Jeanne Bates
Date of Birth
May 21, 1918
Birth Place:
Berkeley, CA


Jeanne Bates had acted in stock in California when, in 1942, she was signed to a Columbia Pictures contract. So far as many horror aficionados are concerned, her most significant work under the Columbia banner consisted of a pre-credits bit as Bela Lugosi's first victim in Return of the Vampire (1943) and the "haunted" heroine of Soul of a Monster (1944). Her other Columbia work ranged from the leading-lady stint in the 1942 serial The Phantom to a minor role in Death of a Salesman (1952). She worked steadily in television in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, most regularly as Nurse Wills on the weekly Ben Casey (1961-66). After accumulating some impressive credits in regional theater and as an acting instructor, Bates showed up as Mary's mother in the midnight-movie favorite Eraserhead (1978). Jeanne Bates' latter-day film appearances included small but worthwhile roles in Die Hard 2 (1992) and Grand Canyon (1992). Bates died of breast cancer at age 89 in November 2007. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Provided by Rovi