Joan Geraldine Bennett was an American stage, film and television actress. Besides acting on the stage, Bennett appeared in more than 70 motion pictures from the era of silent movies well into the sound era. She is possibly best-remembered for her film noir femme fatale roles in director Fritz Lang’s movies such as The Woman in the Window and Scarlet Street. Bennett had three distinct phases to her long and successful career, first as a winsome blonde ingenue, then as a sensuous brunette femme fatale, and finally as a warmhearted wife/mother figure.
In 1951, Bennett’s screen career was marred by scandal after her third husband, film producer Walter Wanger, shot and injured her agent Jennings Lang. Wanger suspected that Lang and Bennett were having an affair, a charge which she adamantly denied.
In the 1960s, she achieved success for her portrayal of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard on TV’s Dark Shadows, for which she received an Emmy nomination. For her final movie role, as Madame Blanc in Suspiria, she received a Saturn Award nomination.