Born Harriet Shapiro in Boston on July 9, 1927, petite actress Susan Cabot grew up in a series of foster homes. After arriving in New York, where she attended school, Cabot married at the age of 17, largely to escape her sad childhood. She had taken an interest in dramatics and singing, and by the time Cabot was 20 years old, she had matured into a beautiful young hopeful actress. She took jobs in early television and a few bit parts in films before she was discovered by a Columbia Studios director, who cast her in On the Isle of Samoa (1950; with Jon Hall). Cabot moved from New York to Hollywood, and in late 1950, she signed a contract with Universal-International. While Susan Cabot is best remembered for her role as Janice Starlin in the campy science fiction flick The Wasp Woman (1960; with Anthony Eisley and Barboura Morris), at Universal she was frequently cast in westerns.

Susan CabotSusan CabotSusan Cabot

Sexy and glamorous 1950s shots of Susan Cabot

Unhappy with the roles offered to her at Universal, Cabot got a release from her contract in 1954 and headed back to New York, as she had been offered a good stage role. However, a big Broadway break never came her way, so in 1957, Cabot signed a contract with Roger Corman to do a series of quickie, low-budget films, starting with Carnival Rock (1957; with Dick Miller). Cabot and Corman were briefly an item as well. In addition to films, she also guest-starred on several popular TV shows in the late 1950s, including Have Gun---Will Travel.

the films of susan cabot

On the Isle of Samoa (1950)

Jon Hall and Susan CabotSusan Cabot, Raymond Greenleaf, and Jon Hall and Susan Cabot

From the adventure flick On the Isle of Samoa. LEFT: With Jon Hall. RIGHT: With Raymond Greenleaf and Jon Hall

The Battle at Apache Pass (1952)

Susan Cabot and Richard Egan

From the Universal Technicolor western The Battle at Apache Pass with Richard Egan

The Duel at Silver Creek (1952)

Susan Cabot

From the Universal-International western The Duel at Silver Creek

Son of Ali Baba (1952)

Susan Cabot

From the colorful Universal-International adventure Son of Ali Baba

Gunsmoke (1953)

Susan Cabot and Paul KellySusan Cabot and Audie MurphySusan Cabot and Audie MurphySusan Cabot and Audie Murphy

Stills from the Universal western Gunsmoke. LEFT: With Paul Kelly. CENTER and RIGHT: With Audie Murphy

Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)

Susan Cabot

From the Audie Murphy vehicle Ride Clear of Diablo, Cabot's last film at Universal

Viking Women and the Sea Serpent (1957)

Susan Cabot in Viking Women and the Sea Serpent

Susan Cabot is flanked by Sally Todd, Abby Dalton, and Michael Forest in the campy American International release Viking Women and the Sea Serpent

Carnival Rock (1957)

Susan Cabot

Cabot stars as nightclub singer Natalie Cook in Roger Corman's Carnival Rock

Fort Massacre (1958)

Susan Cabot and John RussellJohn Russell, Susan Cabot, Larry Chance, and Joel McCrea

From Cabot's last western Fort Massacre. LEFT: With John Russell. RIGHT: With John Russell, Larry Chance, and Joel McCrea

Machine-Gun Kelly (1958)

Susan Cabot and Charles BronsonSusan Cabot and Charles Bronson

With Charles Bronson in American International's Machine-Gun Kelly

The Wasp Woman (1960)

Susan CabotSusan Cabot

As cosmetics company president Janice Starlin, Cabot discovers the secret to eternal youth in The Wasp Woman, her final film. Shot on a shoestring budget of about $50,000, The Wasp Woman is the film that Susan Cabot is best remembered for

later years

After Susan Cabot's final star turn in The Wasp Woman, she left the screen to concentrate on singing and stage acting in touring company productions. In 1959, several newspaper columnists noted her romance to King Hussein of Jordan in the press. She gave birth to her son, Timothy, who suffered from dwarfism, in 1964; it is likely that King Hussein of Jordan was the father, as he paid Cabot a monthly sum of $1,500 following Timothy's birth. Her second husband, actor Michael Roman, adopted the boy after he married Cabot in 1968. However, the marriage broke up in 1983, in part due to Cabot's increasing mental fragility and paranoia. Cabot had been taking a growth hormone prescribed for her son, which was possibly a factor in heightening her mental illness. The growth hormone worked on Cabot's son, who eventually grew to be 5'4". On December 10, 1986, her son, citing years of abuse, beat her to death with a weight bar at their home in Encino, California after Cabot attacked him with the same bar. Cabot was 59 years old and was survived by her son, Timothy, and her mother, Mildred. Initially charged with second degree murder, Timothy Roman was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in December 1989.

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The Wasp Woman (1960) with Anthony Eisley, Barboura Morris, Bruno VeSota, and Aron Kincaid
Surrender---Hell! (1959) with Keith Andes
Machine-Gun Kelly (1958) with Charles Bronson, Barboura Morris, and Morey Amsterdam
Viking Women and the Sea Serpent (1958) with Abby Dalton, Sally Todd, Gary Conway, and Michael Forest
Fort Massacre (1958) with Joel McCrea, Forrest Tucker, and John Russell
War of the Satellites (1958) with Dick Miller, Bruno VeSota, and Mitzi McCall
Carnival Rock (1957) with Jonathan Haze, Dick Miller, and Bruno VeSota
Sorority Girl (1957) with Dick Miller and Barboura Morris
Ride Clear of Diablo (1954) with Audie Murphy and Dan Duryea
Gunsmoke (1953) with Audie Murphy, Paul Kelly, Charles Drake, Jack Kelly, Jesse White, and William Reynolds
The Battle at Apache Pass (1952) with Jeff Chandler, Richard Egan, Hugh O'Brian, James Best, and William Reynolds
The Duel at Silver Creek (1952) with Audie Murphy, Faith Domergue, and Gerald Mohr
Son of Ali Baba (1952) with Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Gerald Mohr, William Reynolds, and Hugh O'Brian
The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951) with Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, and Peggie Castle
Flame of Araby (1951) with Jeff Chandler, Maureen O'Hara, Dewey Martin, and Richard Egan
The Enforcer (1951) with Humphrey Bogart
Tomahawk (1951) with Yvonne De Carlo, Van Heflin, Rock Hudson, and Alex Nicol
On the Isle of Samoa (1950) with Jon Hall
Kiss of Death (1947) with Victor Mature, Coleen Gray, and Brian Donlevy

Bracken's World, episode One, Two, Three... Cry, originally aired March 27, 1970
Have Gun - Will Travel, episode Comanche, originally aired May 16, 1959
Have Gun - Will Travel, episode The High Graders, originally aired January 18, 1958

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Watch Susan Cabot's 1960 film The Wasp Woman
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