Joan Evans, a film actor of the Golden Age of Hollywood, has died at age 89.
Born on July 18, 1934, Evans was named after Joan Crawford, her godmother and the best friend of her mother, MGM publicist Katherine Albert.
At age 14, Evans landed the title role in Roseanna McCoy, a romance film that dramatized the real-life Hatfield–McCoy feud. Evans revealed in a 2013 interview that costar Farley Granger, pictured with her below, “accidentally shot” her “very, very seriously” in the arm during reshoots on the picture.
Nevertheless, Evans and Granger later costarred in the 1950 films Our Very Own and Edge of Doom.
In 1951, Evans starred as a suicidal teen in On the Loose, a film scripted by her parents. And the following year, Evans got second billing in the musical film Skirts Ahoy!, starring Esther Williams.
Off screen, Evans wed car dealer Kirby Weatherly in 1952, when she was 18 years old, at the urging of Crawford and against the wishes of her parents, THR reports. She and Weatherly had two children, son John and daughter Dale.
Evans retired from acting in 1961 following a guest spot on the TV series Laramie. “It wasn’t hard making the transition from actress to housewife as I had two small children,” she told the Valley News of Van Nuys, California, in 1977. “As much as I loved the entertainment industry, I couldn’t see spending 13 hours a day at the studio.”
Following her screen career, Evans worked as the editor of Hollywood Studio Magazine and became director of the Carden Academy in Van Nuys. She turned down subsequent screen roles only because the timing didn’t work, she explained to the Valley News. As she told the newspaper, acting “never gets out of your system.”