Ruth Storey, a former actress who appeared in such films as “Bells Are Ringing” and “In Cold Blood” and who was once married to the late actor Richard Conte, died Aug. 23 of cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was 84.Born and reared in New York, Storey’s acting interests descended from her mother, Anna Stromberg, a Jewish folk singer who appeared in George Jessel’s stage version of “The Jazz Singer.” Storey, in turn, pursued a stage career under the name of Ruth Strome, appearing on Broadway in “Stage Door,” “The Fabulous Invalid” and “The American Way.” Following her 1943 marriage to Richard Conte, she relocated to Los Angeles and starred in “A View From the Bridge” at the Hollywood Players’ Ring Theater. Storey’s film credits, in which she appeared both solo and with her husband, include “The Blue Gardenia” (1953), “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” (1955) and a TV production of the Clifford Odets play “Awake and Sing” (1972). Her television work included appearances on “General Electric Theatre,” “Have Gun Will Travel” and “Climax.” Storey and Conte were divorced in 1962 and she subsequently returned to school to earn a master’s degree in social welfare at UCLA. She immersed herself in community work by co-founding a clinic, the Center for Human Problems, and by joining the rebuilding project after the 1965 Watts riots. Storey is survived by her son, Mark Conte.
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