Geraldine Brooks

Happy birthday to actress Geraldine Brooks, born Oct. 29, 1925 in New York, NY. Brooks had a long acting career that spanned four decades, but she only appeared in less than a dozen feature films. GeraldineBrooksFortunately for us, four of those features were noir films. Brooks started acting on Broadway in the early 1940s, and was brought to Hollywood by Warner Bros. in 1946. She made her film debut in the noir thriller Cry Wolf (1947) with Barbara Stanwyck and Errol Flynn, and followed with another noir, Possessed (1948), playing opposite Joan Crawford. Crawford, who had a reputation for being difficult to work with, took a liking to Brooks and the two became lifelong friends. After making two more films that didn’t garner much attention, Brooks asked to be released from her Warner Bros. contract and became a freelancer. In 1949, she was cast as Joan Bennett’s daughter in the noir film, The Reckless Moment, with James Mason, but acting opportunities were scarce, so Brooks traveled to Europe and made two films for Italian production companies. She returned to the US in 1951 and began working almost exclusively in television. However, before the decade ended, Brooks appeared in two final films, one of which was the noir classic The Green Glove (1952), starring opposite Glenn Ford. Brooks was active in television for the remainder of her career, appearing in dozens of series throughout the 1960s and 70s, and also returned to the stage in 1970. Together with her second husband, screenwriter Budd Schulberg (On The Waterfront), she opened a writers workshop for the underprivileged in Los Angeles, and also wrote poetry for children. Brooks had an older sister, actress Gloria Stroock, who also had a long career in television. Brooks died of cancer in 1977 at age 51. Joan Crawford spoke at her memorial service.

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