Alexis Smith plays the recurring role of Jessica Montford, Clayton's disturbed, conniving socialite sister on the CBS-TV series "Dallas".
|Birth Name:||Gladys Smith|
|Born:||June 8, 1921|
|Birthplace:||Penticton, British Columbia, Canada|
|Died:||June 9, 1993(aged 72)|
|Deathplace:||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
(or involved with):
|Dallas (first series)|
|Appeared as:||Lady Jessica Montford. Clayton Farlow's sister|
| Episodes appeared in|
|11 in Seasons 7 and 13|
Alexis Smith (born June 8, 1921-died June 9, 1993) appeared as wealthy socialite Lady Jessica Montford, the mentally disturbed, conniving younger sister of Clayton Farlow, in a total of eleven episodes of the CBS-TV series Dallas, beginning with the Season 7 episode "The Unexpected". She appeared in several major Hollywood movies in the 1940s and had a notable career on Broadway in the 1970s, winning a Tony Award in 1972.
One of the most sought after leading actresses of the 1940'S and 1950's, Alexis appeared in over 70 films; her perhaps most notable role was as Cole Porter's wife in the inaccurate--but hugely successful--biopic Night and Day (1946). She also appeared in two "noir" films with Humphrey Bogart Conflict (1945) and The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947). As Clark Gable's wife in the gambling drama Any Number Can Play (1949), she was critically lauded as "genuinely appealing". She considered her role in Here Comes the Groom with Bing Crosby (1951), her favorite film role.
Among Smith's other films are Rhapsody In Blue with Robert Alda (1945), Of Human Bondage (1946), and The Young Philadelphians (1959). She also appeared on a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis radio (NBC) broadcast on 25 January 1952.
During the 1960's, Alexis took a sabbatical from the screen to appear on stage with her husband, actor Craig Stevens (her marriage, a rare Hollywood success, lasted 49 years) in "Critic's Choice", "Cactus Flower" and "Mary, Mary". She reserved her best acting for the stage, becoming the Tony Award-winning star of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Follies", in which she played Phyllis during the 1971 run on Broadway (which landed her on the cover of the May 3 issue of Time Magazine) and at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles in 1972. In 1973 she played Sylvia Fowler in a revival of Clare Boothe Luce's "The Women" and was nominated for another Tony for her leading role of Lila Halliday in "Platinum" in 1979.
On television Alexis made sporadic appearances from the mid-'1950s, sometimes appearing on the same show opposite her husband. in addition to her role as Jessica Montford, Clayton's sister on the original Dallas TV series, she was nominated for an Emmy for a guest-starring role on the NBC-TV sitcom series Cheers. It was fitting, or perhaps ironic, that her last film role, in The Age of Innocence (1993), was as a New York socialite, a type of character she had portrayed frequently in her heyday at Warners.
Smith died of brain cancer in Los Angeles in 1993 on the day after her 72nd birthday. She had no children and her sole survivor was her husband of 49 years, actor Craig Stevens. Smith's final film, The Age of Innocence (1993), was released shortly after her death. Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.