The actress and singer died today at the age of 97. I have seen many of her films and they were easy to enjoy. Her three romantic comedies with Rock Hudson were great fun. There was something very appealing about her but while she turned in some good dramatic performances in some films, her enduring image of the wholesome girl next door stuck to her, aided by her rejection of some great roles.
She turned down the Sound of Music, declaring herself too American to play a nun from Salzburg. But nor was she ready to change her image and embrace the times: rejecting the role of Mrs Robinson in The Graduate. She said she found the script to be “vulgar and offensive”.
After she retired in 1975, she devoted her life to animal welfare.
Here is an appreciation of her life and career.