Biography

Most casual film fans know one of two facts about stage and film actress Betsy Blair. (1): She was the first wife of musical comedy star Gene Kelly. (2): She played the homely blind date of Ernest Borgnine in Marty (1955). Less well known is the fact that Ms. Blair had quite an active personal and professional life after both Gene and Marty. Responding to praise from European critics to her Marty performance, Betsy relocated on the Continent, appearing in such Italian films as The Outcry (1957) and Senilita (1961). She also took as her second husband director Karel Reisz, of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Morgan fame. In later years, Betsy Blair returned to the screen following a long absence, opposite Tom Berenger and Debra Winger, in the Joe Eszterhas- scripted Betrayed (1988), It marked one of her final screen performances. She died in 2009 at age 86. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi