Arriving in Hollywood in 1948, aged 19, and standing 5 feet 9 inches, she quickly found modeling work, in which she was mistakenly billed as “Beverley Michaels”. Later the same year, she had a brief role in the film East Side, West Side, and two years later had a minor role in the film version of Three Little Words. In 1951, Michaels caught the attention of independent film director and producer Hugo Haas. Haas showcased Michaels in the 1951 film noir Pickup. The movie was a surprise hit, albeit a secondary B feature, and launched Haas’ career as a Hollywood director and had a large part in starting the cycle of bad girl movies of the 1950s, which usually starred blonde sex symbols. Their follow-up release The Girl on the Bridge (1951) was not a success, however, and Haas dropped Michaels in favor of newcomer Cleo Moore as his regular female star. Michaels was now a free agent and had uncredited roles in The Marrying Kind and No Hold Barred, both 1952 releases. She returned to film noirs with a lead role in Wicked Woman (1953) which today is perhaps her mostly widely seen film. Michaels later guest starred on an episode of The Adventures of Falcon, before making the low-budgeted drama Crashout. In 1956, she starred in Women Without Men and Blonde Bait, her last film. Upon completing Blonde Bait, she retired permanently from acting.
Beverly Michaels was born in New York City. In 1949, Michaels married MGM producer Voldemar Vetluguin, whom she divorced in 1952. She married director Russell Rouse in 1955 and they had two children. In 2007, their son Christopher Rouse won an Oscar in editing for The Bourne Ultimatum. She and Russell remained married until his death in 1987. In the 1980s a cult fan following grew for the “bad girl” 1950s melodrama genre, and while the public interest centered mostly on Cleo Moore and Mamie Van Doren, Michaels’ contributions were duly noted, including a tribute article written about Wicked Woman by Lily Tomlin in the short-lived Movies Magazine. Michaels, unlike Van Doren, however, declined any interviews or attempts to lure her back into the spotlight and remained private in retirement. Beverly Michaels died of a stroke on June 9, 2007 in Phoenix, Arizona, aged 78.
- December, 28, 1928
- New York, New York
- June, 09, 2007
- Phoenix, Arizona
Cause of Death
- Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery
- Phoenix, Arizona