Biography

​From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mary Ellen "Mala" Powers (December 20, 1931 – June 11, 2007) was an American film actress.

She was born in San Francisco, California. In 1940, her family moved to Los Angeles. Her father was an executive with United Press. In the summer of her relocation, Powers attended the Max Reinhardt Junior Workshop where she enjoyed her first role in a play before a live audience. She continued with her drama lessons, and a year later she auditioned and won a part in the 1942 Dead End Kids film Tough as They Come.

At the age of 16 she began working in radio drama, before becoming a film actress in 1950. Her first roles were in Outrage and Edge of Doom in 1950. That same year, Stanley Kramer signed Powers to star opposite Jose Ferrer in what may be her most remembered role as Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her part in this movie.

While on a USO entertainment tour in Korea in 1951, she acquired a blood disease and almost died. She was treated with chloromycetin, but a severe allergic reaction resulted in the loss of much of her bone marrow. Powers barely survived, and her recovery took nearly nine months.

She began working again in 1952 and 1953, including a part in City Beneath the Sea and City That Never Sleeps, although she was still taking medication. Following her recovery, she appeared in B-movie westerns, such as Rage at Dawn (1955), and science fiction films, among them The Colossus of New York (1958), Flight of the Lost Balloon (1961), and Doomsday Machine (1972). She also had a large role in Tammy and the Bachelor (1957)

She appeared on more than one hundred television programs, including episodes of Appointment with Adventure, John Payne's The Restless Gun, Maverick, Bonanza, Wild Wild West and Perry Mason. She co-starred opposite Anthony Quinn in the television movie The Man and the City, later a television series.

She was married to Monte Vanton in 1954, but they divorced in 1962; they had a son, Toren Vanton, who survived his mother. Powers remarried in 1970 to M. Hughes Miller, a book publisher. Powers was a successful children's author of "Follow the Star" and "Follow the Year" and of "Dial a Story".

Shortly before her death from complications of leukemia June 11, 2007, aged 75, she had been on a lecture tour at universities. She was a master teacher for the past 14 years in the summer program at the University of Southern Maine for the Michael Chekhov Theatre Institute, training actors and teachers of acting. Mala Powers co-founded the National Michael Chekhov Association with teaching colleagues Wil Kilroy and Lisa Dalton, who continue to teach the curriculum developed by the trio in Maine. Powers was the executrix of the Michael Chekhov estate and instrumental in publishing Chekhov's books On the Technique of Acting, To the Actor, and The Path of the Actor. She also published Chekhov's audio series "On Theatre and the Art of Acting", to which she added a 60 page study guide. She co-narrates with Gregory Peck a documentary on Chekhov entitled "From Russia To Hollywood".

She was patron of the Michael Chekhov Studio London and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Powers also had a small but recurring role on Shirley Booth's Hazel series. In that capacity she became a close friend of Lynn Borden, who played Barbara Baxter in the 1965-1966 season. Later, she gave Borden several elephant figurines, one a jade piece an another purchased on a trip to India. Borden became a collector of both frog and elephant figures.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Mala Powers, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

​From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mary Ellen "Mala" Powers (December 20, 1931 – June 11, 2007) was an American film actress.

She was born in San Francisco, California. In 1940, her family moved to Los Angeles. Her father was an executive with United Press. In the summer of her relocation, Powers attended the Max Reinhardt Junior Workshop where she enjoyed her first role in a play before a live audience. She continued with her drama lessons, and a year later she auditioned and won a part in the 1942 Dead End Kids film Tough as They Come.

At the age of 16 she began working in radio drama, before becoming a film actress in 1950. Her first roles were in Outrage and Edge of Doom in 1950. That same year, Stanley Kramer signed Powers to star opposite Jose Ferrer in what may be her most remembered role as Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her part in this movie.

While on a USO entertainment tour in Korea in 1951, she acquired a blood disease and almost died. She was treated with chloromycetin, but a severe allergic reaction resulted in the loss of much of her bone marrow. Powers barely survived, and her recovery took nearly nine months.

She began working again in 1952 and 1953, including a part in City Beneath the Sea and City That Never Sleeps, although she was still taking medication. Following her recovery, she appeared in B-movie westerns, such as Rage at Dawn (1955), and science fiction films, among them The Colossus of New York (1958), Flight of the Lost Balloon (1961), and Doomsday Machine (1972). She also had a large role in Tammy and the Bachelor (1957)

She appeared on more than one hundred television programs, including episodes of Appointment with Adventure, John Payne's The Restless Gun, Maverick, Bonanza, Wild Wild West and Perry Mason. She co-starred opposite Anthony Quinn in the television movie The Man and the City, later a television series.

