Everett Collection
March 25, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT

Sally Forrest, singer and star of the ’40s films Not Wanted and Never Fear, died earlier this month at 86.

The protege of Hollywood trailblazer Ida Lupino died March 15 at home in Beverly Hills after a long battle with cancer, EW confirmed.

In Not Wanted, Forrest portrayed a young single mother who shamefully puts her baby up for adoption, only to want him back. In Never Fear, she played a rising dancer who becomes paralyzed by polio. Both films were written and helmed by Lupino, one of the few women to direct feature films at that time. Forrest also work with Lupino in Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951).

Born Katherine Feeney, Forrest began modeling and teaching ballet while she was still in high school. She got her first film gig working as a choreographer and lead dancer for Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) and went on to do several other MGM musicals.

Forrest had several other film credits including roles in Mystery Street (1950), Vengeance Valley (1951), The Strip (1951) starring Mickey Rooney, The Strange Door (1951) starring Boris Karloff and Charles Laughton, Son of Sinbad (1955), and Fritz Lang’s While the City Sleeps (1956).

She also had roles on TV series like Suspense and Rawhide, as well as musical spots on variety programs like The Ed Sullivan Show.

Forrest was married to writer-producer Milo Frank, whom she moved to New York with in the ’50s. She starred opposite Tom Ewell in the original run of The Seven Year Itch on Broadway.

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