Gloria Grahame (1925-81) was taught acting by her stage mother. She made her film debut in BLONDE FEVER (1944) and then scored her most widely praised role as the neurotic small-town girl Violet, saved from a disgraceful and disheartening future by George Bailey in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946). Her contract was sold to RKO Studios in 1947, where she was often featured in film noir pictures as a tarnished beauty with an irresistible sexual allure. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for CROSSFIRE (1947), starred with Humphrey Bogart in IN A LONELY PLACE (1950), and she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952). Grahame is possibly best remembered for her role as the mob moll in THE BIG HEAT (1953) in which she is horribly disfigured by boiling coffee thrown in her face by Lee Marvin's character. With the demise of film noir in the late '50s, Grahame was seen as difficult to cast , a woman too beautiful to be strictly evil, too naughty to be an innocent ingénue.