Blue-eyed, blonde, demure-looking 50s leading lady, the daughter of screenwriter Stephen Morehouse Avery and his wife Evelyn. Phyllis was said to have spent her childhood in France and in California. After graduating, she studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and first appeared on Broadway in 'Orchids Preferred' in 1937. Her screen debut happened quite a long time later in Queen for a Day (1951), adapted from a popular daytime Mutual Broadcasting Company radio program. In her next film, the high voltage melodrama Ruby Gentry (1952), she was cast as 'the other woman' (the one of 'socially acceptable' standing) opposite muscular Charlton Heston and fiery Jennifer Jones. Her only other notable big screen outing was the musical biopic The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956) in which she played the wife of composer/songwriter Ray Henderson. When interviewed, Phyllis balked at being called 'sweet' and proudly proclaimed to have played plenty of bad girls, at least on television (citing an episode of Peter Gunn (1958) in which she tries to frame her gangster husband for murder). Still, she remained typically featured as wholesome gals, never more so than as Peggy McNutley (the name was changed to 'McNulty' in season 2), wife of a punctilious, hopelessly absent-minded English and Drama (Ray Milland) professor at a fictitious all-girls college in The Ray Milland Show (1953). Phyllis continued her career as a prolific guest star of TV anthologies and crime dramas and reinvented herself as a successful real estate broker in west L.A. during the 60s (often selling houses to people she had worked with in her acting past). Her second husband was Don Taylor with whom she had once co-starred on Broadway in a 1943 U.S. Army Air Forces production of 'Winged Victory'.