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Biography
In the light of today's tinderbox racial tensions, it is hardly likely that a white actress would be cast as a light-skinned black girl. But that's just what happened in 1959, when actress Susan Kohner played the troubled Sara Jane in the Ross Hunter-produced remake of Imitation of Life -- and nobody thought ill of the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when they nominated Kohner for an Oscar. The daughter of American producer Paul Kohner and Mexican actress Lupita Tovar, Susan began her seven-year film career when she was signed by Universal in 1955. She retired from acting in 1962, after playing Martha Freud opposite Montgomery Clift in John Huston's Freud; two years later, she married fashion designer John Weitz. Susan Kohner's activities in the 1990s include serving on the board of directors of the Juilliard School of Music, and hosting a weekly radio program for the blind.

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