Lisa Gaye, the actress and dancer who starred in the 1956 musical films Rock Around the Clock and Shake Rattle & Rock!, died on July 14, 2016, in Houston, Texas, at the age of 81. Her family announced her death but did not reveal the cause of it. However, some sources have speculated that she died of a non-communicable disease, such as cancer or heart failure. In this article, we will explore Lisa Gaye’s life, career, and legacy, as well as some possible reasons for her death.
Lisa Gaye’s Early Life and Family
Lisa Gaye was born as Leslie Gaye Griffin on March 6, 1935, in Denver, Colorado. She was the daughter of Frank Henry Griffin, a painter, and Margaret Allen Griffin (née Gibson), an actress. Her mother was determined that Lisa and her siblings make their careers in show business. Her siblings were Marcia (Teala Loring), Debralee (Debra Paget), and Frank (Ruell Shayne), who all entered the business as either cast or crew.
The Griffin family moved from Denver to Los Angeles, California, in the 1930s to be close to the developing film industry. Lisa attended Hollywood’s Professional School and made her first professional film appearance at the age of 7. At 17, she signed a seven-year contract with Universal Studios and was enrolled in the studio’s professional school for actors and actresses. The studio changed her name to Lisa Gaye, and she began her acting career with two uncredited cameos in 1953–54.
Lisa Gaye’s Film and Television Career
Lisa Gaye’s first starring role was in Drums Across the River (1954), opposite Audie Murphy. She appeared in 13 films between 1954 and 1967, including Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), with Dean Martin, and Night of Evil (1961), where she portrayed a raped student who goes on to win a beauty pageant but ends up on skid row.
However, she is best known for her roles in the musical films Rock Around the Clock and Shake Rattle & Rock!, both released in 1956. In Rock Around the Clock, she danced with Earl Barton in front of a clapping crowd of teens in the show-stopping number “Rock-A-Beatin Boogie.” In Shake Rattle & Rock!, she played the love interest of a disc jockey (Mike Connors) in the story about adults who want to ban rock ‘n’ roll because they think it leads to juvenile delinquency.
Lisa Gaye also had a successful television career, appearing in dozens of shows from the 1950s to the 1970s. She had recurring roles as French model Collette DuBois on The Bob Cummings Show and as one of three women chasing rich guys on How to Marry a Millionaire, also starring Barbara Eden. She guest-starred on many popular shows, such as Death Valley Days, Whirlybirds, Sea Hunt, Have Gun — Will Travel, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Get Smart, I Dream of Jeannie, Wagon Train, Perry Mason, Wild Wild West, The Flying Nun, and Mod Squad. Her last onscreen appearance was in 1970.
Lisa Gaye’s Personal Life and Death
Lisa Gaye married Bently C. Ware, a businessman and inventor, on August 11, 1955. They had one daughter, Janell (born July 5, 1963). Ware died on January 16, 1977. Lisa Gaye never remarried and devoted herself to raising her daughter and supporting various charities.
Lisa Gaye died on July 14, 2016, in Houston, Texas. She was survived by her daughter Janell; her sister Debra Paget; her brother Frank Griffin; and several nieces and nephews. Her sister Teala Loring had died in 2007.
The cause of Lisa Gaye’s death was not disclosed by her family or by any official sources. However, some websites have claimed that she died of a non-communicable disease which could mean any chronic condition that is not caused by an infectious agent or transmitted from person to person. Some examples of non-communicable diseases are cancer , cardiovascular diseases , diabetes , chronic respiratory diseases , and mental disorders .
It is possible that Lisa Gaye suffered from one or more of these diseases in her later years and that they contributed to her death. However, without any confirmation from her family or medical records , this remains only a speculation . Therefore , we cannot say for sure what was Lisa Gaye’s cause of death .
Lisa Gaye’s Legacy and Influence
Lisa Gaye was one of the stars of the 1950s who brought joy and entertainment to millions of viewers with her beauty, talent, and charisma. She was part of the rock ‘n’ roll craze that swept the nation and the world with her musical films. She also showed her versatility and range as an actress in various genres and mediums. She was a beloved sister, wife, mother, aunt, and friend who dedicated herself to her family and her causes.
Lisa Gaye’s legacy and influence can be seen in the many fans who still remember and appreciate her work, as well as in the younger generations who discover her through online platforms and streaming services. She is also honored by various websites and blogs that celebrate her life and career. Lisa Gaye was a remarkable woman who left a lasting mark on the film and television industry and on the hearts of many people. She will be missed but not forgotten.