Born in Boise City, Oklahoma, Vera Miles attended school in Pratt, Kansas and Wichita, Kansas. The patrician beauty of Miss Miles won her the title of “Miss Kansas” in 1948, leading soon to small roles in Hollywood films and television series. Fame came to the forthright, spirited Miles when she attracted the attention of two master directors, Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford. Ford cast her in the classic western The Searchers (1956) and Hitchcock, who put her under personal contract and hailed her as his “new Grace Kelly”, paired her with the great Henry Fonda in The Wrong Man (1956). Hitchcock cast Miles in the potentially star-making role of Judy Barton in Vertigo (1958), but Miles withdrew from the film when she became pregnant. Hitchcock gave Miles a supporting role in another masterpiece Psycho (1960), as did Ford when he cast her opposite John Wayne and James Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), She also starred in such films as Beau James (1957) opposite Bob Hope, The FBI Story (1959) opposite Stewart, Back Street (1961) opposite Susan Hayward and John Gavin and Sergeant Ryker (1968) opposite Lee Marvin, as well as showing her consistently remarkable and versatile talent on dozens of popular television movies and series including The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962), The Twilight Zone (1959), The Outer Limits (1963), The Fugitive (1963), My Three Sons (1960), Bonanza (1959), Columbo (1971) and Murder, She Wrote (1984). In 1983, she reprised her role as “Lila Crane” in the film sequel Psycho II (1983), starring Anthony Perkins. Although, too often, the stunningly beautiful Miles’ gifts were underutilized, before her retirement in 1995, hers was a most intriguing and enduring Hollywood career.
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