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'Marty' Star Dies

Adam Bernstein

Betsy Blair, who died March 13, did not have an extensive career in Hollywood -- she was blacklisted for her political beliefs. But among her starring roles was a memorable portrayal of a homely schoolteacher in "Marty," a terrific 1955 drama based on a Paddy Chayefsky teleplay and one of the first projects Hollywood adapted from the rival television industry.

Some cinema historians suggested the movie was not supposed to be a success, with Burt Lancaster's production company undertaking the project as a tax write-off after several lucrative films.

In addition to Blair, the other "no-name" lead was a young Ernest Borgnine as a lonely Bronx butcher who romances Blair's Clara character with such lines as, "You know, us dogs aren't really so much of the dogs that we think we are."

By Adam Bernstein  |  March 17, 2009; 12:44 PM ET
Categories:  Adam Bernstein  
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