Evelyn Keyes passed away on July 4th. Best known for her role as Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister, Suellen, in “Gone with the Wind” she also had prominent roles in “Here Comes Mr. Jordan,” “Johnny O’Clock,” “Ladies in Retirement” and “The Jolson Story”. She never made it to the top, never quite getting the role that would have put her in the stratosphere of Barbara Stanwyck or Joan Crawford. She eventually became more famous for her private life than her professional one. Four marriages, which included directors Charles Vidor and John Houston along with bandleader Artie Shaw all ended in divorce. In her 1977 autobiography Scarlett O’Hara’s Younger Sister she comments on affairs she had with Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, David Niven plus a three-year affair with Mike Todd who would leave her for Elizabeth Taylor. This was during the period when Todd was developing “Around the World in 80 Days.” Evelyn was smart enough to invest in the film and admits that it set up her for life. Her last notable film was a small role as Tom Ewell’s wife in “The Seven Year Itch.”
She was a versatile enough actress proving herself capable of doing comedy (Here Comes Mr. Jordan) and noir style crime films like “99 River Street” and, “Johnny O’Clock.” Lesser known films but worth checking out are “The Prowler” with Van Heflin, “The Killer That Stalked New York” and “The Face Behind the Mask” with Peter Lorre. All three films are tough to find but worth seeking out.