Actress Terry Moore is perhaps best known for her marriage to eccentric billionaire magnate Howard Hughes. And her starring role as the vampire Betty Anderson in the original Peyton Place film, which hit theaters in 1957.
Moore is an Academy Award-nominated actress who earned her Best Supporting Actress nod in 1952 for her performance in Daniel Mann’s drama flock Come Back, Little Sheba. Moore, who is now 92 years old, is also known for being one of the last surviving stars from what’s known as the Golden Age of Hollywood.
She got her start in showbiz as a child actress but went on to become a prolific star of the silver screen after being signed to Columbia pictures. She later joined forces with 20th Century Fox. And put out several more box office gems, which we’ll touch on in just a bit.
If you’re a fan of Terry Moore or just happen to have a soft spot in your heart for nonagenarian actresses from Hollywood’s most iconic age. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at some rather rare photos of this now-legendary star while discussing her prolific life and career.
Terry Moore Got Her Start As A Child Actress
Terry Moore born on January 7, 1929, in Glendale, California – a city tucked away in the Verdugo Mountains region of Los Angeles County. Her birth name Helen Luella Koford, and raised by her Mormon family in LA.
She worked as a child model before she made her Hollywood debut in the 1940 film Maryland. At that time, she billed as a few different names; including Judy Ford, Jan Ford, and January Ford, before finally settling on the name Terry Moore in 1948.
Some of Moore’s earliest appearances in films included turns in 1940s The Howards of Virginia. 1942s On The Sunny Side and A Haunting We Will Go, 1943s True to Life, the three 1944 films Gaslight, Sweet and Low-Down, and The Since You Went Away, 1945s Son of Lassie, and 1946s The Devil on Wheels. She also made two uncredited appearances in the films Heartaches which hit theaters in 1948, and Summer Holiday, which premiered later that year.
Moore also worked in radio throughout the 1940s. Most notably, she played the character Bumps Smith on the program The Smiths of Hollywood.
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Moore’s Work With Columbia Pictures
Moore’s already thriving career received an extra bit of oomph when she signed to a long-term contract with Columbia Pictures. She got the lead role in the 1948 film The Return of October alongside Glenn Ford. In that film, she played a character named Terry Ramsey which actually led to her choosing the name Terry as her stage name.
Moore temporarily borrowed by RKO Pictures to star in the 1949 family-friendly flick Might Joe Young; a film about an enormous gorilla that ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
Famed Hungarian-American director George Pal, known for his fantasy and science-fiction features. Then cast her in his 1950 comedy film The Great Rupert, which starred Jimmy Durante and Tom Drake.
While contracted with Columbia, Moore co-starred with Mickey Rooney in the 1950 comedy He’s a Cockeyed Wonder. That same year, she also appeared in the noir film Gambling House alongside Victor Mature over at RKO.
In 1951, she appeared in the three films Two of a Kind, Sunny Side of the Street, and The Barefoot Mailman.
In 1952, Moore played the character Marie Buckholder in Daniel Mann’s directorial debut Come Back, Little Sheba; Which produced by Hal Wallis, who previously produced classics like The Adventures of Robin Hood and Casablanca. The film also featured performances by Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth as Moore’s co-stars.
For her moving performance in Come Back, Little Sheba, Moore nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Moore then began making appearances in television programs such as The Ford Television Theater. And for the July 6, 1953 issue of Life Magazine. She appeared on the publications cover accompanied by a caption that read ‘Hollywood’s sexy tomboy’. Her likeness also used for the cover of the second issue of the My Diary romance comic book series; which published in March 1950.
Moore’s Time 20th Century Fox
In 1953, Elia Kazan, a director, producer, screenwriter, and actor dubbed by The New York Times as being ‘one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history’; cast Moore in the leading female role in his film Man on a Tightrope. Moore would later say that his was her favorite film that she ever starred in.
She was then given the female lead in the film 12-Mile Reef; which happened to be the second film to be produced in CinemaScope. She rounded out 1953 by starring alongside Tyrone Power in the adventure film King of the Khyber Rifles.
In 1955, Moore landed a supporting role in the Fred Astaire-led film Daddy Long Legs. That same year, she was given the lead in the thrillers Shack Out on 101 and Portrait of Alison.
