R.I.P. Jean Porter, actress from 'The Abbott & Costello Show'
The '40s and '50s starlet passed away at the age of 95 on January 13.
Image: The Everett Collection
In the 1940s, Jean Porter became a key player and starlet in MGM films featuring all the greats, including Humphrey Bogart, Roy Rogers and Gene Tierney. Her broad smile and wide eyes helped her stand out in movies like Bathing Beauty, The Youngest Profession, The Left Hand of God and many other films stretching a near 20-year span from 1936–1955.
Within that stretch, Porter also landed a leading role as Ruthie in Abbott and Costello in Hollywood. This part led to her first TV role in 1953 in The Abbott and Costello Show episode "South of Dixie." We see her first as a diner waitress attempting to serve Lou Costello before her shift ends. This leads to a delightful street scene where Costello does a quick change to go undercover as a blind man who enlists Porter's help getting to his destination.
After the spark between Porter and Costello that was struck on the big screen flashed again on TVs, Porter went on to feature in top-tier shows through the rest of the '50s, accepting both dramatic and comedic roles, including appearances on 77 Sunset Strip, The Red Skelton Hour and Climax!
Her last TV part was also her final role as an actress, in the 1961 episode of Sea Hunt called "Imposter." The actress then went on to write several books on her experiences in Hollywood, including co-authoring a book on the art of acting, On Screen Acting.
On Saturday, January 13, Jean Porter passed away from natural causes at the age of 95.