Dorothy Hart

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Dorothy Hart
Dorothy Hart 1951.jpg
Dorothy Hart in 1951
Born (1922-04-04)April 4, 1922
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died July 11, 2004(2004-07-11) (aged 82)
Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.
Resting place Lewis Memorial Park, Asheville, North Carolina
Occupation Film actress
Years active 1947-1955
Spouse(s) Frederick Pittera (1954-2004) (her death)

Dorothy Hart (April 4, 1922 – July 11, 2004) was an American screen actress, known mostly for her supporting roles. She is best remembered as Howard Duff's fiancée in the 1948 film The Naked City.[1][2]


Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she became a model in her late teens, and was signed by Columbia in 1946. Her contract stipulated "A-movies only". Although considered one of the top supporting actresses of her day, she was frequently cast in B movies. Dorothy was attractive, standing 5 ft 6 in, with green eyes and auburn hair.

She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a B.A. degree. She was also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. After gaining some experience at the Cleveland Play House she resolved on a singing career. In 1944, a newspaper friend submitted her photo in the Columbia Pictures "National Cinderella Cover Girl Contest of 1944." Miss Hart had saved enough money to go to New York when she learned that she was high on the list of Cover Girl finalists. After winning the contest, the studio paid for her trip in August 1944, and she was given a screen test for the Rita Hayworth film "Tonight and Every Night", as her contest award.[3]


Her first big movie break came, starring alongside Randolph Scott, in the 1947 Western Gunfighters. It was a technicolor film for Columbia Pictures directed by George Waggner.

While filming in October, 1946 Hart was sent home from location with an illness which was diagnosed as influenza.[4] In February, 1947 she was injured during horseback sequences in Arizona. Minor corrective surgery was performed at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, California.[5] The Painted Desert.[6] was one of the main sites utilized for this movie. Barbara Britton played the female lead in the adventure drama with Hart heading up the supporting cast.

Columnist Hedda Hopper reported in a June 1947 column that Mary Pickford was suing Dorothy Hart for a sum of $79,000 because the young actress refused to accept a role in the film There Goes Lona Henry.[7] Pickford stated in an interview that she hoped to take an unknown girl and make her into a great star. Hart refused the role because she did not want to sign away seven years of her career for a single movie opportunity.[8]

In 1948, Hart made Larceny with Shelley Winters and The Countess of Monte Cristo with Sonja Henie, both for Universal Pictures. The Naked City, starring Barry Fitzgerald, premiered on March 10, 1948. Hart became the tenth actress to portray Jane when she appeared opposite Lex Barker as Tarzan in Tarzan's Savage Fury.[9] She also co-starred in Outside the Wall (1950) and I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951).

Personal life

Hart was twice married and divorced. She died of Alzheimer's Disease on July 11, 2004, in Asheville, North Carolina, at age 82. She was survived by a son, a sister, and three grandchildren.[10]



  1. ^ Los Angeles Times, 'Naked City Opens Today', March 10, 1948, Page 18.
  2. ^ Los Angeles Times, 'Camera Catches Pulse of Naked City', March 11, 1948, Page 23.
  3. ^ Showmen's Trade Review, 'Winner Comes To Town', August 5, 1944, Page 26.
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times, 'Influenza Attack Fells Dorothy Hart', October 23, 1946, Page A12.
  5. ^ Los Angeles Times, 'Injured Film Actress Will Go Under Knife', February 22, 1947, Page 8.
  6. ^ Los Angeles Times, 'Desert Saga Scheduled', June 20, 1947, Page A3.
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times, 'Hedda Hopper Looking At Hollywood', June 2, 1947, Page A3.
  8. ^ Los Angeles Times, 'Beautiful Starlet Would Save The World', November 7, 1948, Page D1.
  9. ^ Los Angeles Times, 'Movieland Briefs', April 16, 1948, Page 22.
  10. ^ McLellan, Dennis (July 17, 2004). "Dorothy Hart, 82; actress began career as cover girl - The Boston Globe". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 

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