs and/or heavy melodramas in which she played smoldering, husky-voiced heroines that would put both Lauren Bacall and Veronica Lake to shame – are Desert Fury (1947), with Burt Lancaster; Pitfall (1948), with Dick Powell; Paid in Full (1950), with Robert Cummings; Dark City (1950) and Bad for Each Other (1953), with Charlton Heston; and The Racket (1951), with Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan.

Lizabeth Scott also played opposite Elvis Presley, in the 1957 melo Loving You.

Her last film appearance was in Mike Hodges' crime drama Pulp (1972), which starred Michael Caine and in which she played a character named Princess Betty Cippola.

Lizabeth Scott photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.

Lizabeth Scott, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

Lizabeth Scott (You Came Along, Dead Reckoning, Easy Living) in front of a giant poster of Lewis Milestone's 1946 film noir/psychological melodrama The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, in which Scott, then a Paramount contract player, starred opposite Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, and Kirk Douglas.

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, introduced by screenwriter Robin Swicord (Little Women, Memoirs of a Geisha), was presented as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Oscar Noir” series at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Monday, June 28, 2010.

Among Scott's most important vehicles are You Came Along (1945), with Robert Cummings; Desert Fury (1947), with Burt Lancaster; Pitfall (1948), with Dick Powell; and The Racket (1951), with Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan.

Off-screen, Scott created a sensation of sorts in 1955 when she sued gossip rag Confidential for claiming that the never-married actress spent her free time in the company of “Hollywood's weird society of baritone babes.”

According to Hollywood/Broadway lore, Lizabeth Scott – who had a fantastic screen presence even in subpar vehicles – was the inspiration (or at least one of them) for the character of Eve Harrington, played by Anne Baxter in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Oscar-winning classic All About Eve (1950).

The Bette Davis character in that movie, Margo Channing, was purportedly inspired by Tallulah Bankhead.

Scott was Bankhead's understudy in the 1942 Broadway production of The Skin of Our Teeth.

(Another version of the All About Eve story has the Eve/Margo tale inspired by the relationship between Irene Worth and Elisabeth Bergner.)

Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.

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