b. Ella Geisman, 7 October 1917, the Bronx, New York City, New York, USA, d. 8 July 2006, Ojai, California, USA. An attractive actress and singer with a distinctive husky voice, Allyson was often cast as the archetypal cute girl-next-door, and is probably best remembered for her portrayal of the band leader’s wife (opposite James Stewart) in The Glenn Miller Story (1954). Allyson was raised by her mother, who worked as a waitress to make ends meet. At the age of nine she was confined to a wheelchair for a time after being injured by a falling tree, and took up dancing to strengthen her back. In the late 30s and early 40s she had small roles in the Broadway musicals Sing Out The News, Very Warm For May, Higher And Higher and Panama Hattie, and had a leading part in Best Foot Forward (1941). She recreated her role in the latter show for the 1943 film version, and in the same year appeared on screen in Girl Crazy and the multi-star extravaganza Thousands Cheer. From that point, she starred in a string of mostly MGM musicals, including Meet The People, Two Girls And A Sailor, Music For Millions, Two Sisters From Boston, Till The Clouds Roll By, Good News, Words And Music, The Glenn Miller Story, You Can’t Run Away From It and The Opposite Sex. In addition, she appeared in an equal number of straight, and rather sugary, films, such as the 1949 remake of Little Women and the dramatic and highly emotional The Shrike (1955), with Jose Ferrer. She and her husband, actor Dick Powell, were active on US television throughout the 50s and early 60s but after his death in 1963 Allyson withdrew from public life for a time. Later she continued to work in films, nightclubs, and on stage and television.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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