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'Wrath' star Dorris Bowdon dead at 90

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LOS ANGELES, Aug 12, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- "Grapes of Wrath" star Dorris Bowdon has died in Woodland Hills, Calif., at age 90, it was reported Friday.

Bowdon died Tuesday at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital, the Los Angeles Times said. She had suffered strokes and heart failure.

As an aspiring actress in the 1930s, Bowdon grew frustrated with the lack of work and camped out in the office of Hollywood writer/producer Nunnally Johnson until he saw her, she told the New Orleans Times-Picayune in 1999.

Although he did not hire her, they married two years later at the home of actress Helen Hayes.

The couple did work together in 1940 when Bowdon was cast as Tom Joad's pregnant sister, Rose of Sharon, in "Grapes of Wrath," which earned Johnson his first Oscar nomination. He wrote a total 77 films through the years.

Bowdon retired from acting after making one more movie and became "the strong woman behind the strong man," her daughter-in-law Fredda Johnson told the Times.

Bowdon is survived by a son, two daughters and four grandchildren.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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