Rita Gam

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Rita Eleanore Guinzburg/Lumet (MacKay)

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Death: March 22, 2016 (87)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Milton MacKay and Sarah Belle MacKay
Ex-wife of Thomas Henry Guinzburg and Sidney Lumet
Mother of Private and Private
Sister of Alexander Gam

Occupation: Actress
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Rita Gam

Rita Gam is an American film and television actress and documentary film maker. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Silver Bear for Best Actress.

Gam's career began on Broadway and in television, after which she moved on to films, appearing first in the 1952 film noir The Thief with Ray Milland.

Another notable role was Herodias in the 1961 film King of Kings.

She won the Silver Bear for Best Actress award at the 1962's Berlin Film Festival for her performance in Tad Danielewski's No exit.

She appeared in a few more American films before finding work in Europe. Gam returned to the U.S. to appear in small parts in films including Klute in 1971 before taking up documentary film making.

In 2004, she appeared in one of a series of ads for the Royal Bank of Scotland. Filmed at Saint Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, New York, the ad included Gam in the role of a concerned mother who is at first distressed when a wedding seems about to go haywire due to a vacillating, overly talkative groom.

She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her close friend Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier in Monaco.

Deadline.com Obituary

A veteran 1950s breakout who went on to a lengthy career in film and television, Rita Gam has died. Her publicist, Nancy Willen, told press the actress passed away in Los Angeles of respiratory failure on Tuesday. She was 88.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1927, Gam made her Broadway debut in 1946 and returned several times throughout her career as actress and producer, notably in the cast of the 1967 British comedy hit There’s a Girl in My Soup. In 1963, she was a leading member of Sir Tyrone Guthrie’s company in the debut season of the resident theater named for him in Minneapolis, MN. A member of the Actors Studio, she also worked in television before landing her first feature role with 1952’s The Thief starring Ray Milland. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer for the film. Gam later starred in Douglas Sirk’s 1954 Sign Of The Pagan with Jack Palance, and in Nunnally Johnson’s Night People, also in 1954. That film starred Gregory Peck, with whom Gam would re-team for 1971’s Shoot Out.

In 1962, she shared the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for Tad Danielewski’s No Exit. Her other feature credits include Nicholas Ray’s 1961 King Of Kings and a role in 1971’s Jane Fonda-starrer Klute. Gam last appeared on Broadway in a 2000 revival of Uncle Vanya with Derek Jacobi in the title role.

Gam was married to director Sidney Lumet and, later, Viking Press founder Thomas Ginzburg. A close friend of Grace Kelly — they’d been apartment mates and Gam was a bridesmaid at Kelly’s wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco — also made guest appearances on such seminal TV series as The Rockford Files, Mannix, McMillan & Wife and Family Affair.

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Rita Gam's Timeline

April 2, 1928
Pittsburgh, PA, United States
March 22, 2016
Age 87
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States