VM
Vera Miles

Vera Miles

Aug 23, 1929, Boise City, Oklahoma, USA
Hitchcock obviously saw in Miles a gift for quietly expressing maturity coping with great tension, beautifully registered in his "The Wrong Man" (1957). As a wife who slowly cracks under the strain as her innocent husband (Henry Fonda) is imprisoned for armed robbery, Miles gave the film's finest performance, and her stardom seemed set. She occasionally played second lead to a bigger star (Joan Crawford in "Autumn Leaves" 1956, Susan Hayward in "Back Street" 1961), but she more than held her own opposite imposing male stars Van Johnson ("23 Paces to Baker Street" 1956) and James Stewart ("The FBI Story" 1959).Attempting to mold Miles to his classic icy blonde prototype, Hitchcock then cast her in "Vertigo" (1958), but she became pregnant and lost the choice role to Kim Novak. She did later star as the woman who initiates the search for her missing sister (Janet Leigh) in Hitchcock's landmark "Psycho" (1960). It gradually became clear, though, that Miles, whose persona seemed practical rather than glamorous, energetic rather than sparkling, was a fine, low-key actor perhaps more than she was a flashy movie star ready to be molded by a Svengali.Though she acted less often and in smaller films, Miles continued playing leads into the 80s, a standout being Ford's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962). Beginning with "A Tiger Walks" and "Those Calloways" (both 1964), Miles made six films for Disney Studios over the next eight years, typically as helpful wives ("Follow Me, Boys!" 1966) or self-sufficient widows ("The Castaway Cowboy" 1974). Leads ("Run for the Roses" 1978) then alternated with key supporting roles, the best being her reprisal of her Lila, now considerably embittered, for the remarkably good sequel, "Psycho II" (1983). TV on the whole did better by Miles, from her steely would-be murderess in the experimental "The Forms of Things Unknown" (1964), a famous installment of "The Outer Limits"; to her gritty roles in the TV-movies "And I Alone Survived" (1978) and "Helen Keller--The Miracle Continues" (1984). Divorced from Tarzan actor Gordon Scott and actor/director Keith Larsen.