On This Day in History, March 8: ‘Dead End’ No Dead End for Brooklyn Actress

March 6, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Clair Trevor was born Claire Wernlinger in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on March 8, 1909.

Trevor appeared in many films between Life in the Raw (’33) and How to Murder Your Wife (’65), after which she retired almost completely from show biz.

She won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress in Key Largo (’48). She was nominated as Best Supporting Actress in Dead End (’37) and again for The High and the Mighty (’54).

Her Oscar-winning role in Key Largo was as Gaye Dawn, former show girl and Edward G. Robinson’s moll. Trevor played the part to perfection.

Trevor’s first five years in films earned her the title of “The Queen of the Bs.” Her role in Dead End as Francey, the moll of gangster Baby Face Martin, ended all that and proved Trevor as an actress of great talent.

Later came Stagecoach, a classic western in which she was cast as the archetypal good-bad girl — the “lady of the evening” who, cast out of town, finds hope for better things on the long, suspense-filled trip. Trevor was great, but filmgoers gave John Wayne much more attention in the film.

Claire Trevor died of respiratory ailments on April 8, 2000.

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