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Subject: Actress Midge Ware

Dies at 92
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Date Posted: Friday, June 26, 01:50:51pm

Midge Ware Colton

Westlake Village - Midge Ware Colton, age 92, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2020 at her home in Westlake Village, CA. She was born Muriel Florence Bendelson on October 20, 1927 to Samuel and Mitzi (Kestenbaum) Bendelson in the Bronx, N.Y.

Midge had a long and successful career in show business, spanning over 30 years as a model and actress on stage, screen and television. In 1953 she was chosen as the first

"Miss No-Cal", appearing on billboards and in print ads throughout the country to represent the No-Cal Beverage Company, having been selected out of 5000 other girls. Additionally, she appeared on the cover of Esquire magazine in both 1953 and 1954. Also in 1953, Midge began a long run in the comedy "The Fifth Season", which ran for almost two years on Broadway.

From the early 1950's to 1980, Midge went on to guess star in numerous popular television shows in a variety of genres, including "The Phil Silvers Show", "Ben Casey", "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Police Woman", and "Quincy, M.E", to name just a few. In 1961, she was cast as the female lead in the CBS series, "The Gunslinger". Midge also did a number of movies, among which were, the Johnny Cash movie "Five Minutes to Live" in 1961 and "The Cincinnati Kid" starring Steve McQueen in 1965.

Midge was a warm, loving person with a great sense of humor, as beautiful inside as she was out. She was committed to her spiritual path as an Infinite Way student, practicing meditation and attending meditation groups and retreats for close to 50 years.

Besides her acting career, Midge enjoyed playing cards, mahjong, jewelry making and doing community service. In 2016, she received "The President's Lifetime Achievement Award" signed by President Barack Obama, for a lifelong commitment to volunteer service, representing her decades of volunteer work at the Motion Picture and Television Retirement Home in Woodland Hills, CA.

Midge is survived by her husband of many years, Ernie and by her children from previous marriages: Jason Batanides and his wife, Nancy; Amy Moessinger Lee and her husband, Peter Lee; a step-son, Craig Colton; and four grandchildren, Nicholas Batanides, Elizabeth Batanides, Forrest Lee and Scarlet Rose Lee. Midge is also survived by her twin brothers, Stephen and Lawrence Bendelson, by her brother-in-law, Donald Nelson and by her cousins, Marilyn Hirshleifer, Doris Canter, Dan Emmerich and Tom Emmerich. She was predeceased by her first born child, Leslie Ann Batanides.

A Celebration of Life for Midge is being planned and will be held as soon as the on-going Covid-19 crisis has subsided.

Published in Ventura County Star from Jun. 26 to Jun. 28, 2020.


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