Former model starred opposite Kirk Douglas, Richard Widmark, Jimmy Stewart and Alex Trebek.
Elaine Stewart, an alluring leading lady of the 1950s who went on to serve as a co-hostess of two hit game shows in the ’70s, died at her home in Beverly Hills after a long illness. She was 81.
(Elaine Stewart (born Elsy Henrietta Maria Steinberg May 31, 1930 – June 27, 2011) was an American actress and model.)
In a pair of 1954 films, Stewart starred opposite Gene Kelly and Van Johnson as nonstop talkative socialite Jane Ashton in Brigadoon and played a sexy harem princess in The Adventures of Hajji Baba, with John Derek as the title character.
The former model and Montclair, N.J., native also appeared with Kirk Douglas in the classic Hollywood insider soap The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and with Richard Widmark and Karl Malden in the basic-training set Take the High Ground! (1953).
In all, Stewart appeared in 18 films in the ’50s and graced the cover of Life magazine on March 22, 1953, in a cover story with the headline, “Budding Starlet Visits the Folks in Jersey.”
On Dec. 31, 1964, Stewart married prolific game show creator Merrill Heatter (she earlier was married to actor Bill Carter) and retired from show business to start a family. But in 1972, she returned to TV as the co-hostess of the Heatter-Quigley game show Gambit, and the pairing of Stewart and emcee Wink Martindale gave CBS a daytime hit. Later, Stewart joined Alex Trebek for NBC nighttime game show High Rollers.
Born Elsy Steinberg on May 31, 1930, Stewart beat out hundreds of young models in 1952 to earn a photo layout in See Magazine, winning the title of “Miss See,” and was signed by MGM to a film contract. That year, she landed her first film role in the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis comedy Sailor Beware.
Other film credits include Young Bess (1953) and Night Passage (1957), which starred her future Beverly Hills neighbor and fellow dog walker Jimmy Stewart. In the ’60s, she appeared in such TV dramas as Bat Masterson, The Third Man, Burke’s Law and Perry Mason.
In addition to Heatter, her husband of 46 years, Stewart is survived by their children Stewart and Gabrielle.
Take the High Ground! is a 1953 American war film directed by Richard Brooks and starring Richard Widmark and Karl Malden as drill sergeants who must transform a batch of everyday civilians into soldiers during the Korean War.
GREAT MOVIES 50.60s
9.The Adventures of Hajji Baba
The Adventures of Hajji Baba is a 1954 American adventure film directed by Don Weis and starring John Derek and Elaine Stewart. Made in Southern California, it was released on October 1, 1954. In the credits it states that the film is suggested by The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by James Justinian Morier (3 vols., London, 1824).It was the first CinemaScope film made by Allied Artists Pictures.
8.The Tattered Dress
The Tattered Dress is a 1957 CinemaScope film noir crime film released by Universal Pictures and directed by Jack Arnold. It stars Jeff Chandler, Jeanne Crain, Jack Carson, Gail Russell and Elaine Stewart.
Code Two is a 1953 film about men training to be motorcycle cops. It stars Ralph Meeker, Sally Forrest, Elaine Stewart, Robert Horton and Keenan Wynn, and was directed by Fred M. Wilcox.
Escort West is a 1959 American Western film directed by Francis D. Lyon, and starring Victor Mature, Faith Domergue, and Elaine Stewart. The movie is set after the U.S. Civil War, when a former Confederate officer, played by Victor Mature, and his daughter help some survivors of an Indian massacre. The film was released by United Artists on January 23, 1959.
It was the second of two co-productions between Batjac and Romina Productions. Their first was China Doll (1957).
The movie was filmed largely on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California, with additional footage shot on the nearby Bell Moving Picture Ranch. The site of the Bell Ranch location shoot remained a mystery for decades until it was discovered on an expedition by film location researchers in early 2015. The researchers found the location by using information from “Escort West” and the first Elvis Presley movie, Love Me Tender, which filmed its climactic sequence at the same site, known as the “Rocky Hill.”
5.The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond is a 1960 neo-noir crime film directed by Budd Boetticher. The picture marked the film debut of Dyan Cannon and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Howard Shoup.
4.A Slight Case of Larceny
Slight Case of Larceny is a 1953 comedy film directed by Don Weis, written by Jerry Davis, and starring Mickey Rooney, Eddie Bracken, Elaine Stewart, Marilyn Erskine, Douglas Fowley and Robert Burton. It was released on June 5, 1953, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
3.Sky Full of Moon
Easy-going cowpoke Harley “Tumbleweed” Williams travels to Las Vegas, where a rodeo is about to be held. Tumbleweed wants to win the prize money in bronc riding, but for the moment he needs $8 to have the full $50 entry fee for the event.
Looking for work, Tumbleweed goes to the Lucky 13 casino, run by a man named Al, where he meets the lovely Dixie Delmar, who dispenses change to the gambling customers. Tumbleweed ends up winning $40 on a slot machine, then runs up his winnings to $175 before getting greedy and losing it all.
Dixie says she’s been unable to find a job as a dancer and wants to return home to Kansas, but before she goes, she tries to coax Tumbleweed into using a drill that will enable them to get at the money inside the casino’s slots. Tumbleweed wins a $150 jackpot honestly, but Al turns up and sees the drill.
On the lam, Dixie tries to steal Tumbleweed’s hatful of silver dollars. But her conscience gets the better of her, and before leaving, she calls Al to tell him that Tumbleweed won the money fair and square. Tumbleweed returns to Vegas in time to enter the rodeo, but he loses the bronco riding contest and ends up broke, right back where he started.
2.Everything I Have Is Yours
The husband and wife dance team, Chuck and Pamela Hubbard (Gower Champion and Marge Champion), are a pair of happily married dancers. The Hubbards have dreamed for years of taking their act to Broadway, and after much hard work and perseverance, they finally get their shot at the big time, only to discover that Pamela is pregnant, and her doctor forbids her to dance..
1.Most Dangerous Man Alive
Most Dangerous Man Alive is a 1961 American science fiction film, produced by Benedict Bogeaus, directed by Allan Dwan (the final film of his long career), that stars Ron Randell, Debra Paget, and Elaine Stewart. The film was distributed by Columbia Pictures. The screenplay was written by James Leicester and Phillip Rock and is based on The Steel Monster by Phillip Rock, Michael Pate, and Leo Gordon. Michael Pate also co-wrote the script.