Gloria Pall, the too sexy for TV actress, dies at 85

Jan 7, 2013 at 12:51 p.m. ET

Gloria Pall, the 1950s actress who was called "too sexy" for television, has passed away at age 85.

Gloria Pall

The life and times of Gloria Pall were pretty interesting, especially when you consider the storm of controversy the TV vixen kicked up while still fully clothed.

Pall was never naked or even nearly naked on television, not like you often find actresses now, five decades later. Instead, as she called herself on her website, she was "just suggestive — corny not porny."

Yet just weeks after her show first aired on television, it was canceled amid a public outcry. What, exactly, was her show? She hosted a romance-themed movie program once a week on Wednesday nights.

From the beginning to the end of each movie show, Pall would occasionally pop up and do introductions and have pointless discussions with the camera. All of this happened while wearing strapless, lower-cut dresses that were pretty scandalous at the time.

She could do the pretty girl sexy walk like a model, and she wasn't afraid to strip into new clothes behind a black-lit dressing screen, exposing viewers to her — gasp! — shadow. It all seems so trivial and innocent now. But in 1954, standing around in men's pajamas on national television was downright appalling.

The next year, all the scandal landed her invitations to pose for Playboy and Life magazines. Never one to back down, Pall took them up on their offers.

For further proof of Pall's go-get-'em attitude, one need look no further than the rest of her career. Pall started her working life as an airplane mechanic when she was just a teenager in New York City. From there, she became a secretary at the company.

She eventually moved out West and first landed jobs as a showgirl in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. When she hit Hollywood, she was soon landing small roles alongside guys like Elvis and Kirk Douglas. She even once played a stripper (who meets her demise in the opening scene).

When work in Hollywood was slow, Pall took up real estate. Back in the '40s and '50s, falling back on "reality television" just wasn't an option.

Pall, who was nearly always a vision in lavender (from her car, to her real estate office, to her clothes), continued to go after making a life for herself, seizing life one adventure at a time. At 85 years old, in a hospital in Burbank, California, on Dec. 30, 2012, her loved ones were no doubt sad to see her go, but it was a life well-lived.

Photo credit: Getty Images