Gloria Grahame (November 28, 1923 – October 5, 1981) was an Academy Award-winning American film actress. Grahame was born Gloria Hallward in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Jean McDougal, who used the stage name Jean Grahame, was a stage actress and acting teacher who taught Gloria acting during her childhood and adolescence. She was signed to a contact with MGM Studios after Louis B. Mayer saw her performing on Broadway. Changing her name to Gloria Grahame, she made her film debut in Blonde Fever (1944) and scored her most widely praised role as the neurotic small town girl Violet, who is saved from a disgraceful and disheartening future by George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). MGM was not able to develop her potential as a star and her contract was sold to RKO Studios in 1947.