Gloria Grahame was an American actress. Grahame began her acting career in theatre, and in 1944 she made her first film for MGM. Despite a featured role in It's a Wonderful Life, MGM did not believe she had the potential for major success, and sold her contract to RKO Studios. Often cast in film noir projects, Grahame received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Crossfire, and she won this award for her work in The Bad and the Beautiful. She achieved her highest profile with Sudden Fear, Human Desire ,The Big Heat, and Oklahoma!, but her film career began to wane soon afterwards.
She returned to work on the stage, but continued to appear in films and television productions, usually in supporting roles. Diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1980, Grahame refused to accept the diagnosis and travelled to England to work in a play. Her health rapidly failed and she returned to New York City, where she died in 1981.
Grahame was born Gloria Hallward in Los Angeles, California. Reginald Michael Bloxam Hallward, her father, was an architect and author and her mother, Jeanne McDougall, who used the stage name Jean Grahame, was a British stage actress and acting teacher. The couple had another daughter, Joy Hallward, an actress who married the brother of Robert Mitchum. McDougall taught her younger daughter acting during her childhood and adolescence.
Grahame was signed to a contract with MGM Studios under her professional name after Louis B. Mayer saw her performing on Broadway for several years.