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1940s / Jeanne Crain
At age 16, Jeanne Crain won a beauty contest as MISS LONG BEACH and became a model; the next year she was named CAMERA GIRL OF 1942, leading to contacts in Hollywood. She debuted on screen in 1943 in THE GANG'S ALL HERE, beginning a starring career that lasted through the '50s. Crain was frequently cast as the girl next door, and was generally employed to be a pretty face in the midst of light films, but occasionally she got more serious roles, as in PINKY (1949) in which she played a black girl passing for white; for that performance she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, repeating a nomination she got for her role in MARGIE (1946). . . Her career waned in the '60s, but she continued to appear in films through the '70s.