Audrey Totter, a steely blonde actress known for her leading roles in some film noir’s most prominent titles, including “Lady in the Lake,” “The Set-Up,” died Thursday. She was 95. Totter, who was living in the Motion Picture and Television Home in recent years, had a stroke and suffered from congestive heart failure, according to the L.A. Times.
Totter’s characters were not so much femme fatales who seduced men into trouble but ruthless, independent figures scheming to get the best out of a bad situation.
Totter did not begin in film noir — two of her early credited roles were supporting parts in comedies“The Sailor Takes a Wife” and “The Cockeyed Miracle” — but a well-received supporting performance in 1946 noir classic “The Postman Always Rings Twice” foreshadowed the direction of her career.
The actress made quite an impression in her first lead role in the Robert Montgomery-directed 1947 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s “Lady in the Lake.” Montgomery starred as Philip Marlowe in the film, but this experimental noir was entirely shot from the detective’s point-of-view — Montgomery appeared onscreen in the film only occasionally, reflected in a mirror — and so the camera was largely focused on Totter, playing the cynical, quarrelsome publisher who hires Marlowe but has secrets of her own. For the rest of this story>LINK