Born Marlene English in San Diego on January 4, 1934, actress Marla English began her career in show business as a teen model in the late 1940s. After winning a local beauty contest, she was offered a contract with Paramount Studios in 1952, upon graduating from high school. Paramount brought English along slowly, putting her in bit parts in such films as Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954; with James Stewart) and Yankee Pasha (1954; with Jeff Chandler and Rhonda Fleming).

Marla English

Mid 1950s cheesecake photo of actress Marla English

When Paramount dropped her contract in 1954, English moved out of bit parts and into starring roles in B movies, such as the film noir release Shield for Murder (1954; with John Agar and Edmond O'Brien). But today, English is best remembered for her cult horror films, including The She-Creature (1956; with Chester Morris and Tom Conway) and Voodoo Woman (1957; with Mike Connors and Lance Fuller).

the films of marla english

Shield for Murder (1954)

Marla English and John AgarEdmund O'Brien and Marla English

From the film noir thriller Shield for Murder. LEFT: With John Agar. RIGHT: With Edmund O'Brien

Desert Sands (1955)

Marla EnglishMarla EnglishRalph Meeker and Marla English

LEFT and CENTER: From the United Artists adventure Desert Sands. RIGHT: With Ralph Meeker

Hell's Horizon (1955)

John Ireland and Marla English

With John Ireland in the Columbia war drama Hell's Horizon

A Strange Adventure (1956)

Joan Evans, Ben Cooper, and Marla EnglishMarla English, Ben Cooper, and Nick Adams

From the Republic crime thriller A Strange Adventure. LEFT: With Joan Evans and Ben Cooper. RIGHT: With Ben Cooper and Nick Adams

Three Bad Sisters (1956)

Marla English, Kathleen Hughes, and Sara Shane

From the campy United Artists drama Three Bad Sisters with Kathleen Hughes and Sara Shane

Runaway Daughters (1956)

Marla English

From American International's teen angst drama Runaway Daughters

Flesh and the Spur (1957)

Marla EnglishJohn Agar, Marla English, and Mike Connors

From the American International western Flesh and the Spur. LEFT: English as Wild Willow. RIGHT: With John Agar and Mike Connors

Voodoo Woman (1957)

Mike Connors and Marla EnglishLance Fuller and Marla English

LEFT: With Mike Connors in the American International horror flick Voodoo Woman. RIGHT: With costar Lance Fuller

later years

In August 1956, 22-year-old Marla English walked away from her film career to marry a San Diego business owner and raise a family. Her final film role came in American International's horror flick Voodoo Woman (1957; with Tom Conway, Mike Connors, and Lance Fuller), which she completed shortly after her marriage. English never resumed her film career and was happy to walk away from the limelight. Sadly, Marla English passed away on December 10, 2012, at the age of 78. She was survived by her husband, a daughter, three sons, her mother, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

marla english dvds available from


Voodoo Woman (1957) with Tom Conway, Mike Connors, and Lance Fuller
Flesh and the Spur (1957) with John Agar, Mike Connors, Raymond Hatton, Joyce Meadows, and Kenne Duncan
Runaway Daughters (1956) with Gloria Castillo, Lance Fuller, Adele Jergens, Steven Terrell, and Frank Gorshin
The She-Creature (1956) with Chester Morris, Tom Conway, Cathy Downs, Lance Fuller, Ron Randell, and William Hudson
A Strange Adventure (1956) with Joan Evans, Ben Cooper, Jan Merlin, and Nick Adams
Three Bad Sisters (1956) with Kathleen Hughes and John Bromfield
Hell's Horizon (1955) with John Ireland, Bill Williams, Hugh Beaumont, Larry Pennell, Chet Baker, William Schallert, and Jerry Paris
Desert Sands (1955) with Ralph Meeker, J. Carrol Naish, John Smith, Ron Randell, John Carradine, and Keith Larsen
Shield for Murder (1954) with Edmond O'Brien, John Agar, Carolyn Jones, and Claude Akins

Crossroads, episode Lifeline, originally aired May 11, 1956
The Bob Cummings Show, episode The Dominant Sex, originally aired February 23, 1956

marla english links

Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen: Marla English
Visit Glamour Girls for an interesting bulleted biography of Marla English.

marla english film now showing

Watch Marla English's 1954 crime drama Shield for Murder
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This page premiered June 15, 2010.
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