Nancy Gates, Actress in 'Comanche Station' and Sinatra Films, Dies at 93

Stranger on Horseback (1955) - Nancy Gates - Photofest-H 2019
United Artists/Photofest

A veteran of Westerns, she also appeared in 'The Great Gildersleeve' and 'World Without End.'

Nancy Gates, who starred opposite Randolph Scott in Comanche Station and appeared in the Frank Sinatra films Suddenly and Some Came Running, has died. She was 93.

Gates died March 24 at her home in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, her daughter Cathleen Hayes told The Hollywood Reporter.

Gates also had a notable role as a member of a future human race that has survived an atomic war in the cult sci-fi film World Without End (1956).

A leading lady in many B-grade Westerns, Gates also worked in Cheyenne Takes Over (1947), Check Your Guns (1948), Roll, Thunder, Roll! (1949), Stranger on Horseback (1955), The Rawhide Trail (1958) and The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959).

"Because I'm from Texas I got a lot of Western parts," she said in a 1961 interview. "I've been on so many horses I'm beginning to feel like they're a part of me. The funny thing is I'm not much of a rider."

In Comanche Station, helmed by Budd Boetticher, Gates portrays a woman who is rescued for a $5,000 reward by Scott's character, Jefferson Cody.

"I liked Nancy Gates as much as anybody I worked with," the director noted in the 2018 book The Films of Budd Boetticher. "Of course I was in love at one time with Julie Adams, but not counting that, my two favorite leading ladies were Nancy Gates and Maureen O'Hara."

In Suddenly (1954), Gates and family members are held hostage in their home by men who are out to assassinate the U.S. president as he arrives aboard a train to a dusty California town. And in Some Came Running (1958), she plays the secretary of Arthur Kennedy's character.

Born in Dallas on Feb. 1, 1926, and raised in nearby Denton, Gates signed with RKO Studios when she was 15 and appeared in an uncredited role in Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons and as the niece Marjorie Forrester in The Great Gildersleeve, both released in 1942. (She returned a year later for a Gildersleeve sequel.)

Her film résumé also included Hitler's Children (1943), Fred Zinnemann's The Member of the Wedding (1952), Torch Song (1953), Hell's Half Acre (1954), No Man’s Woman (1955), The Bottom of the Bottle (1956), Magnificent Roughnecks (1956) and Death of a Scoundrel (1956).

Gates also worked frequently in television, showing up on dozens of programs like Studio 57, The Millionaire, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Tales of Wells Fargo, Wagon Train, Perry Mason, Burke's Law and, in her final onscreen appearance in 1969, Mod Squad.

She married Hollywood manager Bill Hayes in the 1940s.

Survivors include her daughters Cathleen and Cynthia, sons Jeff and Chip (both producers) and six grandchildren.

Rhett Bartlett contributed to this report.