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Faye Emerson

Emerson in Lady Gangster
Personal information
Birth nameFaye Margaret Emerson
Birth dateJuly 8, 1917
Place of birthElizabeth, Louisiana, U.S.
Date of deathMarch 9, 1983(age 65)
Death placeDeya, Majorca, Spain
Years active1941-1961
SpouseSkitch Henderson (1950-1957)
Elliott Roosevelt (1944-1950)
William Crawford (1938-1942) 1 child

     Home | American actors | Faye Emerson

Faye Margaret Emerson (July 8, 1917 March 9, 1983) was an American film actress and television interviewer, known as "The First Lady of Television". She acted in many Warner Brothers films beginning in 1941. In 1944, she played one of her more memorable roles as Zachary Scott's ex in The Mask of Dimitrios. She was born to Lawrence and Emma (Smythe) in the tiny community of Elizabeth, Allen Parish in southwestern Louisiana.

In 1948, she made a move to television and began acting in various anthology series, including The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre, The Philco Television Playhouse, and Goodyear Television Playhouse. She served as host for several short-lived talk shows and musical/variety shows, including Paris Cavalcade of Fashions (1948) and The Faye Emerson Show (CBS, 1950).

Although The Faye Emerson Show only lasted one season, it gave her wide exposure because her time slot immediately followed the CBS Evening News and alternated weeknights with the popular The Perry Como Show. According to author Gabe Essoe in The Book of TV Lists, on one of the show's segments, her low-cut gown slipped and "she exposed her ample self coast to coast." The show was broadcast from a studio CBS built on the sixth floor of the Stork Club building. The studio, a complete replica of the Stork Club's Cub Room, was built for The Stork Club, also seen on CBS beginning in 1950.

After The Faye Emerson Show, she continued in TV with other talk shows, including Wonderful Town, U.S.A. (1951), Author Meets the Critics (1952), and Faye and Skitch (1953). She also made numerous guest appearances on various variety shows and game shows.

Emerson hosted or appeared on so many talk shows—usually wearing long, low-cut gowns—and game shows, such as I've Got a Secret, that she was known as "The First Lady of Television." The glamorous Emerson was so popular in the early 1950s that it was rumored that the newly created Emmy Award was named after her.

She was once married to Elliott Roosevelt, son of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Emerson was later married to bandleader Skitch Henderson in the 1950s. Once a Hollywood starlet enjoying the show business spotlight, the wealthy Emerson moved to Spain and spent the rest of her life in seclusion. She died of stomach cancer in Deià, Mallorca, in 1983 at the age of sixty-five.

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