Noreen Nash, actress in 'Giant' and 'The Southerner', dies at 99

Noreen Nash, actress in ‘Giant’ and ‘The Southerner’, dies at 99

Noreen Nash, a starlet of the 40s and 50s who appeared in famous films such as The southerner, Giant AND The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold, is dead. He was 99 years old.

Nash died Tuesday of natural causes at her Beverly Hills home, said her eldest son, Lee Siegel Jr The Hollywood Reporter.

Nash worked on approximately two dozen feature films during his twenty-year career, including several “B” films such as Ghost from space (1953), where he played a kidnapped scientist in a film shot at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

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The blue-eyed, dark-haired Nash also starred as the wife of a Palm Springs tennis club owner on the CBS Summer Replacement Series The Charles Farrell Show – represented I love Lucy in 1956 – and appeared in episodes of Hopalong Cassidy, The Abbott and Costello Show, My little Margie, Trawl AND 77 Sunset Street.

Nash played the daughter of J. Carrol Naish’s character in Jean Renoir The southerner (1945), starring Zachary Scott in a story about a struggling cotton-farming family in 1940s Texas, and in Giant (1956), was Lona Lane, the glamorous Hollywood star who is present for the opening of the Emperador Hotel.

“What I remember most is, when I came to that film, director George Stevens and James Dean were together,” Nash recalled in an interview for the Western clippings website. “Dean did his usual mumbling and Stevens went on to say, ‘This script cost a lot of money. I want to hear those words!’ George didn’t like James’ acting style!

GIANT, Noreen Nash, 1956

Noreen Nash in a promotional shot for 1956’s Giant

Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Norabelle Jean Roth was born on April 4, 1924 in Wenatchee, Washington. Her mother, Gayle, was a teacher and her father, Albert, owned a Coca-Cola bottling plant. She was crowned the Apple Blossom Queen when she was 18, then signed with MGM after being spotted by Bob Hope’s agent at the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood.

She took the stage name Noreen Roth and has appeared in films including Crazy girl (1943) with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland; Bath beauty (1944) with Esther Williams and Basil Rathbone; by Mervyn LeRoy Thirty seconds over Tokyo (1944) with Spencer Tracy; AND Mrs Parkington (1944) with Greer Garson.

His first big role came Southerners after leaving MGM and working with Naish inspired her to once again change her stage name, she said.

Nash then went on to star in ‘Poverty Row’ garb as Producers Releasing Corp. and Eagle Lion in films including The devil on wheels (1947) alongside Darryl Hickman and Terry Moore, The big fix (1947), Assigned to danger (1948), The checkered coat (1948) and The Adventures of Casanova (1948).

He has collaborated with director Lesley Selander on four westerns: The red stallion (1947), Storm over Wyoming (1950), Road agent (1952) and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958), where its Frances Henderson kills a man with an axe.

She played the wife of Dick Shawn’s character in LeRoy’s Wake me up when it’s over (1960) before leaving acting in 1962. He earned a BA in history from UCLA in 1971, the same year his youngest son, Robert, graduated from the school.

Nash published his first novel, The 16th Century-Set For realized lovein 1980 and co-author of 2015’s Titans of the Muses: When Henry Miller Met Jean Renoir.

She was married to Lee E. Siegel, the studio medical director at Fox from 1955 to 1971, known as “Doctor to the Stars,” from 1942 until his death in 1990, and to Academy Award-nominated actor James Whitmore since 2001 until his 2009 death.

In addition to her children, survivors include her grandchildren, Sebastian, Dmitri, John and Cara, and four great-grandchildren.