Model, actress was married to famed photographer, director

Doe Avedon Siegel, a model and actress who was married to photographer Richard Avedon and later to film director Don Siegel, died Dec. 18. She was 86.

Dorcas Newell was born in Westbury, Long Island, and was discovered by Avedon. They were married for five years beginning in 1944, and their friend the playwright and screenwriter Leonard Gershe later based the musical “Funny Face,” originally conceived for Broadway but ultimately a Paramount musical starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn, loosely on their relationship.

Doe Avedon made her stage debut in 1948 on Broadway in “The Young and Fair,” drawing a Theater World Award. She starred the following year in Philip Barry’s “My Name Is Aquilon.”

The actress then traveled on a national tour with Mae West, meeting actor Dan Mathews, whom she would later marry. She also appeared in the film noir “Jigsaw” and on television in an adaptation of “What Makes Sammy Run?” for “The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse,” both in 1949.

When Mathews was killed in an auto accident, she returned to acting, appearing in William Wellman’s aircraft disaster pic “The High and the Mighty,” starring John Wayne; Stanley Donen’s “Deep in My Heart”; and 1956′s “The Boss.” On television she recurred on “Big Town” and guested on “The Ford Television Theatre,” “Alcoa Theatre” and “Climax!”

She left acting soon after marrying director Siegel in 1957, though she returned to the bigscreen for a small role in John Cassavetes’ “Love Streams” in 1984.

Avedon Siegel is survived by her longtime companion, Michael Liscio; four children and a stepson; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Graveside services will be held at Forest Lawn, Los Angeles, on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 11 a.m., with a memorial at her former home in Encino to follow.

Donations may be made to the Salvation Army or the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more