Fear and Desire actress Leith dies

14 November, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Fear and Desire actress Leith dies

Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubricks first film ‘Fear and Desire’, which he later disavowed, has passed away. She was 94.

According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in California on November 4, reports Variety.

Born on October 1925, Leith met Kubrick in the 1950s when he shot her for the cover of Look magazine.

"Fear and Desire", which received moderately positive critical reviews upon its release, was not a box office success. After distributor Joseph Burstyn died, the film fell out of circulation and Kubrick is said to have destroyed the original negative and any other prints he could find.

Some original prints still exist, however, and Film Forum organised a screening in 1994.

Following her appearance in Fear and Desire, Leith was signed by 20th Century Fox, starring in Richard Fleischer's ‘Violent Saturday’ (1955) with Victor Mature and Gerd Oswald's ‘A Kiss Before Dying’ opposite Robert Wagner and Jonanne Woodward.

She also appeared in ‘Toward the Unknown’ opposite William Holden.

One of her best known roles in recent years was in Joseph Green's 1962 low-budget science fiction cult classic ‘The Brain That Wouldn't Die’, in which she played the disembodied head of the main character's fiancée, which he keeps alive after discovering how to keep human body parts from dying.

Leith left show business in 1960 when she married Canadian actor Donald Harron, but following their divorce, she returned to the screen, appearing in numerous television series through 1980, including Starsky and Hutch, Baretta, Police Woman, The White Shadow, Barnaby Jones and Condominium.

She also remained close to her stepdaughters, Martha Harron and Mary Harron, director of American Psycho and Charlie Says.

 


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