Born 1917 in Joliet, Illinois, American actress Audrey Totter began her acting career in radio in the latter 1930s in Chicago. She played in soap operas, including Painted Dreams, Road of Life, Ma Perkins, and Bright Horizon.
Totter made her film debut in Main Street After Dark (1945) and established herself as a popular female lead in the 1940s. By the late 1950s, her film career was in decline, though she continued to work steadily for television.
Although Totter performed in various film genres, she became most widely known to movie audiences for her work in film noir. Looking back, Totter stated in August 1999, “The bad girls were so much fun to play. I would’t have wanted to play Coleen’s good-girl parts.”
Totter played a continuing role from 1972 to 1976, that of Nurse Wilcox, the efficient head nurse, in the CBS television series Medical Center, with James Daly and Chad Everett. Her last acting role was as a nun, Sister Paul, in a 1987 episode (“Old Habits Die Hard”) of CBS’s Murder, She Wrote, with Angela Lansbury.
Totter died of a stroke, eight days before her 96th birthday, in 2013. Take a look at these vintage photos to see the beauty of young Audrey Totter in the 1940s.