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Subject: Actress Constance Dowling was born 100 years ago today (died 1969)

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Date Posted: Friday, July 24, 12:39:31pm
In reply to: Congresswoman 's message, "Bella Abzug was born 100 years ago today (died 1998)" on Friday, July 24, 12:36:29pm

Constance Dowling (July 24, 1920 – October 28, 1969) was an American model turned actress of the 1940s and 1950s.

Early life and career

Born in New York City, Dowling was a model and chorus girl before moving to California in 1943. She had two brothers, Richard Dowling[1] and Robert Smith Dowling, and was the elder sister of actress Doris Dowling. She attended Wadleigh High School for Girls in New York City.

Dowling was a dancer at the Paradise nightclub in New York City, a job that she obtained by lying about her age to her employer and lying about the job to her mother.


Prior to her move to Hollywood, she appeared in several Broadway productions, including Quiet City, Liliom, Panama Hattie (with sister Doris), Hold On To Your Hats, and The Strings, My Lord, Are False.


Dowling—promoted by press agents of producer Samuel Goldwyn as three-dimensional ("she can sing, she can dance and she can act")—began her screen career appearing in Up in Arms (1944) for Samuel Goldwyn. At the time, newspaper columnist Sheilah Graham reported that Danny Kaye "was hoping for a big movie name to star opposite him ... but boss Sam Goldwyn thinks otherwise and has signed" Dowling. In the same year, she appeared opposite Nelson Eddy in Knickerbocker Holiday,

In 1946, newspaper columnist Hedda Hopper reported that Dowling had signed a long-term contract with Eagle-Lion Films. Soon after having appeared in The Well-Groomed Bride (1946) and Black Angel (1946), she was loaned to Columbia Pictures to appear in Boston Blackie and the Law.

Dowling lived in Italy in 1947 through 1950 and appeared in several Italian films. Dowling returned to Hollywood in the 1950s and landed a part in the sci-fi film Gog, her last film.

Personal life

Dowling had been involved in a long affair with married director Elia Kazan in New York. He couldn't bring himself to leave his wife and the affair ended when Dowling went to Hollywood under contract to Goldwyn. She was later linked with Italian poet/novelist Cesare Pavese who committed suicide in 1950 after an almost lifelong depression aggravated by having been rejected by many women, including Dowling who, in Pavese's poetry, is often linked to spring ("face of springtime"). One of his last poems is entitled "Death will come and she'll have your eyes".

In 1955, Dowling married film producer Ivan Tors, writer and producer of her last film. (Another source, published two years earlier, refers to Downling and Tors as "honeymooning.") She then retired from acting, going on to have three sons and a foster child with Tors: Steven, David, Peter and foster son Alfred Ndwego of Kenya. (An obituary listed Ndwego as an adopted son rather than a foster son and spelled his last name Ndewga.)


On October 28, 1969, Dowling died at the age of 49 of a heart attack[16] at UCLA Medical Center. Her burial was at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

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Subject Author Date
Dowling died at 49 of heart condition, just like her son Peter, who died of same at age 41, in 1997. ...PHOTO of Connie Dowling, and husband producer Ivan Tors.Friday, July 24, 01:51:28pm

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