Marie Force Biography & Facts
Marie Windsor (born Emily Marie Bertelsen; December 11, 1919 – December 10, 2000) was an American actress known for her femme fatale characters in the classic film noir features Force of Evil, The Narrow Margin and The Killing. Windsor's height (5'9") created problems for her in scenes with all but the tallest actors. She was the female lead in so many B movies that she became dubbed the "Queen" of the genre.
The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lane Bertelsen, Windsor was born in 1919 in Marysvale, Utah. She was graduated from Marysvale High School in 1934, doing a "musical reading" as part of the graduation exercises. She attended Brigham Young University, where she participated in dramatic productions. She was described in a 1939 newspaper article as "an accomplished athlete ... expert as a dancer, swimmer, horsewoman, and plays golf, tennis and skis."In 1939, Windsor was chosen from a group of 81 contestants to be queen of Covered Wagon Days in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was unofficially appointed "Miss Utah of 1939" by her hometown Chamber of Commerce, and trained for the stage under famed Hollywood actress and coach Maria Ouspenskaya. Voluptuous and leggy, but unusually tall for a starlet of her generation, Windsor felt that she was handicapped when playing opposite actors of average stature (claiming that she had to progressively bend at the knees walking across the room in scene with John Garfield). As she later recalled, a production with Forrest Tucker as co-star made her happy with finally getting male lead who was her 'own size'.In later years, thanks to her early screen success, Windsor was able to pursue her studies more extensively, primarily with Stella Adler and also at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.Windsor worked in radio in Salt Lake City before moving to California. In California, she worked as a model for glamor photographer Paul Hesse.
In 1940, after her move to Hollywood and entering Ouspenskaya's drama school, she appeared in the play Forty Thousand Smiths, her first use of the stage name "Marie Windsor". The next year she appeared in Once in a Lifetime at the Pasadena Playhouse. She also played a villain in a New York production of Follow the Girls. Years later, in the 1980s, she returned to the stage.
After working for several years as a telephone operator, a stage and radio actress, and a bit part and extra player in films, Windsor began playing feature parts on the big screen in 1947.Her first film contract, with Warner Bros. in 1942, resulted from her writing jokes and submitting them to Jack Benny. Windsor said she submitted the gags under the name M.E. Windsor "because I was afraid he might be prejudiced against a woman gag writer". When Benny finally met Windsor, "he was stunned by her good looks" and had a producer sign her to a contract. After a tenure with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in which the studio "signed her, put her in two small roles and then promptly forgot her", she signed a seven-year contract in 1948 with The Enterprise Studios.The actress' first memorable role in 1948 was with John Garfield in Force of Evil playing seductress Edna Tucker. She had roles in numerous 1950s film noirs, notably The Sniper, The Narrow Margin, City That Never Sleeps, and the Stanley Kubrick heist film, The Killing, in which she played Elisha Cook, Jr.'s, scheming wife. She also made her first foray into science fiction with the release of Cat-Women of the Moon (1953). Windsor co-starred with Randolph Scott in The Bounty Hunter (1954).
Later, Windsor moved to television. She appeared as "The Mutton Puncher" in season 3 of Cheyenne, in 1957. She appeared in 1954 as Belle Starr in the premiere episode of Stories of the Century. In 1962, she played Ann Jesse, a woman dying in childbirth, in the episode "The Wanted Man" of Lawman. Windsor appeared in the first season of Barnaby Jones; episode "Twenty Million Alibis" (May 5, 1973).
Windsor worked consistently through the 1960s, 1979s and 1980s. She appeared on programs such as Cheyenne, Bat Masterson, Tales of Wells Fargo, Yancy Derringer, 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick (in the 1957 episode titled "The Quick and the Dead" with James Garner and Gerald Mohr as Doc Holliday), The Red Skelton Hour, Hawaiian Eye, Perry Mason, Bourbon Street Beat, The F.B.I., The Incredible Hulk, Rawhide, Adam-12, Mannix, Charlie's Angels, General Hospital, Salem's Lot, and Murder, She Wrote. Windsor remained on screen once or so annually up to the 1990s, playing her final role and going into retirement in 1991 at the age of 72.
Windsor has a star in at 1549 N. Vine Street in the Motion Pictures section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was dedicated January 19, 1983.In 1987, Windsor received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for best actress for her work in The Bar Off Melrose. She also received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild for her service on the organization's board of directors.
Windsor was married briefly to bandleader Ted Steele. They were wed April 21, 1946, in Marysvale, Utah. They divorced that same year (an item in a 1953 newspaper column says that the marriage was ended by annulment, not divorce).In July 1950, newspaper columnist Louella Parsons reported, "Marie Windsor has set her marriage to Alex Lunciman, a Beverly Hills stock broker, for October".She married realtor Jack Hupp, a member of the 1936 U.S. Olympic basketball team. Hupp had his own family connection with show business; he was the son of actor Earle Rodney. Hupp, with whom Windsor had a son, Richard Rodney, was inducted posthumously into the University of Southern California (USC) Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. Hupp had a son, Chris, from a prior marriage.Windsor was politically conservative, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and supportive of the Motion Picture and Television Fund. A Republican, she supported Dwight Eisenhower's campaign in the 1952 presidential election.After her acting career ended, Windsor became a painter and sculptor. Windsor was also a lifelong Mormon.
Windsor died of congestive heart failure on December 10, 2000, the day before her 81st birthday. She is interred with Hupp in her native Marysvale, Utah, at Mountain View Cemetery.
Further readingOderman, Stuart, Talking to the Piano Player 2. BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 1-59393-320-7.External links
Marie Windsor Biography
Marie Windsor at IMDb
Marie Windsor at the Internet Broadway Database
Marie Windsor at AllMovie
Marie Windsor interview with The Perfect Vision magazine at Modern Times Classic Film Pages
Marie Windsor at Find a Grave
Literature on Marie Windsor
Marie Windsor Papers. MSS 2301; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.. Discover the Marie Force popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Marie Force books.