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January 17, 2024

30 Gorgeous Photos of Phyllis Kirk in the 1950s

Born 1927 in Syracuse, New York, American actress Phyllis Kirk began her career on Broadway before embarking on a television and film career. Among 1949 stage appearances were My Name is Aquilon in New York and the road company of Present Laughter before beginning her long-term contract with Samuel Goldwyn in Hollywood that summer.

Kirk is best known for her many roles throughout the 1950s. She appeared with Vincent Price in the 3D horror film House of Wax (1953). Her most notable television role was opposite Peter Lawford in The Thin Man (1957–1959). A newspaper columnist described what distinguished Kirk’s role in the program: “[I]t’s her brains that keep her flying high on ‘The Thin Man’ series.” She also received an Emmy nomination as Best Actress in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series in 1959.

Kirk also appeared with Jerry Lewis in his 1957 film The Sad Sack and the 1956 film Back from Eternity. She was a regular on The Red Buttons Show and appeared as a guest on some television programs, including an episode of The Twilight Zone (“A World of His Own”). As her acting career slowed down, Kirk began serving as an activist for various social causes. She vocally opposed death row inmate Caryl Chessman’s death sentence and visited Chessman in prison until his execution in 1960. After the Watts Riots in 1965, she funded preschool programs for underprivileged families in South Los Angeles.

Kirk made her last onscreen appearance in a 1970 episode of The F.B.I. before leaving show business altogether to enter public relations. She worked as a publicist for CBS News, and retired in 1992.

Kirk died in 2006 of a cerebral aneurysm at age 79 in Woodland Hills, California. Take a look at these gorgeous photos to see portraits of a young Phyllis Kirk in the 1950s.

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