Dorothy Provine, best known for her appearance in Stanley Kramer’s 1963 all-star comedy blockbuster It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and for the TV series The Roaring ’20s, died at age 75 on April 25 at the Hospice of Kitsap County in Bremerton, Washington.
According to Provine’s widower, television director Robert Day, Provine “was very reserved,” preferring long drives, watching movies, and reading books to socializing. The couple had been living on Washington State’s Bainbridge Island for about two decades.
Born on Jan. 20, 1935, in Deadwood, South Dakota, Dorothy Provine attended the University of Washington.
The pretty blonde was later featured in a number of Hollywood productions of the late 1950s and 1960s, among them:
- The 30-Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959), in the title role, playing opposite Lou Costello.
- The Disney release That Darn Cat! (1965), with Hayley Mills.
- Blake Edwards’ bloated all-star comedy The Great Race (1965), starring Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis. Provine provides the film’s highlight: as the seductive saloon hick Lily Olay, she performs the fantastic comedy musical number “He Shouldn’t-a, Oughtn’t-a Swang on Me!” (written by Henry Mancini).
- Who’s Minding the Mint? (1967), opposite Jim Hutton.
Provine’s last feature was Never a Dull Moment (1968), with Dick Van Dyke and Edward G. Robinson.
On television, Provine made her mark as Pinky Pinkham, the flapper in the period crime series The Roaring ’20s.