Jeanne Bates

Jeanne Bates (May 21, 1918 – November 28, 2007) was an American radio, film and television actress. She signed a contract with Columbia Pictures in 1942 which began her career in films both in bit parts and larger roles. She began her acting career while attending San Mateo Junior College, with roles on radio soap operas produced in San Francisco. Bates had the lead role, and supplied the signature scream, on the radio mystery series Whodunit. She married the writer of Whodunit, Lew X. Lansworth (b. 1904, d. 1981), in 1943. She also had her film debut in 1943, in a Boston Blackie mystery, The Chance of a Lifetime. She played Bela Lugosi's first victim in Return of the Vampire (1943), Diana Palmer in The Phantom (1943), and she had a minor role in Death of a Salesman (1951). Bates worked steadily in television beginning in the 1950s including a Peter Gunn episode missing person and is remembered for playing Nurse Wills on the weekly program Ben Casey (1961–66). She appeared with John Payne in various roles in five episodes of his NBC western series, The Restless Gun and also appeared in the Rawhide episode Incident of the Tinkers Dam as Mrs Wayne.


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