Dorothy Malone, who won an Oscar for her performance as a classic bad girl in Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind, has passed away, it has been announced; she died of natural causes. A Texan by birth, she started her career in B-movies, but things began to pick up when she appeared as the bookstore assistant flirting with Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep. Her roles expanded and soon she was co-starring with Joel McCrea in Colorado Territory, Martin and Lewis in Scared Stiff, Ida Lupino in Private Hell 36, Frank Sinatra and Doris Day in Young at Heart, and, er, Liberace in Sincerely Yours.
After her Oscar win, her profile rose just as she wanted, and though the bad girl persona was at odds with her more conservative nature, she proved her talent in such works as Man of a Thousand Faces, The Tarnished Angels (with Sirk again), Warlock (one of a number of Westerns, her favourite genre), early disaster movie The Last Voyage, and AIP's indelible Beach Party. By the sixties, television had beckoned, and she won a new audience in hit soap Peyton Place; following on from that the small screen was her home, aside from smaller roles in films like Winter Kills and Basic Instinct, her final appearance and a knowing wink to the films that gave her that cult following. John Waters once called her his favourite Oscar winner.