She was married to Monte Vanton in 1954, but they divorced in 1962; they had a son, Toren Vanton, who survived his mother. Powers remarried in 1970 to M. Hughes Miller, a book publisher. Powers was a successful children's author of "Follow the Star" and "Follow the Year" and of "Dial a Story".

Shortly before her death from complications of leukemia June 11, 2007, aged 75, she had been on a lecture tour at universities. She was a master teacher for the past 14 years in the summer program at the University of Southern Maine for the Michael Chekhov Theatre Institute, training actors and teachers of acting. Mala Powers co-founded the National Michael Chekhov Association with teaching colleagues Wil Kilroy and Lisa Dalton, who continue to teach the curriculum developed by the trio in Maine. Powers was the executrix of the Michael Chekhov estate and instrumental in publishing Chekhov's books On the Technique of Acting, To the Actor, and The Path of the Actor. She also published Chekhov's audio series "On Theatre and the Art of Acting", to which she added a 60 page study guide. She co-narrates with Gregory Peck a documentary on Chekhov entitled "From Russia To Hollywood".

She was patron of the Michael Chekhov Studio London and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Powers also had a small but recurring role on Shirley Booth's Hazel series. In that capacity she became a close friend of Lynn Borden, who played Barbara Baxter in the 1965-1966 season. Later, she gave Borden several elephant figurines, one a jade piece an another purchased on a trip to India. Borden became a collector of both frog and elephant figures.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Mala Powers, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 54

Birthday 1931-12-20

Day of Death 2007-07-11

Place of Birth San Francisco, California, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2002 From Russia to Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey of Chekhov and Shdanoff as Herself / Narrator (voice)
1984 Murder, She Wrote (1 episode)
1981 Six Tickets to Hell
1976 Charlie's Angels (1 episode)
1975 Switch (1 episode)
1972 Doomsday Machine as Maj. Georgianna Bronski
1969 Daddy's Gone A-Hunting as Meg Stone
1967 Ironside (1 episode)
1966 Jericho (1 episode)
1966 Rogue's Gallery as Maggie
1964 Daniel Boone (1 episode)
1964 Bewitched (2 episodes)
1963 Kraft Suspense Theatre (1 episode)
1963 Arrest and Trial (1 episode)
1962 The Gallant Men (1 episode)
1961 Flight of the Lost Balloon as Ellen Burton
1961 Fear No More as Sharon Carlin
1961 Everglades (2 episodes)
1961 Dr. Kildare (1 episode)
1960 Surfside 6 (1 episode)
1960 Thriller (1 episode)
1959 Hawaiian Eye (1 episode)
1959 Bourbon Street Beat (1 episode)
1959 The Rebel (1 episode)
1959 Lock-Up (1 episode)
1959 Rawhide (1 episode)
1958 77 Sunset Strip (1 episode)
1958 Bronco (1 episode)
1958 Wanted: Dead or Alive (1 episode)
1958 Sierra Baron as Sue Russell
1958 The Colossus of New York as Anne Spensser
1957 Man on the Prowl as Marlan Wood
1957 Maverick (1 episode)
1957 Perry Mason (5 episodes)
1957 Sugarfoot (1 episode)
1957 Death in Small Doses as Valerie 'Val' Owens
1957 The Unknown Terror as Gina Matthews
1957 Tammy and the Bachelor as Barbara Bissle
1957 The Storm Rider as Tay Rorick
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (1 episode)
1955 Matinee Theater (1 episode)
1955 Cheyenne (1 episode)
1955 Bengazi as Aileen Donovan
1955 Rage at Dawn as Laura Reno
1954 The Yellow Mountain as Nevada Wray
1954 Geraldine as Janey Edwards
1953 City That Never Sleeps as Sally 'Angel Face' Connors
1953 City Beneath the Sea as Terry McBride
1953 General Electric Theater (1 episode)
1953 Rose of Cimarron as Rose of Cimarron
1950 Cyrano de Bergerac as Roxane
1950 Outrage as Ann Walton
1950 Edge of Doom as Julie
1942 Tough as They Come as Esther Clark

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.

Global

s focus the search bar
p open profile menu
esc close an open window
? open keyboard shortcut window

On media pages

b go back (or to parent when applicable)
e go to edit page

On TV season pages

(right arrow) go to next season
(left arrow) go to previous season

On TV episode pages

(right arrow) go to next episode
(left arrow) go to previous episode

On all image pages

a open add image window

On all edit pages

t open translation selector
ctrl+ s submit form

On discussion pages

n create new discussion
w toggle watching status
p toggle public/private
c toggle close/open
a open activity
r reply to discussion
l go to last reply
ctrl+ enter submit your message
(right arrow) next page
(left arrow) previous page