Seven months after Invasions Of The Body Snatchers star Kevin McCarthy died, he’s been joined by his love interest in that film, actress Dana Wynter, who succumbed to congestive heart failure last Thursday. She was 79. Wynter (born with the incredibly German name Dagmar Winter) grew up in England and South Africa and studied medicine for many years before turning to acting, a tony upbringing that contributed to the smart and chic demeanor that set her apart from the usual vacuous bombshells in most sci-fi films. As the former sweetheart of McCarthy’s doctor in a small town where the citizens are being overtaken by Pod People, Wynter provided the film’s emotional center among a sea of emotionless duplicates, and is the key to its climax.
Body Snatchers’ strong cult following meant that Wynter would be indelibly associated with it for the rest of her life, but she had numerous other roles throughout the 1980s, including playing opposite leading men such as Rock Hudson, James Cagney, Robert Wagner, George C. Scott, and Danny Kaye in films like D-Day The Sixth Of June, Shake Hands With The Devil, Sink The Bismarck!, and The List Of Adrian Messenger. She also had a starring role in the short-lived TV series The Man Who Never Was with Robert Lansing, and contributed cameos to everything from Wagon Train, The Rockford Files, and Magnum P.I. to the movie Airport. Her last on-screen apperance was as Raymond Burr’s wife in the 1993 TV movie The Return Of Ironside.