biography

Born Cleouna Moore in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on October 31, 1924 (some sources cite 1923, 1928, and 1930 as her year of birth), lovely actress Cleo Moore made her way to Hollywood in the late 1940s. Her first film appearance was in the 15-chapter Columbia serial Congo Bill in 1948. To supplement her fledgling movie career, Moore modeled extensively and was the subject of numerous cheesecake photographs. Prior to her film career, in 1944 Moore was married to the son of Louisiana governor Huey Long, but the union lasted just a few weeks. Interestingly, in 1954 Moore announced her intention to run for the governorship of Louisiana but never followed through with it.

Cleo MooreCleo Moore

Cheesecake photos of Cleo Moore showing off her 36-22-36 measurements

Cleo Moore made her film debut in the 15-chapter Columbia serial Congo Bill in 1948. By 1950, she had become a starlet at RKO Studios, which installed her in several film noir classics, such as This Side of the Law and Gambling House. She also appeared in two 1950 short-feature westerns with Tim Holt: Dynamite Pass and Rio Grande Patrol. By 1950, her film career was in full swing, as she made six appearances in films that year. However, her roles were mostly small ones until she landed a contract with Columbia Studios in 1952. Moore landed starring roles in a series of low budget Columbia film, beginning with Strange Fascination in 1952. She made a number of pictures at Columbia, often directed by and co-starring Hugo Haas.

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LEFT: January 1956 issue of Modern Man with Cleo Moore gracing the cover. RIGHT: While under contract to RKO, Cleo Moore was named "Miss Contractors Safety Association of 1951"

At Columbia, Cleo Moore finally had starring roles in films, although her films with Haas were of a lower budget than the ones she made at RKO. However, the films directed by Haas gave Moore her "bad girl" reputation in films for which she is fondly remembered today. Along with Strange Fascination, Haas directed her in Thy Neighbor's Wife (1953), One Girl's Confession (1953), The Other Woman (1954), Bait (1954), Hold Back Tomorrow (1955), and Hit and Run (1957). Moore's "bad girl" persona got her a plum role in possibly her best film, Women's Prison (1955; with Ida Lupino and Howard Duff).

the films of cleo moore

Strange Fascination (1952)

Hugo Haas and Cleo Moore

With frequent costar Hugo Haas in the noir thriller Strange Fascination

One Girl's Confession (1953)

Cleo Moore, Ellen Stansbury, and Hugo Haas

With Ellen Stansbury and Hugo Haas in the Columbia drama Bait

Bait (1954)

Hugo Haas, Cleo Moore, and John Agar

With Hugo Haas and John Agar in the Columbia drama Bait

The Other Woman (1954)

Cleo Moore and Lance Fuller

With Lance Fuller in the campy 20th Century Fox noir The Other Woman

Hold Back Tomorrow (1955)

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Promotional stills from Hold Back Tomorrow. The right photos include John Agar

Women's Prison (1955)

Cleo Moore

Moore pulls a knife on a guard in Women's Prison

Over-Exposed (1956)

Cleo Moore

Moore stars as social climber Lila Crane in the noirish Columbia drama Over-Exposed

Hit and Run (1957)

Vince Edwards, Cleo Moore, and Hugo HaasVince Edwards and Cleo MooreCleo Moore

Hugo Haas tries to win back the attention of his wife (Cleo Moore) from her boyfriend (Vince Edwards) in Hit and Run, Moore's last film

the cleo moore gallery

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later years

With the death of the studio system in the late 1950s, like many other actors Cleo Moore was released from her contract in 1956. Moore's last film was the campy film noir thriller Hit and Run (1957; with Vince Edwards). In late 1959, Moore was seriously injured in a car wreck in Los Angeles. The injuries to her neck and spine required her to be in traction for three months. Fully recuperated, she married her second husband in 1961 and settled in to the role of wife and mother with the birth of her daughter in 1963. Sadly, Moore passed away on October 25, 1973, at age 48 from a heart attack. She was survived by her husband, Herbert Heftler, her daughter, and her sister, actress Mara Lea.

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filmography

FILM
Hit and Run (1957) with Vince Edwards and Hugo Haas
Over-Exposed (1956) with Richard Crenna
Hold Back Tomorrow (1955) with John Agar
Women's Prison (1955) with Ida Lupino, Howard Duff, and Jan Sterling
Bait (1954) with John Agar, Hugo Haas, and Bruno VeSota
The Other Woman (1954) with Lance Fuller and Hugo Haas
One Girl's Confession (1953) with Russ Conway and Glenn Langan
Thy Neighbor's Wife (1953) with Hugo Haas
The Pace That Thrills (1952) with Bill Williams and Robert Armstrong
Strange Fascination (1952) with Karen Sharpe and Hugo Haas
On Dangerous Ground (1951) with Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan
Gambling House (1951) with Victor Mature, Terry Moore, William Bendix, and Ann Doran
Hunt the Man Down (1950) with Gerald Mohr and Gig Young
Dynamite Pass (1950) with Tim Holt
Rio Grande Patrol (1950) with Tim Holt and Tom Tyler
This Side of the Law (1950) with Viveca Lindfors and Nita Talbot
Bright Leaf (1950)
Congo Bill (1948) with Don McGuire and Armida

cleo moore links

Cleo Moore: B Movie Queen
This website honors 1950s B movie star Cleo Moore and includes photos, a filmography, and Moore's obituary.

Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen: Cleo Moore
Visit the Glamour Girls site for an interesting biography of Cleo Moore.
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This page premiered September 1, 2000.
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