Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Talented, blonde Joanna Pettet was born Joanna Jane Salmon on November 16, 1944 in London, England. Her father, Harold Nigel Edgerton Salmon, was a British RAF pilot killed in the war. Her mother remarried and settled in Canada, where she was adopted by her stepfather and assumed "Pettet" as her last name.
Pettet got her start on Broadway in such plays as "Take Her, She's Mine," "The Chinese Prime Minister" and "Poor Richard" with Alan Bates and Gene Hackman before she was discovered by director Sidney Lumet for his sumptuous 1966 film adaptation of Mary McCarthy's novel, "The Group." The success of that film launched a film career that included roles in "Night of the General" (1967), the James Bond spoof "Casino Royale" (1967), "Blue" (1968) with Terence Stamp, and the Victorian period comedy "The Best House in London" (1969). During that time, she married American actor Alex Cord and gave birth to a son in 1968.
Her feature film appearance became sporadic in the 1970s, but Pettet re-emerged as the star of over a dozen made-for-television movies during that decade, including "The Delphi Bureau" (1972), "The Weekend Nun" (1972), "Pioneer Woman" (1973), "A Cry in the Wilderness" (1974), "The Desperate Miles" (1975), "The Hancocks" (1976), "Sex and the Married Woman" (1977), and "The Return of Frank Cannon" (1980). She also guest-starred four times on the classic Rod Serling anthology series "Night Gallery" and was a frequent visitor of "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island." After playing an LAPD homicide detective investigating the murder of singer Ciji Dunne (Lisa Hartman) on "Knots Landing" in 1983, Pettet's career slowed down in the mid-1980s. By 1990, she had quietly retired from acting.
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