Actress Catherine McLeod, the leading lady of several of Republic Pictures’ better productions of the late 1940s, died May 11 of complications from pneumonia at Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center. She was 75.
Born in Santa Monica on July 2, 1921, she attended high school in Dallas and arrived in Hollywood during World War II.
McLeod began her career as a contract player for MGM, where she appeared in the Judy Garland starrer “The Harvey Girls” and in “The Courage of Lassie” with Elizabeth Taylor in 1946.
That same year, director Frank Borzage cast her as the lead opposite Philip Dorn in Republic Pictures’ “I’ve Always Loved You.”
Budgeted at $1.5 million, “I’ve Always Loved You” was Republic’s first Technicolor film and a commercial success.
During the late 1940s, McLeod starred in a handful of Republic films, including “That’s My Man” (1947) with Don Ameche and “The Fabulous Texan” (1947) with John Carroll.
She moved over to Fox in 1953 and shared billing with John Derek in “The Outcast” (1954).
During the 1950s and 1960s, she worked primarily in television, starring opposite Dick Powell in six episodes of “Four Star Playhouse” and opposite Henry Fonda in “The Deputy.”
Additional TV credits included “General Electric Theater,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “The Millionaire,” “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke,” “Wagon Train” and “Have Gun, Will Travel.”
She also appeared in numerous TV commercials and had a recurring role in “Days of Our Lives.”
Onstage, she appeared in “Take Her, She’s Mine” with Walter Pidgeon and in productions of “Hay Fever,” “Tovarich,” “Darling Daughter” and “Dark of the Moon.”
She is survived by her husband of 47 years, actor Don Keefer, three sons and a sister.
Family suggests that donations in McLeod’s name be sent to the Actors’ Fund.