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Susan Oliver (February 13, 1932 – May 10, 1990) was an actress, television director and record-setting pilot.
cap by Adamant The Outcast was Susan Oliver only appearance on Bonanza. She later worked with Pernell Roberts in a Night Gallery episode The Tune in Dans Cafe and later on went on to direct him in an episode of Trapper John.
cap me As well as being so very beautiful she was one gutsy lady. After surviving a plane crash that left her scared of flying to the point she refused jobs if she had to fly. She determined she would overcome this fear and underwent hypnosis. She learnt to fly so successfully that in 1967 Susan Oliver became the first woman to fly a single-engined aircraft solo from New York City across the Atlantic Ocean as part of her attempt to fly to Moscow. Her odyssey ended in Denmark after the government of the Soviet Union denied her permission to enter their air space. In 1970 she co-piloted her Piper Comanche to victory in the 2,760 mile transcontinental race known as the Powder Puff Derby.
Born Charlotte Gercke in New York City, she was the daughter of a newspaperman and Ruth Hale Oliver. Following her parents' divorce, Charlotte moved with her mother to the West Coast where her mother became a well-known Hollywood astrologist.
After studying drama and working in summer stock, she adopted the stage name Susan Oliver and first appeared in a guest role on television in 1956 then made her motion picture and Broadway debuts the following year. For her performance in the Broadway play, Patate, Oliver won a Theatre World Award. That same year, Oliver took over as the female lead in the prestigious Broadway production of John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger.
Susan played in more than one hundred different television shows and made-for-TV movies. She appeared with Elizabeth Taylor in 1960 motion picture Butterfield 8 and in 1964 had the starring role in Your Cheatin' Heart in which she played Audrey Williams, wife of country music legend Hank Williams.
One iconic appearance was as a green skinned slave in Star Trek – an image that was used in the closing credits in the earliest series.
publicity shot During 1975–76 she was a regular cast member of the soap opera Days of Our Lives and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in the 1976 made-for-TV drama, Amelia Earhart. Appearing in a film about the famous aviatrix was natural for her. In 1983, Oliver wrote about her aviation exploits in an autobiography titled Odyssey: A Daring Transatlantic Journey.
By the late 1970s, with acting assignments becoming scarcer, Oliver turned to directing. She was one of the original nineteen women admitted to the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women. Susan directed several shows including a 1982 episode of M*A*S*H as well as Trapper John.
She became a devout Buddhist and died in 1990 in Woodland Hills, California.
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