Martha Stewart, best known for co-starring alongside Joan Crawford and Humphrey Bogart in “Daisy Kenyon” and “In a Lonely Place,” respectively, died on Feb. 17, her daughter Colleen Shelly confirmed on Twitter. She was 98.
“The original Martha Stewart left us yesterday,” Shelly wrote. “She had a new part to play in a movie with all her heavenly friends. She went off peacefully surrounded by her family and cat.”
Known for her roles in classic 1940s and ’50s Hollywood movies, Stewart made her film debut in the 1945 musical comedy “Doll Face.” The following year she starred opposite Richard Crane in “Johnny Comes Flying Home” and June Haver in 1947’s “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now.” Her additional credits include comedy “Are You With It?” opposite Donald O’Connor, 1952’s musical “Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick” and noir crime-drama “Convicted” with Glenn Ford and Broderick Crawford. Her final credit was 1964’s beach-themed musical comedy “Surf Party.”
Prior to her roles in film, Stewart was also a singer, who performed on NBC radio programs with bandleaders Glenn Miller, Harry James and Claude Thornhill. One performance at the prestigious Stork Club in Manhattan led to her discovery by a Hollywood talent scout.
Stewart was also active on Broadway, performing in “Park Avenue” from 1946-47 and acting as a replacement for Vivian Blaine as Miss Adelaide in “Guys and Dolls.”
Stewart was born on Oct. 7, 1922, in Bardwell, Ky. as Martha Ruth Haworth and was raised in Brooklyn. She was married three times to singer-comedian Joe E. Lewis, actor George O’Hanlon and David Shelley, all of whom predeceased her. Her son, David Shelley Jr., a well-known blues rock guitarist who backed Cher, died of cancer in 2015.
She is survived by her daughter.