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Lizabeth Scott, Husky-Voiced Film Noir Stalwart, Dies at 92

Lizabeth Scott, the blonde, husky-voiced actress who was a staple of film noir films such as “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers,” “Dead Reckoning,” “I Walk Alone,” “Dark City” and “The Racket,” died on Jan. 31 in Los Angeles. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center confirmed the death, the New York Times said, but would not provide details. She was 92.

Scott also starred in the the 1957 Elvis Presley film “Loving You.”

With her blonde tresses but throaty voice, she was often compared to Lauren Bacall and Veronica Lake, but she did not have quite the presence or the acting skills of either. Nevertheless, she did not deserve her treatment at the hands of then tabloid Confidential, which published a story in 1955 implying sexual improprieties, though her career was already on the wane at that point. She sued, and a high-profile trial resulted but ended in a mistrial.

After making her feature debut starring opposite Robert Cummings in 1945’s John Farrow-directed “You Came Along,” Scott was cast in one of the best of the noirs, “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers,” with Barbara Stanwyck, Kirk Douglas and Van Heflin; Scott played a romantic interest for Heflin’s character.

Next she starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in 1947’s “Dead Reckoning”; it was almost possible to imagine Bacall playing the woman involved in the love triangle that Bogie’s character uncovers.

Though it is hard to remember now, Scott’s career during this period did not consist solely of noirs: Her next two films were “Desert Fury” and “Variety Girl.” But she returned to the genre with “I Walk Alone,” also starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. In “Pitfall” she starred opposite Dick Powell, and in the 1950 noir “Dark City” she was paired with Charlton Heston; they were reunited for 1953’s “Bad for Each Other.”

Scott eventually began to transition into television work, though she did star opposite Elvis Presley in the 1957 film “Loving You.”

She was born Emma Matzo in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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