‘Grapes of Wrath’ actress Bowdon dies at 90
LOS ANGELES: Dorris Bowdon, a movie actress best remembered for John Ford’s The
‘Grapes of Wrath’ and who left acting after she married that film’s screenwriter, has died. She was 90. Bowdon’s death at the Motion Picture and Television hospital in Los Angeles was caused by strokes, heart failure and old age, said her daughter-in-law, Fredda Johnson. Soon after a talent scout spotted her at Louisiana State University, Bowdon took a train to Hollywood and became a contract player with 20th Century Fox. Trying to rise above bit parts, she camped out in the office of writer-producer Nunnally Johnson in 1938 until he agreed to see her. Two years later, she married Johnson, who scripted 77 films and received Oscar nominations for ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ (1940) and ‘Holy Matrimony’ (1943). After acting in two earlier Ford films, ‘Young Mr. Lincoln’ and ‘Drums Along the Mohawk,’ both released in 1939, Bowdon was cast as Tom Joad’s pregnant sister, Rosasharn, in The Grapes of Wrath, which was based on John Steinbeck’s novel and starred Henry Fonda.