A femme fatale with extraordinary carnal allure, Gloria Grahame electrified moviegoers with her turns as venal, sexually aggressive women in such films as "Crossfire" (1947), "In a Lonely Place" (1950) and "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952), which earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. A professional actress from childhood, Grahame began her career playing sexually confident if emotionally unstable women, and essentially repeated that role throughout the 1940s and 1950s, which marked her heyday in Hollywood. Few actresses could present such an openly wanton image as Grahame, whose heavy-lidded eyes and permanently curled lip - the result of botched surgery - lent her a physical gravitas other actresses lacked. Her women were dangerous, without question, and potentially lethal if cornered, like her mob moll in "The Big Heat" (1953), who lurked through the film's shadowy underworld on a hell-bent mission to avenge her disfigurement by Lee Marvin. Off-camera, Grahame had a reputation as an uncooperative performer, and her 1952 divorce from director Nicholas Ray, who discovered her in flagrante delicto with his 13-year-old stepson - whom Grahame would later marry in 1960 - left moviegoers appalled. Her career waned in the late 1950s, and she would labor through TV appearances and low-budget features until 1980, when she was felled by stomach cancer. But the best of her screen roles continued to burn on late-night TV and in revival houses, where her incendiary presence had lost none of its power to entrance - or to burn.