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Sonia Darrin
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    (June 16, 1924-July 19, 2020)
    Born in Galveston, Texas
    Birth name was Sonia Paskowitz
    Best known role was Agnes Lowzier in ‘The Big Sleep’ (1946)
    Also appeared in ‘It Started with Eve’ (1941), ‘My Gal Sal’ (1942), ‘Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman’ (1943), ‘Lady in the Dark’ (1944), ‘Bury Me Dead’ (1947) and ‘Federal Agent at Large’ (1950)
    Sister of surfer Doc Paskowitz
    Mother of 1970s child star Mason Reese
    She lied about her age, claiming to be 18, to get an audition with the dance director at Warner Brothers (1941).
    During an interview with agent Henry Willson, he suggested she change her first name to something less Russian like his client Rock Hudson, to which she replied, ‘How about calling me Pebble Beach?’ An unamused Willson threw her out of his office.
    She did not receive screen credit for most of her film appearances – including ‘The Big Sleep.’
    In her 90s, she said she was baffled as to why she continued receiving mail from fans of ‘The Big Sleep,’ suggesting, ‘Maybe they have me mixed up with Dorothy Malone.’
    Demonstrating a wry sense of humor, when filming of ‘The Big Sleep’ came to a halt while everyone tried to figure out who had killed Owen Taylor (with even novelist Raymond Chandler admitting he did not remember), she declared, ‘It must have been [director Howard] Hawks!’
    She was deprived of credit in ‘The Big Sleep’ because her agent got into an argument with Jack Warner, who refused to let him back on the lot or use any of clients again.
    After leaving acting, she had a successful modeling career with Eileen Ford.
    She said about raising Mason and his three siblings, ‘That was a lot more important than making movies.’
    She also raised two of her brother’s sons after they rebelled against his nothing-but-surfing lifestyle.

Credit: C. Fishel

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