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Terry Moore (actress)

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Terry Moore
Moore seated with three cats in 1947
Moore in 1947
Helen Luella Koford

(1929-01-07) January 7, 1929 (age 95)
Other names
  • Judy Ford
  • Jan Ford
  • January Ford
Years active1940–present
Known forCome Back, Little Sheba
Mighty Joe Young
The Great Rupert
(m. 1951; div. 1952)
Eugene McGrath
(m. 1956; div. 1959)
Stuart Cramer
(m. 1959; div. 1970)
Richard Carey
(m. 1979; div. 1980)
Jerry Rivers
(m. 1992; died 2001)
PartnerHoward Hughes (1949-1976; disputed marriage)
Children2, including Grant Cramer

Terry Moore (born Helen Luella Koford; January 7, 1929) is an American film and television actress who began her career as a child actor. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Come Back, Little Sheba (1952).


Child actress[edit]

Moore was born January 7, 1929, in Glendale, California, and grew up in a Mormon family in Los Angeles.[1]

Moore's early appearances include The Howards of Virginia (1940), On the Sunny Side (1942), My Gal Sal (1942), A-Haunting We Will Go (1942), True to Life (1943), Gaslight (1944) (playing Ingrid Bergman as a child), Since You Went Away (1944), Sweet and Low-Down (1944), and The Clock (1945).[2] As Helen Koford, she had a supporting role in Son of Lassie (1945) and Shadowed (1946).[3] As "Jan Ford" she was billed third in The Devil on Wheels (1947) at Monogram. She was uncredited in Heartaches (1948) and Summer Holiday (1948).[2]

Moore worked in radio in the 1940s, most memorably as Bumps Smith on The Smiths of Hollywood.


Moore's career received a boost when Columbia Pictures signed her to a long-term contract. She had the lead in The Return of October (1948) with Glenn Ford, playing a character called Terry Ramsey, after which Terry became her stage name.[2]

Moore was borrowed by RKO to star in Mighty Joe Young (1949), a film about a giant gorilla that won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. George Pal cast her in The Great Rupert (1950) with Jimmy Durante.[4]

Moore in The Great Rupert (1950)

At Columbia, Moore co-starred with Mickey Rooney in He's a Cockeyed Wonder (1950). She also did Gambling House (1950) with Victor Mature at RKO, Two of a Kind (1951), Sunny Side of the Street (1951), and The Barefoot Mailman (1951).

Moore played Marie Buckholder in Come Back, Little Sheba (1952), produced by Hal Wallis, with Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth as co-stars. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.[citation needed]

Moore began appearing in television shows like The Ford Television Theatre and appeared on the cover of Life magazine on July 6, 1953, as "Hollywood's sexy tomboy". Her photo was used on the cover of the second issue of the My Diary romance comic book (cover dated March 1950).[5][6]

20th Century Fox[edit]

Elia Kazan cast Moore in the female lead in the 20th Century Fox drama Man on a Tightrope (1953). Fox then signed Moore to a long-term contract. It gave her the female lead in Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953), the second film in CinemaScope and a big hit. Also popular was King of the Khyber Rifles (1953) with Tyrone Power.[7][8]

Moore supported Fred Astaire in Daddy Long Legs (1955) and had the lead in some thrillers: Shack Out on 101 (1955) and Portrait of Alison (1955).

Between Heaven and Hell (1956) reunited her with Robert Wagner, the leading man in Beneath the 12-Mile Reef. She guest-starred on TV shows like The 20th Century-Fox Hour, General Electric Theater, Playhouse 90, Climax!, Studio One in Hollywood, and Rawhide.[9]

Fox used her in Bernardine (1957) with Pat Boone and Peyton Place (1957) with Lana Turner. They then put her in the less popular A Private's Affair (1959). She was Audie Murphy's leading lady in Cast a Long Shadow (1959).


Moore had the lead in Platinum High School (1960) and Why Must I Die? (1960), producing the latter.

Moore guest starred on Checkmate and The Rebel and had a regular role as a rancher's daughter in the NBC Western Empire. She also appeared on the NBC interview program Here's Hollywood.

Other appearances during this period include Black Spurs (1965), Town Tamer (1965), Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, Waco (1966), and A Man Called Dagger (1968) as well as episodes of The Virginian, and Batman.


Moore's 1970s appearances included Quarantined (1970), Bonanza, The Daredevil (1972), Smash-Up on Interstate 5 (1976), and Death Dimension (1978).


In the 1980s Moore's roles included appearances in Double Exposure (1982), Hellhole (1985), Going Overboard (1989), American Boyfriends (1989), and Jake Spanner, Private Eye (1989) and episodes of Matt Houston, Knight Rider, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, True Confessions, and Wiseguy.

