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Gertrude Michael (June 1, 1911, Talladega, Alabama – December 31, 1964, Beverly Hills, California) was an American film, stage and television actress.
Born as Lillian Gertrude Michael in Talladega, Alabama, she reportedly graduated from high school at the age of 14. She became a radio singer on the radio. She attended the University of Alabama and Converse College, Cincinnati. Her childhood home in Talladega, Alabama was destroyed by fire in 2007.
In 1929 in Cincinnati she made her stage debut in a stock company. She subsequently appeared on Broadway in Rachel Crothers' Caught Wet (1931). She entered the movies playing Richard Arlen's finaceé in Wayward (1932), but her best-remembered role is probably as Rita Ross in Murder at the Vanities (1934), one of the last pre-Code films, in which she sang an ode to marijuana (Sweet Marijuana).
She had an affair with writer Paul Cain (aka Peter Ruric).After they broke up, Cain wrote the role of the alcoholic lover (based on Michael) in his only novel published during his lifetime, Fast One.
Gertrude Michael died, aged 53, from undisclosed causes, in Beverly Hills, California.
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