Elizabeth, LA, 8 July 1917 - Selva, Majorca, Spain, 9 March 1983 (stomach cancer)
There was something hard as nails about blonde Faye Emerson, and despite the fact that she was the wife of Elliott Roosevelt, and thus the daughter-in-law of America's 32nd president, this Warner Bros. contract actress played mainly femme fatales and, truth be told, not even all that interesting ones at that. Even such roles began to wane in the late 1940s, however, and there were rumors of a suicide attempt. Suddenly she was back in the headlines but in a completely different venue: television. When the notoriously unreliable Diana Barrymore dropped out of an upcoming panel show, the famous CBS eye turned to Faye, who had ad-libbed brilliantly at the latest Democratic National Convention. As a result, this underused screen actress became the first superstar of the new household appliance, notable for her glamorously low-cut gowns and sharp wit. She divorced Roosevelt in 1950 ('Elliott and I parted on friendly terms,' she assured the press) and married bandleader Skitch Henderson, a union that ended in divorce after seven years. Once voted "Television's Most Appealing Female Personality," Emerson called it quits in 1962 and, unimpeded by either husbands or family, settled in Europe, a very wealthy recluse.
GUILTY BYSTANDER (Film Classics, 1950) D: Joseph Lerner. CAST: Zachary Scott, Faye Emerson (Georgia Thursday), Mary Boland, Sam Levene, J. Edward Bromberg, Kay Medford. Although she later appeared as herself in A Face in the Crowd (1957), this was Emerson's final feature film acting assignment. She plays the ex-wife of a down-and-out former police officer (Scott), whose son has been kidnapped. Produced on the very cheap, Guilty Bystander was one of the earliest films noir to be filmed entirely on location in New York City. It also marked the screen swan song for veteran character actor J. Edward Bromberg (1903-1951), a victim of the House Un-American Activities inspired blacklist.