Appeared in 'Daisy Kenyon,' 'In a Lonely Place'

Actress Martha Stewart, who appeared in film, television and musical theater, died of natural causes in Northeast Harbor, Maine, on Feb. 25. She was 89.

Stewart played Joan Crawford’s best friend in Otto Preminger’s 1947 romantic drama “Daisy Kenyon,” also starring Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda. The actress also had a significant supporting role in Nicholas Ray’s “In a Lonely Place” (1950), starring Humphrey Bogart.

Stewart made her feature debut in Fox’s 1945 musical comedy “Doll Face,” an adaptation of a play of Gypsy Rose Lee in which she performed with Perry Como, followed by roles in WWII aftermath drama “Johnny Comes Flying Home” and musical “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now.” In addition to a “Lonely Place,” she appeared in the Broderick Crawford-Glenn Ford film noir “Convicted” in 1950.

Stewart appeared on Broadway in the musical comedy “Park Avenue” in 1946-47.

In the 1950s the actress transitioned to television, making appearances on “The Jackie Gleason Show” and “The Red Skelton Hour” and later on “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” before making her final screen appearance in the 1964 film “Surf Party.”

Stewart’s first husband was the famed comedian Joe E. Lewis, and in 1957 Lewis biopic “The Joker Is Wild,” starring Frank Sinatra, Mitzy Gaynor portrayed Stewart.

Stewart was born in Bardwell, Ky., but spent her childhood in Brooklyn. She started singing in nightclubs after a favorable reception when she participated in a radio singing contest. A Hollywood talent scout spotted Stewart during her appearance at the Stork Club in 1944.

After ending her showbiz career, Stewart spent decades as a school librarian, retiring from that profession in 2002.

In addition to Lewis, Stewart was married to actor-writer George O’Hanlon and to Jonathan Crowne, who died in 2004 after 53 years of marriage. Stewart is survived by two sons.

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