Belita

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Gladys Lyne Jepson-Turner (b. October 25 1923, Nether Wallop, Hampshire, England - d. December 18 2005), known professionally as Belita, was an Olympic ice-skater, dancer and early film actress. She skated for Great Britain in the 1936 Olympics, then turned to Hollywood to further her career.

As an actress, she appeared in such first-rate vehicles as Never Let Me Go (1953), with Clark Gable, and opposite Charles Laughton in The Cherry Orchard.

She also unfortunately made several highly profitable but low-budget productions for Monogram Studios. Her appearances included: Silver Skates (1943), Lady, Let's Dance (1944) and Suspense (1946). Suspense, with its novel mixture of ice-skating and film noir proved enormously popular at the box-office.

In 1946, Belita married Joel McGinnis; they divorced in 1956. She married, secondly, James Berwick (died 2000). In 1956 she retired from skating and three years later gave up show business altogether.

Her autographed ice skates remain on display at the Smithsonian Institute. Belita22Sep44.jpg

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