Movies

The Big Sleep actress Sonia Darrin dies aged 96


Sonia (far right) was Humphey Bogart’s other half on The Big Sleep (Picture: Rex)

The Big Sleep’s femme fatale star Sonia Darrin has died at the age of 96. 

She passed away on 19 July due to natural causes in a New York City hospital, following complications recovering from a broken hip. 

Her death was confirmed by her son, Mason Reese. 

Sonia, who was a prominent actress during the Golden Age of Hollywood, performed only during the late 1940’s and 50’s on screen, but managed to leave behind a legacy. 

Her roles included playing the dangerous gangster girlfriend of Humphrey Bogart’s character in The Big Sleep. 

She revealed in 2016 that she was initially turned down for the role, because director Howard Hawks ‘hated her test’ but gave her the part after ‘personally supervising her hairdo’ for another test. 

Other credits include film, Caught (Picture:: Mgm/Kobal/REX)

Other credited include Bury Me Dead (1947), I, Jane Doe (1948), and Federal Agent at Large (1950). 

She quit the industry that year in order to pursue a career as a model in New York, and remained in the city for the rest of her life.

Marrying theatre designer Bill Reese, the couple had four children, three sons and a daughter. 

Sonia returned to the acting industry only to chaperone her son Mason, who later became a child actor on The Mike Douglas Show. 

He later also quit the industry to run a restaurant. 

‘She was part mom, part protector, part warrior and part manager,’ Reese told Hollywood Reporter. 

‘She knew all about the pitfalls in Hollywood and instilled in me that this would be a roller-coaster ride and an adventure — and that when I didn’t want to do it anymore, I didn’t have to.’

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