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October 16, 1920
Stephens County, Oklahoma, United States
|Died||June 18, 2016(aged 95)|
|Other names||Rhodanelle Rader|
Phillip M. Gabriel
Joseph Lewis-Cox (divorced)
|Parent(s)||Mr. and Mrs. L.M. Rader|
Sharon Douglas (born Rhoda-Nelle Rader; October 16, 1920 – June 18, 2016) was an American film and radio actress, most active in the 1940s and 1950s.
The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.M. Rader, Douglas was born in Stephens County, Oklahoma. (A newspaper article about her high school graduation gives her first name as Rhodanelle.) She graduated from Las Cruces Union High School in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
She moved to Hollywood in 1939, struck up a friendship with Hedda Hopper, and became her protégé, with regular appearances on Hopper's popular 1940s radio show. Her stage name was chosen in tribute to her mother's Scottish ancestry. Hopper had NBC hire Douglas to play Lana Turner in a radio biography of her early life, and later introduced her to the RKO movie mogul Howard Hughes, who took her personally under his wing, pitching her as a rival to Jane Greer.
Douglas's earliest roles in film were bit parts, but in 1942 was offered a lead role in A Gentleman After Dark, opposite Brian Donlevy. Other good parts followed, but radio was where Douglas "really found her métier", in long-running serials such as 1944's The Gallant Heart, and the 132-week World War II run of The Life of Riley, starring William Bendix and a "monumental success". She portrayed Babs, Riley's daughter, in the program.
Other roles on television included Bobby's girlfriend in The Remarkable Miss Tuttle, Millie Anderson in A Day in the Life of Dennis Day,: 94 Mabel in Joan Davis Time,: 176 Virginia Brickel in My Mother's Husband,: 247 and Terry Burton in The Second Mrs. Burton.: 299 Her other work in radio included The Abbott and Costello Show.
On July 30, 1946, Douglas married Lebanese-American producer Edward Nassour in Hollywood, California. They had four children together. In 1962, he committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart with a steak knife. Douglas had two other short marriages, both of which ended in divorce.
- "Sharon Douglas, actress – obituary". The Telegraph. 2016-07-07. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- "Cruces Film Actress Weds in Hollywood". Las Cruces Sun-News. New Mexico, Las Cruces. August 1, 1946. p. 3. Retrieved July 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Sharon Douglas, actress – obituary". The Telegraph. July 7, 2016.
- "81 Receive Diplomas at L.C. High School Tonight". Las Cruces Sun-News. New Mexico, Las Cruces. May 25, 1939. p. 1. Retrieved July 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Profile". Sunday Times Signal. Zanesville, OH. August 20, 1944. p. 13. Retrieved July 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "(untitled brief)". Belvidere Daily Republican. Belvidere, IL. July 16, 1942. p. 5. Retrieved July 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc.; ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4. P.5.
- Lentz, Harris III (September 2016). "Obituaries: Sharon Douglas, 85". Classic Images (495): 56.
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