The daughter of actress Rebecca Welles, slender leading lady Gwen Welles made her first film, A Safe Place, under the direction of Henry Jaglom. It was for another improvisational director, Robert Altman, that she delivered her most fondly remembered screen performance: Suellen Grey, the enthusiastic but hopelessly inept country-western singer, in Nashville (1975). She then virtually disappeared from sight, only to resurface in such 1980s films as Nobody's Fool (1986) and New Year's Day (1989). During this period, she was married to actor Harris Yulin. Gwen Welles died of cancer at the age of 42; her last film, Boys Life, was released nearly two years after her death.