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Elaine Stewart, 1929 - 2011

"Elaine Stewart, 81, an actress who appeared in a string of films in the 1950s and after taking a break to start a family appeared on the 1970s TV game shows Gambit and High Rollers, died Monday," reports the Los Angeles Times.

Mike Barnes in the Hollywood Reporter: "In a pair of 1954 films, Stewart starred opposite Gene Kelly and Van Johnson as nonstop talkative socialite Jane Ashton in Brigadoon and played a sexy harem princess in The Adventures of Hajji Baba, with John Derek as the title character. The former model and Montclair, NJ, native also appeared with Kirk Douglas in the classic Hollywood insider soap The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and with Richard Widmark and Karl Malden in the basic-training set Take the High Ground! (1953)."

Images above: March 23, 1953 cover of LIFE; and James Stewart, Elaine Stewart and director James Neilson on the set of Night Passage (1957).

Update, 6/29: David Ehrenstein posts a roundup of texts and images.

There is a great sequence in Brigadoon which I always associate with Elaine Stewart. It begins with a violent cut from the picturesque Scottish village in the Highlands to a bustling Manhattan bar (the sort of gathering which Minnelli relishes). Thus a huge contrast is created between the innocent Scots lass (Cyd Charisse) and Gene Kelly’s fiancee (Stewart) who chats away about the wedding and shopping. Kelly hears nothing she says, because he is listening, in his inner ear, to the music to which he danced with Charisse.

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