Faith Domergue

Faith Domergue

Born Faith Marie Domergue
June 16, 1924(1924-06-16)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. Died April 4, 1999 (aged 74)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S. Occupation Actress Years active 1941–1974 Spouse Teddy Stauffer (1946–1947) divorced
Hugo Fregonese (1947–1958) divorced
Paolo Cossa (1966–1996) his death

Faith Domergue (June 16, 1924 – April 4, 1999) was an American television and film actress.


Born in New Orleans, Domergue was adopted by Adabelle Wemet when she was six weeks old (she found out later in life that she was adopted and that she was actually of Irish and English ancestry). Adabelle married Leo Domergue in 1926, when Faith was 18 months old. The family moved to California in 1928 where Domergue attended Beverly Hills Catholic School and St. Monica’s Convent School. While still in high school, she was signed to Warner Bros. where she made her first onscreen appearance in Blues in the Night (1941).[1]After graduating in 1942, Domergue continued to pursue a career in acting but after sustaining injuries in a near-fatal car accident, her plans were put on hold. While recuperating from the accident, she attended a party aboard Howard Hughes‘s yacht. Hughes was taken by her; he bought out her contract with Warner Bros. and signed her to a three-picture contract with RKO.[2] After an unsuccessful, long-delayed premiere in the film Vendetta (1950), Domergue left Hughes. She later freelanced in a number of films, including film noir Where Danger Lives (as a femme fatale opposite Robert Mitchum), westerns (Santa Fe Passage) and in 1955, three sci-fi/monster films (It Came from Beneath the Sea, This Island Earth and Cult of the Cobra).[3]She later made films in England and Italy, and a last sci-fi foray in the Russian film Voyage to a Prehistoric Planet, in 1965. In the late 1950s and 1960s she made many appearances on popular television series, including Have Gun Will Travel, Bonanza, Perry Mason, and The Rifleman. By the late 1960s, Domergue had lost interest in acting as a career, and her last acting appearances were mainly in low-budget ‘B’ horror movies. She began traveling to Rome, Italy in 1952, and lived there for extended periods of time. She moved there permanently in 1968, and remained an expatriate in Rome, Geneva, Switzerland, and Marbella, Spain until the death of her Roman husband, Paolo in 1991. She then moved to Santa Barbara until her death in 1999.

In 1941, Domergue began an on-off relationship with Howard Hughes. After she discovered that Hughes was also seeing Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Lana Turner, the couple broke up in 1943. She later wrote a book about her relationship with Hughes entitled My Life with Howard Hughes (1972).[4]In 1946, Domergue married bandleader Teddy Stauffer. The marriage lasted six months, ending in 1947. That same year, she married director Hugo Fregonese with whom she had two children, Diana Maria and John Anthony. The couple divorced in 1958. In 1966, she married Paolo Cossa, with whom she remained until his death in 1992.[5]On April 4, 1999, Domergue died from cancer, aged 74.[6]In the 2004 Howard Hughes biopic film The Aviator, Domergue was played by Kelli Garner.[7]

Year Film Role Notes
1941 Blues in the Night Jitterbug Uncredited
1946 Young Widow Gerry Taylor Alternative title: The Naughty Widow
1949 Hardly a Criminal Uncredited
Alternative title: Apenas un delincuente
1950 Where Danger Lives Margo Lannington
Vendetta Colomba della Rabia
1952 The Duel at Silver Creek Opal Lacy Alternative title: Claim Jumpers
1953 The Great Sioux Uprising Joan Britton
1954 This Is My Love Evelyn Myer
1955 Santa Fe Passage Aurelie St. Clair
Cult of the Cobra Lisa Moya
This Island Earth Dr. Ruth Adams
It Came from Beneath the Sea Professor Lesley Joyce Alternative title: Monster from Beneath the Sea
1956 Timeslip Jill Rabowski Alternative title: The Atomic Man
Soho Incident Bella Francesi Alternative title: Spin a Dark Web
1957 The Sky Burns Anna Alternative title: Il Cielo brucia
Man in the Shadow Barbara Peters Alternative title: Violent Stranger
1958 Escort West Martha Drury
1963 California Carlotta Torres
1965 Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet
1967 Track of Thunder Mrs. Goodwin
1969 Besieged Lorenzo’s mother Alternative title: L’Amore breve
One on Top of the Other Martha Alternative titles: Una sull’altra
Perversion Story
1970 The Gamblers Signora Del Isolla
1971 Blood Legacy Veronica Dean Alternative title: Legacy of Blood
The Man with Icy Eyes Mrs. Valdes Alternative title: L’Uomo dagli occhi di ghiaccio
1974 So Evil, My Sister Millie Alternative titles: Psycho Sisters
The Siblings
The House of Seven Corpses Gayle Dorian
Year Title Role Notes
1953 The Revlon Mirror Theater Laurie Rogers 1 episode
1953–1954 Lux Video Theatre 2 episodes
1954 Fireside Theater Mariana
2 episodes
Ford Theatre 1 episode
1954–1958 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Marcella
Mrs. Vialez
2 episodes
1955 Celebrity Playhouse 1 episode
1956 The Count of Monte Cristo Renee Morrell 1 episode
1957 Overseas Press Club – Exclusive! Helen Zotos 1 episode
1959 Sugarfoot Isabel Starkey 1 episode
State Trooper Elaine Kendall
Janice Kendall
2 episodes
Bourbon Street Beat Susan Wood 1 episode
1959–1961 Hawaiian Eye Onori
Rosa Martell
2 episodes
1960 Colt .45 Suzanne Tremaine 1 episode
Bronco Catalina 1 episode
Michael Shayne Kara 1 episode
1961 77 Sunset Strip Gretchen Jervis 1 episode
The Tall Man Kate Elder 1 episode
Lock-Up Marianne 1 episode
1961–1963 Perry Mason Conception O’Higgins
Cleo Grammas
2 episodes
1961–1964 Bonanza Lee Bolden
Carla Ibara
2 episodes
1962–1963 Have Gun – Will Travel Ria
Elena Ybarra
2 episodes
1966 Combat! Madame Fouchet 1 episode
1968 Garrison’s Gorillas Carla 1 episode

1959 Played “Maria” in TV Western, “Cheyenne”

  • ^ Parla, Paul; Mitchell, Charles P. (2000). Screen Sirens Scream!: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction, Horror, Film Noir, and Mystery Movies, 1930s to 1960s. McFarland. pp. 60. ISBN 0-786-40701-8. 
  • ^ Parla, Paul; Mitchell, Charles P. (2000). Screen Sirens Scream!: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction, Horror, Film Noir, and Mystery Movies, 1930s to 1960s. McFarland. pp. 59, 60. ISBN 0-786-40701-8. 
  • ^ Erickson, Hal. “Faith Domergue: Biography”.
  • ^ “Faith Domergue”. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  • ^ Vallance, Tom (1999-05-12). “Obituary: Faith Domergue”. The Independent (London).;col1. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  • ^ Galloway, Doug (1999-04-16). “Faith Domergue”. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  • ^ Faith Domergue 1924-1999
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