Glamorous actress of 1950s Rita Gam dies at 88

Rita Gam, a glamorous actress who starred in exotic films including 'Saadia' has died at 88.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 23, 2016, 12:56 PM IST
Glamorous actress of 1950s Rita Gam dies at 88
Image courtesy- AP

Los Angeles: Rita Gam, a glamorous actress who starred in exotic films including 'Saadia', 'Sign of the Pagan' and 'King of Kings', has died. She was 88.

Gam, who was director Sidney Lumet's first wife and a bridesmaid at Grace Kelly's 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier, died of respiratory failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on March 22, publicist Nancy Willen said.

The veteran actress also appeared opposite Gregory Peck in 'Night People' (1954) and 'Shoot Out' (1971), in William Dieterle's 'Magic Fire' (1955), with Victor Mature in 'Hannibal' (1959) and with Jane Fonda in Alan J Pakula's 'Klute' (1971).

She and her co-star Viveca Lindfors shared the Silver Bear for best actress at the 1962 Berlin International Film Festival for their roles as the women in the hotel room in Tad Danielewski's 'No Exit', based on the play by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Born in Pittsburgh on April 2, 1927, Gam was raised in New York City. A founding member of The Actors Studio, she landed a role on Broadway in 1946 in 'A Flag Is Born', written by Ben Hecht, then made her movie debut in The Thief (1952) opposite Ray Milland.

Gam was a leading member of the Minnesota Theater Company during the opening season (1963) of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis with Zoe Caldwell, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.

In 2003, she was in the rotating cast of the off-Broadway stage reading of 'Wit & Wisdom'. Among her other notable stage productions were Hamlet with Dan Mason and Broadway's "There's a Girl in My Soup" with Gig Young.