At age 55, Moore posed nude in the August 1984 issue of Playboy magazine, photographed by Ken Marcus. She also appeared in theatre.[10]

She appeared in and did the story for Beverly Hills Brats (1989).

Later career[edit]

Moore was in Murder, She Wrote; Marilyn and Me (both in 1991); American Southern (1995); Second Chances (1998) (which she also produced); Mighty Joe Young (1998); and Final Voyage (1999).

Moore produced but did not appear in America's Funniest Home Videos and Nandi (1998).

In the 2000s, Moore's appearances include roles in Stageghost (2000), Kill Your Darlings (2006), The Still Life (2007), Dewitt & Maria (2010), a guest-starring role as Lilly Hill on the crime series True Detective (2014), Aimy in a Cage (2015), Ray Donovan, and Silent Life (2019).

Personal life[edit]

Moore married American football star and Heisman Trophy winner Glenn Davis (known as Mr. Outside when he played at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point) in 1951. They were divorced the following year. A subsequent marriage to Eugene McGarth[citation needed] in 1956 lasted three years. One year after this marriage ended, Moore married Stuart Cramer after his divorce from Jean Peters;[11][failed verification] they had two children together, Stuart Cramer IV and actor Grant Cramer, before divorcing in 1972. In 1979, Moore claimed to have married Richard F. Carey, in Mexico; he disappeared a few days later, having swindled her and others out of their money.[12] Her 1992 marriage to Jerry Rivers lasted until his death in 2001.[citation needed]

Moore became the subject of public attention as a result of her relationship with Howard Hughes.[13] According to Moore, she and Hughes were married in 1949 in a ceremony performed by a ship captain in international waters.[12][14] Moore has said that Hughes destroyed the ship's log that recorded the marriage, and they separated from each other by 1956,[15] but she and Hughes were never divorced.[13] Moore has explained her subsequent marriages during Hughes' lifetime by saying, "I didn't care whether I was a bigamist or not, frankly. I mean, my desire to have children was that strong."[15]

The Texas courts rejected Moore's claim of being Hughes' widow based on judicial estoppel; since Moore had claimed in her divorce from Cramer to have been married to him in 1959 and received a property settlement in that case, her claim that she was married to Hughes at the time was inconsistent with that and would not be accepted.[16] Nevertheless, the Hughes heirs agreed that Moore had had a long-term relationship with Hughes and agreed to a financial settlement with her.[17] Moore described the settlement as "not more than eight figures";[18] a biography of Hughes implies that the settlement was $350,000.[17]

Moore dated actor Glenn Ford in the early 1970s.[19]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Comments
1940 Maryland Girl Uncredited
The Howards of Virginia Neighbor Girl Uncredited
1942 On the Sunny Side Little Girl Uncredited
My Gal Sal Carrie Dreiser Uncredited
A-Haunting We Will Go Dante's Young Admirer Uncredited
1943 True to Life Little Girl Uncredited
1944 Since You Went Away Refugee Child on Train Uncredited
Gaslight Paula Alquist (age 14) Uncredited
1945 The Clock Girl at Museum Uncredited
Son of Lassie Thea Credited as Helen Koford
1946 Shadowed Virginia 'Ginny' Johnson Credited as Helen Koford
1947 The Devil on Wheels Rusty Davis Credited as Jan Ford
1948 The Return of October Terry Ramsey From now on credited as Terry Moore
1949 Mighty Joe Young Jill Young
1950 The Great Rupert Rosalinda Amendola
He's a Cockeyed Wonder Judy Sears
1951 Gambling House Lynn Warren
Two of a Kind Kathy McIntyre
Sunny Side of the Street Betty Holloway
The Barefoot Mailman Adie Titus
1952 Come Back, Little Sheba Marie Buckholder Nominated–Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1953 Beneath the 12-Mile Reef Gwyneth Rhys
King of the Khyber Rifles Susan
1955 Daddy Long Legs Linda Pendleton
Shack Out on 101 Kotty
The United States Steel Hour Caroline Schwendinger Episode: "Scandal at Peppernut"
1956 Portrait of Alison Alison Ford
Between Heaven and Hell Jenny Gifford
The 20th Century Fox Hour Ann Winslow Episode: "The Moneymaker"
1957 Bernardine Jean Cantrick
Peyton Place Betty Anderson
1958 Studio One Annabelle Episode: "The Man Who Asked for a Funeral"
1959 Rawhide Dallas Episode: "Incident Of The Tumbleweed" (Season 1 Episode 1, 9 January 1959)
Cast a Long Shadow Janet Calvert
A Private's Affair Louise Wright
1960 Platinum High School Jennifer Evans Alternative title: Trouble at Sixteen
Why Must I Die? Lois King
1961 The Rebel Janice Episode: "The Executioner"
1962–1963 Empire Connie Garrett 20 episodes
1963 Burke's Law Sarah Kingston Episode: "Who Killed Eleanora Davis?"
1965 Black Spurs Anna
Town Tamer Susan Tavenner Co-starred with Dana Andrews
City of Fear Suzan
1966 My Three Sons Eleanor Episode: "Steve and the Huntress"
Waco Dolly
The Virginian Alma Wilson Episode: "High Stakes"
1967 Batman Venus 3 episodes: The Zodiac Crimes, The Joker's Hard Times, and The Penguin Declines.
1968 A Man Called Dagger Harper Davis Filmed in 1966
1970 Quarantined Martha Atkinson Television movie
Bonanza Lydia Yates Episode: "Gideon the Good"
1976 Smash-Up on Interstate 5 Trudy Television movie
1978 Death Dimension Madam Maria
1983 Matt Houston Emily Armor Episode: "A Novel Way to Die"
Knight Rider Molly Friedrich Episode: "K.I.T.T. the Cat"
Fantasy Island Audrey Wilkins Episode: "The Butler's Affair/Roarke's Sacrifice"
1985 Hellhole Sidnee Hammond
1988 Wiseguy Dr. Leitner Episode: "Phantom Pain"
1989 Going Overboard Mistress
American Boyfriends Al Walker
Beverly Hills Brats Veronica
1991 Marilyn & Me Woman at Hyde's Funeral Television movie
1995 American Southern Peggin
1998 Mighty Joe Young Elegant Woman at Party
Second Chances Dallas Taylor Judd
1999 Final Voyage Christina
2000 Stageghost Olive
2006 Kill Your Darlings Ella Toscana
2007 The Still Life Mrs. Stratford
The Desert Rose Jamie Shaw
2009 Ariel Liz
2010 Dewitt & Maria Terry
2012 Margarine Wars Miriam Cuningham
2014 Aimy in a Cage Grandma
True Detective Lilly Hill Episode: "Form and Void"
Mansion of Blood Natalie
2016 Ray Donovan Nazani Minassian Episode: "Norman Saves the World"
Merrily Betty Clurman
2018 Saving Flora Sylvia
2019 Silent Life Lady in Black


