Gita Hall, Swedish Actress Who Starred in 'The Gun Runners,' Dies at 82

Gita Hall - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Tracie May-Wagner

Gita Hall - Publicity - H 2016

The former model and Miss Stockholm sued Lionsgate in 2013 for the use of her image in the opening credits of 'Mad Men.'

Gita Hall, the former Swedish model and actress who appeared in such films as director Don Seigel’s The Gun Runners, has died. She was 82.

Hall, who won the Miss Stockholm beauty pageant in 1953 and was once married to actor Barry Sullivan (The Bad and the Beautiful), died Saturday at her home in Studio City of liver failure, her daughter Tracie May-Wagner told The Hollywood Reporter.

In March 2013, Hall sued Lionsgate for the use of her image in the opening credits of the AMC period drama Mad Men. She alleged that her image — from a Richard Avedon photograph shot in the early 1960s for a Revlon ad — was used without her permission. The sides settled for an undisclosed amount.

In The Gun Runners, an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's 1937 novel To Have and Have Not, Hall made her U.S. film debut by portraying Eva, the gorgeous girlfriend of the villain played by Eddie Albert.

Born Birgitta Wetterhall in Linkoping, Sweden, on Sept. 6, 1933, Hall had minor roles in a few Swedish movies in the early 1950s before winning the Miss Stockholm beauty pageant. She was first runner-up to future actress Anita Ekberg for the title of Miss Sweden, then moved to Paris to become couturier Pierre Balmain’s fashion muse.

In the mid-1950s, the 5-foot-10 beauty had tremendous success as a model in New York. She appeared on dozens of magazine covers and scored a contract with Revlon.

After moving to Hollywood, Hall starred alongside her then-husband Sullivan in the adventure tale Wolf Larsen (1958). They were married from July 1958 until their divorce in 1961.

Hall took a long break from Hollywood in order to raise a family with her late husband, insurance broker Mitchell May III (he died in 2000).

In 2008, she returned to Los Angeles to star with her best friend, the Oscar-nominated actress Terry Moore, in Old Skool With Terry and Gita, a reality TV series produced by Bunim-Murray Productions and Moore/Cramer Productions. She also appeared in an episode of HBO's Getting On three years ago.

Survivors also include her daughters Patricia and Samantha, nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.