October 8, 2010
Leona Gage, the tall brunette who played the title role of Morella in a segment in Roger Corman’s Tales of Terror, has died. Gage was a minor movie ingenue, better known for having been Miss USA for a single day in 1957. That story, and many others from Gage’s sad life, are told in this remarkably detailed profile by John Woestendiek.
Television? Gage’s beauty pageant notoriety landed her a walk-on on The Ed Sullivan Show and a singing gig on The Steve Allen Show (she tanked), and then a dramatic role on the live daytime anthology Matinee Theater. This was “Sunday in Sonora,” a western co-starring Marshall Thompson and Les Tremayne, and telecast on August 2, 1957. It is probably lost.