She only released one album, but what a beauty.
But who IS she? Who exactly was Lizabeth Scott?
Few if any classic Hollywood stars have made more film noir movies than Scott, the sultry, deep voiced actress pictured above.
Among femme fatales of the genre, Scott had stiff competition from such durable stalwarts as Marie Windsor and Audrey Totter, not to mention Gloria Grahame and the incomparable Jane Greer. But we believe Scott came out on top.
She has the distinction of not only making more noir films than any other actress, she is the only woman who was actually the STAR of a noir film, 1949’s Too Late for Tears.
In other noir films the woman is often just the supporting player to the male lead. But in Too Late for Tears Scott IS the lead and is supported by three men, Dan Duryea, Don DeFore and Arthur Kennedy.
Scott portrays a greedy housewife, who bumps off her husband (Kennedy) to keep a valise full of cash someone tossed into her open convertible. The honest husband (poor fellow!) wanted to turn in the cash to the cops. Scott, it turns out, is in cahoots with a sleazy private eye (Duryea), who slaps her around.
It’s a terrific film, with double cross after double cross, and one of Joe’s favorites. Needless to say he fell under the spell of the sexy Scott, and followed her career from then on. He’s seen every one of the 21 films she made.
In many of her films she portrayed sexy night club singers. Her voice was always dubbed. But after her film career ended in 1957, to prove that she really could sing, she released an album which Joe ran out to buy (its attractive cover is pictured at the top of this blog).
And it proved she was a damn good singer. Her voice was just perfect for the torch songs she performed so convincingly.
Scott was born Emma Matzo in Scranton, Pa. She made her way to New York for drama lessons and landed the role of understudy to Tallulah Bankhead in Skin of Our Teeth.
Although Bankhead never missed a performance, one of her subsequent replacements did, and the show’s producers called on Scott to fill in. She even got the job in the Boston company of the touring show, and it was there she dropped the E in Elizabeth, in order to be different.
And different she was. She was noticed by Hal Wallis when she made a screen test at Warners. When Wallis moved over to Paramount he signed her, and guided her career.
She got star billing from the get go. And in two years she was sharing top billing with Humphrey Bogart in 1947’s Dead Reckoning. Scott’s role was a part originally intended for the studio’s homegrown star, Rita Hayworth.
Scott’s career was later dented by “scandal” because, as film noir specialist Eddie Muller put it, Offscreen, Liz reserved the pillow talk for other women.
Scott had been “outed” by Confidential Magazine back in the 1950s. She sued the magazine for $2.5 million (the matter was supposedly settled out of court). It should be noted that she has never confirmed or denied the stories about her sexuality.
Her career seemed to stall. By the Sixties she was living in seclusion but resurfaced in British director Mike Hodges’ most entertaining 1972 film, Pulp.
Scott pretty much lived in quiet retirement until the end. She died on Jan. 31, 2015 of heart failure in Los Angeles. She was 92.