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Lizabeth Scott

Real name: Emma Matzo
Birthdate: September 29, 1922
Status: N/A
Partner: N/A

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Biography

Lizabeth Scott (born September 29, 1922) is an American actress who achieved some success in films, particularly in the genre of film noir.

She was born Emma Matzo in the Pine Brook Section of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John and Mary Matzo, Roman Catholic immigrants from Slovakia. She attended Central High School and Marywood College.

She later went to New York City and attended the Alvienne School of Drama. In late 1942, she was eking out a precarious living with a small Midtown Manhattan summer stock company when she got a job as understudy for Tallulah Bankhead in Thornton Wilder's play The Skin of Our Teeth. However, Scott never had an opportunity to substitute for Bankhead.

Soon afterward, Scott was at the Stork Club when motion picture producer Hal Wallis asked who she was, unaware that an aide had already arranged an interview with her for the following day. When Scott returned home however, she found a telegram offering her the lead for the Boston run of The Skin of Our Teeth. She could not turn it down. She sent Wallis her apologies and went on the road.

Though the Broadway production, in which she was credited as "Girl," christened her "Elizabeth," she dropped the "e" the day after the opening night in Boston, "just to be different."

A photograph of Scott in Harper's Bazaar magazine was seen by movie agent Charles Feldman. He admired the fashion pose and took her on as a client. Scott made her first screen test at Warner Brothers, where she and Hal Wallis finally met. Though the test was bad, he recognized her potential. As soon as he set up shop at Paramount, she was signed to a contract. Her movie debut was in You Came Along (1945) opposite Robert Cummings.

Paramount publicity dubbed Scott "The Threat," in order to create an onscreen persona for her similar to Lauren Bacall or Veronica Lake. Scott's smoky sensuality and husky-voice lent itself to the film noir genre and, beginning with The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) starring Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin, the studio cast her in a series of thrillers.

She also starred in Desert Fury (1947), a noir filmed in Technicolor, with John Hodiak, Burt Lancaster, Wendell Corey, and Mary Astor. In it, she played Paula Haller, who, on her return from college, falls for gangster Eddie Mannix (Hodiak), and faces a great deal of opposition from the others. Scott was paired with Lancaster, Corey, and Kirk Douglas in Hal Wallis' I Walk Alone (1948), a noirish story of betrayal and vengeance.

After being known professionally as Lizabeth Scott for 4 1/2 years, she appeared at the courthouse in Los Angeles, on October 20, 1949, and had her name legally changed.

Scott never married or had children. True or false, rumors and allegations concerning her sexual (lesbian ) preferences began. In 1955, she hired famed attorney Jerry Giesler and sued Confidential Magazine for $2,500,000 in libel damages.

She charged that the September issue implied that she was "prone to indecent, illegal and highly offensive acts in her private and public life"; "These implications," Scott said, "are willfully, wrongfully, maliciously and completely without truth.". However, her case was thrown out on a technicality and she chose to drop the issue.

Since then, she has retreated from public view and has declined interview requests, though she appeared at an American Film Institute tribute to Hal Wallis.



 


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