Via THR: Peggy Cummins, an ice cream blonde who packed heat in the classic noir film Gun Crazy (1950), died December 29 following a major stroke suffered shortly before her 92nd birthday on December 18.
Cummins, born in Ireland, was imported to the U.S. in order to star in Forever Amber (1947), but was unceremoniously replaced with Linda Darnell (1923-1965).
Having made her debut in 1940's Dr. O'Dowd, she made 26 films and just two TV appearances. Among her noteworthy roles were those in The Late George Apley (1947), Green Grass of Wyoming (1948) and Curse of the Demon (1957), but it was Gun Crazy that earned her a place in cinema history.
Ironically, she replaced Veronica Lake (1922-1973) on that film, in which she and John Dall (1918-1971) engage in a twisted crime spree.
The influential film is well-remembered for its cinematography and style, and is considered a Bonnie and Clyde (1967) precursor.
Gun Crazy's heist scene prefigured the French New Wave, consisting of improvised dialogue, an unforeseen run-in with a copper and a breathless getaway. It is a staple of film courses the world over:
Cummins, who has spoken at length about her impressions of making the film, retired in the 1960s.