Tuesday, April 27, 2010
RIP Dorothy Provine
Reclusive Actress, Bainbridge Island Resident Dorothy Provine Dies
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Dorothy Provine, part Hollywood blond bombshell and part girl next door, has died.
The Bainbridge Island resident and former film and television actress succumbed to emphysema on Sunday morning at Hospice of Kitsap County in Bremerton, according to her husband, veteran director Robert Day.
She was 75, according to her husband.
“Beautiful,” was how a broken-hearted Day responded when asked to describe his wife, best-known for her role in the 1963 blockbuster “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.”
Day said he married Provine in Las Vegas 43 years ago, and soon after she left acting. They had one son.
“I mean, we both loved each other so much,” Day said.
The couple came to Bainbridge Island about 20 years ago, and both, especially Dorothy, kept very much to themselves.
“She was very reserved. We really didn’t socialize very much,” Day said.
But they enjoyed their private world.
The couple used to go for drives on the island, and she loved watching movies, but even more, enjoying a good book.
“That was her main joy,” Day said.
The couple lived on Finch Road, and their son lived on the same property.
Provine was at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton last week.
“She was clearly suffering,” said her attending physician, Dr. Rana Tan.
Tan is also the director of “Cabaret” at Bremerton Community Theatre. On Thursday, nine cast members appeared at the hospital, and with a piano moved from the lobby to Provine’s second-floor room, they sang song after song from the popular musical. Provine, still stunning, slim and blond hair in a ponytail, smiled widely and wiggled her toes in delight as she sat up in bed and listened.
“We probably sang about six, six or seven songs,” Tan tallied. “She was absolutely beside herself.”
But the “Cabaret” cast members, perhaps unknowingly, were singing the final swan song for a famous actress.
“I think it was a greater experience for us,” Tan said.
A little more than two days later, Provine was dead.
Provine was born Jan. 20, 1935, in Deadwood, S.D. and attended the University of Washington. She was at home both on the big screen and on the one in living rooms.
Her flawless face with wide smile and blond bouffant were common on TV during the 1950s and 1960s. But it was her role as Pinky Pinkham, the not-to-be-forgotten flapper in “The Roaring ‘20s” that captured the imagination of many.
Some of her movies included “The Bonnie Parker Story” (1958), a role she got just three days after arriving in Hollywood, according to the Internet Movie Database at imdb.com. Movies that followed included “Riot in Juvenile Prison” (1959); “Live Fast, Die Young” (1958) and “The 30-Foot Bride of Candy Rock “(1959). Her last movies before her early departure from acting included “Good Neighbor Sam” (1964); and “Never a Dull Moment” (1968).
Fittingly, no public service is planned.
PROVINE, Dorothy (Michele Dorothy Provine)
Born: 1/20/1937, Deadwood, South Dakota, U.S.A.
Died: 4/25/2010, Bremerton, Washington, U.S.A.
Dorothy Provines' westerns - actress:
Man Without a Gun (TV) - 1957
Lawman (TV) - 1958 (Julie Preston)
Wagon Train (TV) - 1958, 1959 (Susie)
Cimarron City (TV) - 1959 (Laura Winfield)
The Rough Riders (TV) - 1959 (Holly Morrow)
The Texan (TV) - 1959 (Chalmers)
Colt .45 (TV) - 1959 (Ann Donnelly)
Sugarfoot (TV) - 1959 (Ada)
Bronco (TV) - 1959 (Gilda Harper)
The Alaskans (TV) - 1959 - 1960 (Rocky Shaw)