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Audrey Totter

Most widely known to movie audiences for her work in films noir.

Audrey Totter



Main Street After Dark

Dangerous Partners 


Ziegfeld Follies 

The Hidden Eye 

Her Highness and the Bellboy 

The Sailor Takes a Wife 




The Postman Always Rings Twice 

The Cockeyed Miracle 

The Secret Heart 



Lady in the Lake 

The Beginning or the End 

The Unsuspected 

High Wall



The Saxon Charm 



Alias Nick Beal 

The Set-Up 

Any Number Can Play 






Under the Gun 

The Blue Veil 

FBI Girl 



The Sellout 

Assignment – Paris! 

My Pal Gus 



Woman They Almost Lynched 

Man in the Dark 

Cruisin’ Down the River 

Mission Over Korea

Champ for a Day 



Massacre Canyon 



Women’s Prison 

A Bullet for Joey 

The Vanishing American 



Ghost Diver 



Jet Attack 

Man or Gun 



The Carpetbaggers 









The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again 


Audrey Totter was never nominated for an Academy Award.

When today’s stars curse, you don’t even hear them, but when Clark Gable said ‘damn,’ you gasped. ~ Audrey Totter

Audrey Totter was born on December 20, 1917 and grew up in Joliet, Illinois. Her parents were John Totter and Ida Mae Totter.

Totter graduated from Joliet High School, where she “acted in a number of school dramas.” According to Totter, she was a Methodist who also began her career performing in several productions for her local church as well as being involved with the YWCA players.

Totter began her acting career in radio in the latter 1930s in Chicago, only forty miles northeast of Joliet. She played in soap operas, including Painted Dreams, Road of Life, Ma Perkins, and Bright Horizon.

Following success in Chicago and New York City, Totter was signed to a seven-year film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She made her film debut in Main Street After Dark (1945). Although she performed in various film genres, she became most widely known to movie audiences for her work in film noirs.

By the early 1950s, the tough-talking “dames” she was best known for portraying were no longer fashionable, and as MGM began streamlining its roster of contract players and worked towards creating more family-themed films, Totter was released from her contract. She reportedly was dissatisfied with her MGM career and agreed to appear in Any Number Can Play only after Clark Gable intervened. After leaving MGM, she worked for Columbia Pictures and 20th Century Fox, but the quality of her films dropped, and by the late 1950s, her film career was in decline, though she continued to work steadily for television.

TV gave her career a slight boost in the 1960s and 1970s, including regular roles in Cimarron City (1958) and Our Man Higgins (1962) as a suburban mom opposite Stanley Holloway’s British butler. After a period of semi-retirement, she came back to TV to replace Jayne Meadows in the popular television series Medical Center in a continuing role from 1972-76, that of Nurse Wilcox, the efficient head nurse. Her last acting role was as a nun, Sister Paul, in a 1987 episode (“Old Habits Die Hard”) of CBS’s Murder, She Wrote, with Angela Lansbury.

Totter was married to Dr. Leo Fred, assistant dean of the UCLA School of Medicine from 1953 until his death in 1995; they had one child. Their granddaughter, Eden Totter, is a voice artist.

Totter died of a stroke on December 12, 2013, eight days before her 96th birthday. She was cremated, and her ashes scattered at sea.

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