Miss Smith died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from cancer, her husband, Craig Stevens, said.
She was still in college when a talent scout spotted her and got her a screen test for Warner Bros. Between 1940 and 1959, she appeared as lead or second lead in a string of films such as “Dive Bomber,” “The Doughgirls” and “The Woman in White.”
Among her leading men were Gable (“Any Number Can Play”), Grant (“Night and Day”), Ronald Reagan (“Stallion Road”), Flynn (“San Antonio,” among others) and Jack Benny (“The Horn Blows at Midnight”).
But the high point of her career came later, on stage and a decade after she had largely retired from the screen. In 1971, Miss Smith scored a personal triumph in “Follies,” an ambitious Stephen Sondheim musical centered around the reunion of aging showgirls in a soon-to-be-demolished Broadway theater. The performance won her a Tony Award for best actress.
Miss Smith was born in Canada and reared in Los Angeles. In 1944, she married Stevens, perhaps best known for playing the title role in the 1950s television series “Peter Gunn.”
www.youtube.com… Her performance in Follies
Gentlemen Jim, Thank Your Lucky Stars, Montana