Born 1915 as Ardis Ankerson in Negros, Philippines of Swedish parents, American actress Brenda Marshall made her first film appearance as Ardis Gaines in Wives of Tomorrow (1937), and her initial billing as Brenda Marshall came in Espionage Agent (1939). The following year, she played the leading lady to Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk.
After divorcing actor Richard Gaines in 1940, she married William Holden in 1941, and her own career soon slowed. She starred opposite James Cagney in Captains of the Clouds (1942).
Marshall had a popular success in The Constant Nymph (1943), but she virtually retired after this, appearing in only four more films, including the Western Whispering Smith (1948). She also played scientist Nora Goodrich in the B picture cult film Strange Impersonation (1946).
In 1955, five years after her last film role, Marshall made an appearance as herself (billed as Mrs. William Holden) in the fourth-season episode of I Love Lucy entitled “The Fashion Show”.
Marshall died in 1992 from throat cancer in Palm Springs, aged 76.
Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of Brenda Marshall in the 1930s and 1940s.