Actress. A dark-haired beauty, she appeared in over 60 movies during her film career. Born Katherine Elizabeth McLaughin, she went to Hollywood, California in 1939 to become an actress and was signed by Paramount Pictures while still in high school. That same year, she made her first film appearance in "What a Life" with Jackie Cooper. In May 1940 she signed a long-term contract with 20th Century Fox Studios and received her first starring role in "Dressed to Kill" (1941, with Lloyd Nolan and Mary Beth Hughes). She made other memorable film appearances, including two Laurel and Hardy movies, "Great Guns" (1941) and "A-Haunting We Will Go" (1942), Charlie Chan's "Dead Men Tell" (1941, with Sidney Toler), the Busby Berkeley musical "The Gang's All here" (1943, with Alice Faye), "Song of Texas" (1943, with Roy Rogers), "Railroaded!" (1947, with John Ireland), "Philo Vance's Secret Mission" (1947, with Alan Curtis), "The Big Fix" (1947, with James Brown), and "Jungle Manhunt" (1951, with Johnny Weissmuller). By 1950 her film career began to wane and she appeared primarily in B movies, especially low budget westerns. She later worked with Gene Autry, starring in several of his films that were released by Columbia Pictures, including "The Cowboys and the Indians" (1949), "Mule Train" (1950), "On Top of Old Smokey" (1953), and "Pack Train" (1953). She also had very limited roles in several early television shows such as "The Lone Ranger." First married to actor Edward Norris, they soon divorced. She then married actor Allan Lane (the voice of the horse in television's "Mr. Ed") in 1945, but divorced him a year later. While working with Autry in the 1950s, she met actor Pat Buttram and they married in 1952 and remained together until her death. In 1968 she retired from acting and died from a lung ailment seven years later at the age of 54.
Bio by: William Bjornstad