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Georgia Bitner (April 2, 1926 - September 10, 2012) was an African American actress who appeared in several films and television shows over a period of seven decades. She was jokingly called "Hollywood's Second Banana" because she also appeared in supporting roles instead of lead parts.

Life and career

She was born Georgia Rose Bitner in Atlanta and her first name was given in honor of the state to which she was born. Growing up she idolized such black actors as Hattie McDaniel, Theresa Harris, Butterfly McQueen,[1] and Josephine Baker and had originally intended to become a dancer until the outbreak of World War II. During the war she made a living working for the American Red Cross as a nurse.[1] In 1946, at age 20, she moved to Los Angeles to work as an actress and made her screen debut uncredited in The Best Years of our Lives followed by turns in Out of the Past (1947), The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), and The Bad and The Beautiful (1952).[1]

In the 1950s she welcomed more work as an actress by the medium of television appearing on such programs as Ozzie and Harriet, I Love Lucy, The Loretta Young Show, Gunsmoke, Pete and Gladys, My Three Sons, Bewitched, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Murder, She Wrote, Tales from the Darkside, Home Improvement, Father Dowling Mysteries, Living Single, and In Living Color.[1] Her last acting role was as an aged murder suspect of a past crime in the TV drama Cold Case. Upon her retierment her resume consited of 38 film roles and 87 television credits.[1]

Her other film credits included parts in A Star Is Born (1954), Peyton Place (1957), Sunday In New York (1963), Halloween (1978), and Betsy's Wedding (1990).

She spent retierment in Studio City, California where she spent time active in childrens charities such as St. Jude as well as painting, gardening, and she was active in the Baptist church.[1] She died at her home on September 10, 2012 and upon her death was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea in Santa Monica. She never married or had children of her own but was survived by her niece and nephew, Ally and Joshua Bitner.

Despite her extensive resume her family is still trying to create a page for her on the Internet Movie Database for it is hard for her to be linked to specific actors and directors due in part that most of her extensive work was done without proper credit in title and or closing sequences.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 In Rememberence of Me: Georgia Bitner, Hollywood's Second Banana, dies at 86. Togodbetheglory2012.blogspot.com. Retrieved on 2012-09-13.
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