  1. ^ "Terry Moore". Los Angeles Times. Hollywood Star Walk. Archived from the original on December 17, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Terry Moore, Starlet Soon to Be Unveiled, Proves to Be Personable, Piquant Mimic Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 19 Oct 1947: C1.
  3. ^ The Life Story of TERRY MOORE Picture Show; London Vol. 57, Iss. 1491, (Oct 27, 1951): 12.
  4. ^ Elia Kazan to Direct 'Port of Entry;' Terry Moore Wins Bright Lead Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 21 Oct 1949: B9.
  5. ^ Brevoort, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, eds. (2008). "1950s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-756-64123-8.
  6. ^ "GCD :: Issue :: My Diary #2". comics.org.
  7. ^ Terry Moore to Debut in CinemaScope; Jean Hagen Headed for Stage Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 24 Feb 1953: B7.
  8. ^ CURTIZ TO DIRECT 'COVERED WAGON': Paramount Remake of Silent Epic Will Have New Plot -- Terry Moore in Fox Film By THOMAS M. PRYORSpecial to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times 23 June 1953: 25.
  9. ^ Terry Moore May Do Own TV Show; Rams Set on TV Ames, Walter. Los Angeles Times 6 July 1956: B6.
  10. ^ Terry Moore: Life After Howard: Mrs. Hughes Renews Her Celebrity Actress Terry Moore And Her 'Scheme' For the Spotlight By Mesan Rosenfeld. The Washington Post 28 June 1983: C1.
  11. ^ McCarthy, Todd (2000). Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood. Grove Press. p. 659. ISBN 978-0-8021-3740-1.
  12. ^ a b "Actress Terry Moore wins part of Hughes' wealth". The Telegraph. May 25, 1983.
  13. ^ a b "Howard Hughes Kept Scores of Secrets, and Terry Moore Claims She Was One of Them". People.com. April 26, 1976. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  14. ^ Brewton, Pete (September 5, 1981). "Jury Divvies Howard Hughes' Fortune After an Heir Raid in Texas Court". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Endrst, James (July 9, 2000). "Howard Hughes' widow clinging to the memories of the recluse". Deseret News. The Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  16. ^ Moore v. Neff, 629 S.W.2d 827 (Tex. Ct. App. 1982).
  17. ^ a b Hack, Richard (2007). Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Phoenix Books. p. 387. ISBN 978-1597775496. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  18. ^ Scott, Vernon. "Howard Hughes' 'wife' claims settlement". UPI.com. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  19. ^ Ford, Peter. Glenn Ford: A Life (Wisconsin Film Studies). Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011. p.258 ISBN 978-0-29928-154-0

External links[edit]