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Irene Kane, the female lead in director Stanley Kubrick‘s second feature film, Killer’s Kiss, died Oct. 31 of pancreatic cancer at her home in New York City, her family confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. Her niece did not want to divulge Kane’s age.
Kane was her stage name; she later was known as writer and journalist Chris Chase, who worked for CBS and CNN, wrote regularly for The New York Times and co-authored autobiographies of Rosalind Russell, Betty Ford, Alan King and Josephine Baker. She also wrote a memoir, How to Be a Movie Star or a Terrible Beauty Is Born.
A lithe, blonde model who appeared in Vogue, Kane played “taxi dancer” Gloria Price in Kubrick’s family-financed 1955 film noir Killer’s Kiss. Her character is roughed up by her enamored boss (Frank Silvera), kidnapped and eventually rescued by a boxer (Jamie Smith).
Fans of Turner Classic Movies will recognize Kane in a clip from Killer’s Kiss that is used in an “Open All Night” montage that the network routinely plays to introduce noirish films.
The 26-year-old Kubrick “convinced me to play the girl by explaining that I was going to be a very important movie star, and I thought that might be better than getting a real job at Dunkin’ Donuts,” Chase wrote in the Los Angeles Times in 1999, a week after the director died at age 70.
Kane also appeared on Broadway in Threepenny Opera, The Ponder Heart and Tenderloin, in two episodes of Naked City and as a broadcaster in All That Jazz (1979).
In 1962, she married Michael Chase, the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Mary Chase, who wrote the Broadway play Harvey, later adapted for the 1950 film, starring James Stewart.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her brother, neuroscientist Paul Greengard, and his wife, sculptor Ursula Von Rydingsvard; sister Linda; nephew Glen; and niece Ainslie.
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