Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Phyllis Coates moved to Hollywood as a teenager with intentions of enrolling at UCLA. A chance encounter with Ken Murray in a Hollywood & Vine restaurant landed her in the comedian's vaudeville show. She started out as a chorus girl and worked her way up to doing skits before moving on to work for veteran showman Earl Carroll and later touring with the USO. Coates got some of her first motion picture experience in comedy short subjects at Warner Brothers and then graduated to roles in early '50s films. After a one-season stint with the Man of Steel (George Reeves on Adventures of Superman (1952)), she began to divide her time among TV, B-movie assignments and serials at Republic.
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