In 1956, Moore reunited with her 12-Mile Reef co-star Robert Wagner in Between Heaven and Hell. She then guest-starred on several television shows like The 20th Century-Fox Hour, Playhouse 90, and Rawhide.
Fox then cast her in the 1957 films Bernadine – which starred Pat Boon – and Peyton Place – which featured Lana Turner. Fox then gave her roles in the two 1959 films, A Private’s Affair and Cast a Long Shadow.
The 1960s Onward
In 1960, Moore appeared in the films Why Must I Die and Platinum High School. She even produced the former. She then made guest appearances on Checkmate and The Rebel. For a stint, she had a regular role portraying a rancher’s daughter in the NBC Western series Empire. Moore also made an appearance on Here’s Hollywood, a popular NBC Interview program.
A few other appearances from the 1960s include turns in films and shows like 1965s Black Spurs. 1966s Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theater and 1968s A Man Called Dagger.
The 1970s weren’t particularly eventful for Moore’s acting career. But she did appear in offerings such as 1970s Quarantined, 1972s Bonanza, The Daredevil, and 1978s Death Dimension.
Moore experienced a bit of a career comeback in the 1980s with appearances in films like 1982s Double Exposure. 1985s Hellhole, and 1989s American Boyfriends. During this era of her career, she also appeared on shows like Jake Spanner: Private Eye, Knight Rider, The Love Boat, True Confessions, Fantasy Island, and Wiseguy.
When she was 55 years old, Moore posed nude for Playboys 1984 issue. Moore told Fox News that it was her husband’s idea for her to pose for the magazine. She ended up very satisfied with the photoshoot and called the resulting shots some of the best pictures that she ever had taken.
In the 90s, Moore had parts in films and television series such as Murder She Wrote, Marilyn and Me, American Southern, Second Chances, Mighty Joe Young, and Final Voyage.
She also produced the 1998 film Nandi as well as the popular television series America’s Funniest Home Videos.
In the 2000s, Moore appeared in films such as 2000s Stageghost, 2006s Kill Your Darlings, 2010s Dewitt and Maria, 2015s Aimy in a Cage, and 2019s Silent Life. She additionally had guest-starring roles in the television series True Detective and Ray Donovan.
Moore’s Personal Life And Relationship With Howard Hughes
In 1951, Moore married to the football player and Heisman Trophy winner Glenn Davis; but their union only lasted about a year. Her next marriage was to Eugene McGarth, with whom she tied the knot with in 1956. That marriage lasted three years. A year after divorcing McGarth, Moore married Stuart Cramer. The couple ended up having two children together, Grant Cramer, who followed in his parent’s footsteps and also became an actor, and Stuart Cramer IV. Moore filed for divorce with Cramer in 1972.
In 1979, Moore married to a man named Richard F. Carey down in Mexico, but just a few days after they exchanged vowels, he disappeared after swindling her and several other people out of their money. In 1992, Moore married Jerry Rivers, and the two remained together until his death nine years later in 2001.
Moore’s most publicized relationship, however, was with Howard Hughes. The two married in 1949 at a ceremony that performed by a ship captain out in international waters. Moore later claimed that Hughes destroyed the ship’s log that documented their marriage, and they separated from each other in 1956. Technically speaking, though, she and Hughes never officially got divorced.
Touching on this issue, Moore later said that she didn’t care whether or not she was a bigamist because her desire to have children was just that strong.
After Hughes died, Moore tried to claim that she was Hughe’s widow, but the Texas court system rejected her claim. It determined that her claim that she’s still married to Hughes at the time is inconsistent with a claim that she made following their separation; In which Moore had professed to have received a property settlement from Hughes.
Even so, Hughes’s heirs eventually acknowledged that Moore had, in fact, had a long-term relationship with Howard and agreed to pay Moore a financial settlement. Moore claims the settlement was ‘no more than eight figures’ while a biography of Howard Hughes implied that it was likely closer to $350,000.
In the early 2000s, when Leonardo di Caprio was preparing for his role as Hughes in The Aviator, Moore received a surprise phone call from the Titanic actor who was hoping to gain a better idea of what the real Howard Hughes was like. Moore provided him with a few recordings of Hughes’s voice, and when he heard them, she claims that he proceeded to imitate him perfectly.
Are you a fan of the work of actress Terry Moore? If so, what are some of your favorite films that she has appeared in? Let us know in the comments.
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