EXPIRED: 04/25/10 – Dorothy Provine, 75, was born in Deadwood, South Dakota where she was an amateur stage actress while attending the University of Washington.
From Deadwood she went to Hollywood, and within 3 days of arriving she was cast in her first movie, “The Bonnie Parker Story” in which she played the better half of Bonnie & Clyde. A year later, in 1959, she appeared in “The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock,” which was Lou Costello’s last screen appearance.
But it was later films that she is best known for.
Provine played Emmeline Marcus Finch, the only character in the 1963 film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” not obsessed with finding $350,000 in buried treasure. As Milton Berle’s wife and Ethel Merman’s daughter in the movie, she was one of the highlights of a rich cast.
She followed the bigscreen adulation with a part on the small screen – Pinky Pinkham, the high-kicking flapper in the 1960s TV series “The Roaring 20s.”
Other movie credits included “Riot in Juvenile Prison,” “Who’s Minding the Mint?” “Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die,” “Good Neighbor Sam,” “That Darn Cat!,” “The Great Race” and “Never a Dull Moment.” She also starred in an early TV series, “The Alaskans” with a young Roger Moore.
Interestingly, Provine also had a musical career overseas with two hits in the United Kingdom in the early 60’s. “Don’t Bring Lulu” charted at #17 in 1961, and “Crazy Words, Crazy Tune” reached#45 a year later.
Provine married director Robert Day in 1968 and retired from acting, moved to an island off of Seattle and led a very quiet life. She didn’t socialize much and many of her neighbors didn’t even know her, and certainly didn’t know she was a former Hollywood star.
To keep in line with her privacy, there will be no funeral.