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Doe Avedon, an actress who was married to Dirty Harry director Don Siegel and before that to fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon, died Sunday in Los Angeles. She was 86.
Her friend, Leonard Gershe, wrote the 1957 film musical Funny Face that depicted Doe and Richard’s storybook love and marriage (Audrey Hepburn played the character based on Doe and Fred Astaire the one based on Richard). Avedon was working as a model when she was discovered by the photographer, and they were married from 1944 to 1951.
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A native of Westbury, N.Y., Avedon made her debut on stage in 1948 in The Young and the Fair, for which she was named Broadway’s most promising actor. She appeared the next year in another Broadway production, 1949’s My Name Is Aquilon, starring with Jean-Pierre Aumont, Arlene Francis and Phyllis Kirk (1949), then traveled with Mae West on a nationwide tour.
A short while later, she married actor Dan Mathews. When he was killed in an auto accident, she resumed her acting career. She appeared in the John Wayne film The High and The Mighty (1954), the TV adaptation of the radio series Big Town and in Deep in My Heart, a 1954 Broadway play that starred Jose Ferrer.
Avedon gave up acting when she married Siegel in 1957. Siegel, whom Clint Eastwood considers his mentor, also directed such films as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Killers (1964) and The Shootist (1976). He died in 1991.
Avedon returned to acting for one last film, Love Streams (1984), directed by John Cassavetes.
Survivors include her longtime companion, actor Michael Lisco; children Nowell, Anney, Kit and Jack; stepson Kristoffer, Siegel’s son with his first wife, actress Viveca Lindfors; seven grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.
Graveside services are to be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles at 11 a.m. Thursday. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Salvation Army or the Vietnam Veterans of America.
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