Actress Dorothy J. Hart died July 11 in Asheville, N.C., of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 80.
The Cleveland native won Columbia Pictures’ 1944 “National Cinderella Cover Girl” contest out of 120,000 contestants. She soon began modeling for advertising and appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan, McCalls’ and Esquire.
In 1947, she moved to Hollywood and was signed by Columbia Pictures after starring opposite Randolph Scott in Western “The Gunfighters.”
Over the next five years she appeared in 17 pics, including the female lead in the 1948 Academy Award-winning “The Naked City.”
She also starred in “I Was a Communist for the FBI,” “Calamity Jane & Sam Bass,” “Loan Shark” and “Raton Pass.” In her final film appearance, she played Jane to Lex Barker’s Tarzan in 1952’s “Tarzan’s Savage Fury.”
Hart moved to New York in 1952, where she became an activist for the fledgling United Nations. She was a member of the American Assn. of the United Nations and, in 1952, was appointed to its speakers committee by Eleanor Roosevelt.
While in New York, she also played leading roles in TV dramas, including “Medallion Theater” (starring opposite Ronald Reagan), “Four Star Playhouse” and “Goodyear Television Playhouse.”
During the late ’50s, she was a panelist on popular gameshows such as “Take a Guess,” “I’ll Buy That” and “I’ve Got a Secret” and was a regular on “Mike Stokey’s Pantomime Quiz” and “Stump the Stars.”
Hart retired from acting in 1966 and moved to Asheville.
She is survived by a son, three grandchildren and a sister.