Faye Emerson: Life Story and Beautiful Photos of the First Lady of Late-Night Shows

Faye Emerson was a famous film, stage actresses, and Television personality. She has been qualified as one of the ‘first ladies of TV glamor and the first lady of the Late-Night show. She rose to prominence as a film actress in the 1940s and moved to television in the 1950s to host her talk show.

Acting career

Her parents divorced when she was in her teens, and she moved to San Diego to live with her mother, where she was eventually put in a convent boarding school. After graduating from high school, she attended San Diego State College and pursued a career in acting, appearing in many Community Players productions. In 1935, Faye Emerson made her stage debut in “Russet Mantle.” In 1941, she signed a contract with Warner Bros. and began acting in their films.

Faye Emerson made her acting debut in the film ‘Lady Gangster,’ in which she played an uncredited role (1942). In “The Mask of Dimitrios,” she played Zachary Scott’s former boyfriend, one of her most memorable roles. In the 1940s and early 1950s, Emerson starred in over thirty films.

Television career

Faye had made the transition to television in 1948 and began appearing in a variety of anthology films. The ‘Faye Emerson Show’ debuted on CBS on October 24, 1949, in local East Coast markets until the network expanded the 15-minute show to the entire country in March 1950. Before committing to the CBS program, she hosted a similar performance on NBC called “Fifteen with Faye” for about six months. Other talk shows that she appeared on included ‘Faye Emerson’s Wonderful Town,’ ‘Author Meets the Critics,’ ‘Faye and Skitch,’ and several others. While appearing on television throughout the 1950s, Emerson also appeared in numerous Broadway productions, including ‘Parisienne (1950)’, ‘The Heavenly Twins (1955)’, ‘Protective Custody (1956)’, and Back to Methuselah (1958).

Faye Emerson’s spouses

Faye Emerson married auto-dealer William Crawford during the early years, but the marriage was short-lived and only lasted for four years. The couple had a son. Two years after the divorce, Emerson married US president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s son Elliott Roosevelt. Her marriage to Roosevelt had started to fall apart, and she attempted suicide by slitting her wrists on Christmas Day, 1948, and was hospitalized. Roosevelt was divorced from her in January 1950. Miss Emerson was often in the news during her five-year marriage to Mr. Roosevelt. On her husband’s travels abroad and at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, N.Y., she met with world leaders.

She married Skitch Henderson, the leader of a famous TV band, shortly after her second divorce was finalized. After that, the pair co-hosted a 15-minute music show called Faye and Skitch (1953). This partnership will continue for seven years.

Faye Emerson’s death

Emerson officially retired from show business in 1963 after her last television performance. She relocated to Europe, living in Switzerland for a period before settling in Spain in 1975. Emerson died of stomach cancer in Spain on March 9, 1983, at the age of 65. She passed away at her home in Deya, an artists’ colony town where she had lived for many years. Her first marriage produced a son, William W. Crawford 3d, who is still alive. He was there when she passed away.

Here below are some glamorous photos of Faye Emerson from her early life and professional career.

#1 Faye Emerson with her husband Elliott Roosevelt , 1944.

#2 Faye Emerson chatting with woman at cocktail party given by Robert E. Hannegan, 1945.

#6 Faye Emerson with Mrs. James Roosevelt and Elliott Roosevelt, 1945.

#7 Faye Emerson with Elliott Roosevelt arriving at the opening of Candida together, 1945.

#8 Faye Emerson with Elliott Roosevelt and Walter Winchell Sitting at Table, 1945.

#9 Faye Emerson wearing a leaf-patterned white gown, and holding a rose, 1948.

#10 Faye Emerson with and Louis Calhern performing in The Play’s The Thing, 1948.

#11 Faye Emerson with Louis Calhern and Arthur Margetson, 1948.

#12 Faye Emerson with Gilbert Miller, Ferenc Molnar, Louis Calhern, Arthur Margetson and Ernest Cossart, 1948.

#14 Faye Emerson with Ted Husing talking it up during a Roller Skating Derby, 1950.

#15 Faye Emerson drinking while fanning herself down during a Roller Skating Derby, 1950.

#16 Faye Emerson with Pete Brandon and actress Sally Kirkland in the Charleston at party on E. 73rd St, 1950.

#17 Faye Emerson with Skitch Henderson and Scoop Crawford, 1951.

#18 Faye Emerson with Grace Kelly, Oleg Cassini and restauranteur Bernard ‘Toots’ Shor at a party for the Damon Runyon Theater, 1955.

#19 Faye Emerson as ‘Hajy’ in a publicity shot from the movie ‘The Desert Song’, 1943.

#22 Faye Emerson with Judy Garland, Sonja Henie and Ginger Rogers, 1950.

#23 Faye Emerson with Dorothy Kirsten at the opening of the Metropolitan Opera, 1950.

#25 French singer Edith Piaf and American actress Faye Emerson preparing a show for American television, March 14, 1951.

#26 Faye Emerson with Denise Darcel, Peggy Ann Garner, and Ann Sothern, 1952.

#27 Faye Emerson, speaking into microphone about the merits of Dwight D. Eisenhower, during time of his campaign, 1952.

#28 Faye Emerson with Dorothy Kirsten at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, 1953.

#29 Faye Emerson with Baseball player Jackie Robinson and a contestant, 1953.

#30 Baseball player Jackie Robinson, host Faye Emerson and a contestant, 1953.

#31 Faye Emerson with Robert Q. Lewis entertaining friends at his apartment in the Beverly Hotel, 1960.

#40 Faye Emerson sitting on the chair with legs up, 1950s.

#49 Faye Emerson with George S. Kaufman Junie Keegan, and Abe Burrows in a TV show, 1951.

Faye Emerson with George S. Kaufman Junie Keegan, and Abe Burrows in a TV show, 1951.

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