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Cleo Moore Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 31 October 1924Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Date of Death 25 October 1973Inglewood, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameCleouna Moore
Nicknames The Queen of the B movie Bad Girls
The Blonde Bombshell
The Blonde Dominatrix
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Cleo Moore was born Cleouna Moore on October 31, 1924 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her parents were deeply involved in Democratic politics. Politics, in Louisiana, was an all consuming passion with a lot of families in the 1920s and 1930s. Cleo began her trek to stardom when she participated in school plays in high school. When she was just 15 years old, Cleo wed Palmer Long, son of the late Huey "Kingfish" Long in 1944. Palmer's father had been one of the movers and shakers in Louisiana politics for years, first serving as governor and then the United States Senate. He was assassinated in 1935 in the state capitol building (Cleo, herself, was to run for Governor of Louisiana in 1956). The marriage was doomed to fail having lasted a mere six weeks. After Cleo finished high school, she moved with her family to California where her father was anticipating the end of World War II and the building boom that was expected to follow. Once in sunny California, it did not take long to get "discovered".

She was spotted by an RKO executive and was convinced to take a screen test. She passed. Her first film was in a rather non-descript film called Congo Bill (1948). After that fiasco, Cleo went back to work at her family's building business and did some modeling. Two years later, in 1950, the shapely blonde appeared in a Western entitled Rio Grande Patrol (1950). She received fifth billing in the movie that went nowhere. That year proved to busy for Cleo as she appeared in five other films. In Bright Leaf (1950), a film about the tobacco industry, was a well-received one even though she had only a small part. Gambling House (1950) was, somewhat, of a personal breakthrough. Instead of having, basically, unknowns as her co-stars, Cleo had Victor Mature and William Bendix. Hard as it was to break into films that really grabbed to public's attention, Cleo seemed to be destined to stay in B movie roles for the balance of her career.

She did appear in a crime drama film called On Dangerous Ground (1951) with Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan, but had only a minor part. For an actress who had a wonderful talent, she seemed to be picked because of how her physical attributes played on the screen. That seemed secondary to the moguls of the studios. She was very beautiful, but Cleo wanted them to look past that and see the talent she possessed. In 1954, Cleo appeared in two more box-office bombs, The Other Woman (1954) and Bait (1954). The following year, she made two more films, Hold Back Tomorrow (1955) which was termed strange and Women's Prison (1955). Although a second class movie, it fared well at the box-office because of the subject matter and Cleo. Other than that, it did not have a lot going for it. In 1957, Cleo starred in her final film, along with her sister, Mara Lea, called Hit and Run (1957). She had star billing, but it was another box-office bomb.

Then, Cleo left the motion picture industry forever. She married a real estate tycoon in 1961 and settled down to a life of being a socialite and domesticity. Less than a week before her 49th birthday, Cleo Moore died of a heart attack on October 25, 1973 in Inglewood, California. To her legions of fans, she remains their favorite sex symbol of the 1950s and others languish knowing that her talent could have sent her to loftier heights instead of being wasted in minor roles in substandard B movies.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Spouse (2)

Herbert Heftler (1961 - 25 October 1973) (her death) (1 child)
Palmer Long (1944 - 1944) (six weeks)

Trade Mark (4)

Platinum blonde hair
Voluptuous figure
Lisp, breathless voice
Her southern drawl

Trivia (7)

Sister of actress Mara Lea.
Was engaged in a long-running personal feud with fellow starlet Anita Ekberg.
Made headlines in the 1950s when she announced her future candidacy for Governor of Louisiana. She never did run for Governor yet many reference books and sources claim she did.
Was considered for the role of Miss Caswell in All About Eve (1950), which ultimately went to Marilyn Monroe.
Found success as a real estate businesswoman after her screen career ended with Hit and Run (1957).
Following her untimely death, she was interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.
Cleo Moore died on October 25, 1973, less than a week from what would have been her 49th birthday on October 31.

Personal Quotes (2)

You know, just because you're a blonde type doesn't mean you can't suddenly do serious parts. I mean, Jane Wyman did a lot of silly parts for years and then all of a sudden went serious and was tremendous. I'm just hoping I don't get typed for those creature movies - you know, "The Thing from Outer Sputnik" and so on.
My biggest publicity stunt was that famous five-minute television kiss I engaged in with disk jockey Jack Eigen. Our lips met for all of five minutes on the television screen, and that cost poor Jack his job. The station was flooded with protesting phone calls and telegrams.

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