Monday, April 28, 2008

Judith Allen

Judith Allen was an actress in a few dozen movies of the 1930s and 1940s. She played the female lead in several movies, as well as supporting roles. But it is her roles in B-Westerns for which she is remembered today.

When I called her in 1993, it was through a friend, who had located her by following up on leads he'd been acquiring for several years. Her surname was now Rucker, but she was no longer married (she'd previously been married at least twice, including to boxer Jack Doyle).

Ms. Allen was a dear, sweet lady who appreciated being remembered for her movie career. She was a very spiritual person, and loved everybody and all creatures, particularly birds. She never had a harsh word to say about anybody or anything, past or present.

I sent her a portrait photo, which she signed and returned promptly. It can be seen here. It was not the best, but all that was available to me at the time. A few months later, I found three very nice stills, which I sent to her, and she happily signed and returned them quickly. They can be seen consecutivelely, from here.

Ms. Allen was a good correspondent by letter, too. Here is her first letter to me. I don't remember now why she's referring to herself being "under the weather" when she inscribed the photo, because I don't see anything incorrect. She did enclose a feather, explained in the final paragraph: "I'm enclosing a feather which one of my bird friends left on my patio for me".

She was in fairly good health and lived on her own, but was cared for by a friend, who was also the Reverend of her church. As her health became more frail, she required almost full-time attention. When she died on October 5, 1996, her Reverend friend sent this letter to all who were in her life during her final few years.

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