Born 1927 as Rita Eleanore MacKay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, American actress and documentary filmmaker Rita Gam was a model before she ventured into acting. Her acting career began on Broadway and in television, after which she moved on to films. Her Broadway credits included There’s a Girl in My Soup, The Insect Comedy, A Flag is Born, and A Temporary Island.
Gam appeared first in the 1952 film noir The Thief, then she signed a long-term MGM contract. Another notable role was Herodias in 1961’s King of Kings. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and shared the Silver Bear for Best Actress award with Viveca Lindfors at the 1962 Berlin Film Festival, for their performances in Tad Danielewski’s No Exit.
Gam appeared in a few more American films before working in Europe. She returned to the U.S. to appear in small parts in films, including Klute in 1971, before taking up documentary film making.
Gam was also the author of two books, Actress to Actress and Actors: A Celebration. She died in 2016 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, from respiratory failure, aged 88.
Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of young Rita Gam in the 1950s and 1960s.