Dana Wynter, the actress best known for her starring role in the 1956’s Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, died Thursday, May 5, at the Ojai Valley Community Hospital’s Continuing Care Center of congestive heart failure. She was 79.
Wynter starred opposite Kevin McCarthy in director Don Siegel’s classic film of a small town whose residents are slowly being replaced by duplicates grown inside giant seed pods from outer space. Many critics saw the film as a warning against the creeping influence of communism in Cold War America, though the director and many of the cast denied that was the film’s intent.
Born Dagmar Wynter in Germany, her family moved to first England and later Southern Rhodesia. She started her acting career in England with small appearances in a handful of films before heading across the Atlantic to Hollywood. Her other notable film appearances include Shake Hands With the Devil(1959) with James Cagney, Sink the Bismarck! (1960) and Airport (1970). Her final film was 1975’s Le Sauvage starring Catherine Deneuve and Tony Roberts.