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Colleen Townsend

Colleen Townsend

Colleen Townsend (Wikipedia)

Colleen Townsend is an American actress, author and humanitarian.

Townsend was born in Glendale, California, and gained her higher education in Utah.

Townsend began a film career in 1944, appearing in minor roles in several films. By 1946, she was appearing on the cover of magazines, and in 1947 was signed to a contract by 20th Century Fox. She was the subject of a cover story for Life in 1948, which discussed the way in which major studios groomed and manufactured their stars, using Townsend’s story as an example.[1] The studio created a photographic calendar for her, to “put [her] face in every home, office and barracks in America all year around.” Hedda Hopper was also quoted as saying that Townsend was “going places.”

She played a featured role in the film The Walls of Jericho (1948), and was billed third behind Dan Dailey and Celeste Holm in Chicken Every Sunday (1949). Her biggest success was in the 1950 film When Willie Comes Marching Home, in which she was paired with Dan Dailey. Again… Pioneers (1950) provided her with her first lead role.

She grew up attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in 1948 became active in the Hollywood Presbyterian Church. In 1950, Townsend left her acting career and married long-time friend Louis H. Evans, Jr. who was a seminary student at the time at San Francisco Theologic Seminary. Rev. Louis H. Evans, Jr. was the founding pastor of Bel Air Presbyterian Church,  which began in the Evans home. Bel Air Presbyterian Church exists today as the largest Presbyterian congregation in the Los Angeles area and has a beautiful and welcoming location on Mulholland Drive. Colleen was part of the groundbreaking on that location.

Later, the couple met and became friends with Billy and Ruth Graham. Townsend, now billed as “Colleen Evans”, returned to films briefly, starring in two films produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic AssociationOiltown, U.S.A. (1950) and Souls in Conflict (1955).

Colleen and Louie relocated to Washington, DC when Louie accepted a call to serve at National Presbyterian Church. Thereafter she dedicated herself to humanitarian work, specifically in relation to racial or religious discrimination, human rights, and in furthering the role of women in society. She partnered with her husband in ministry and served on the board of World Vision. She served as the first female chair of the Billy Graham Crusade in 1986.

As “Colleen Townsend Evans” she is the author of several books.

Colleen and Louie had four children. She now has twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Colleen and Louie retired to Bass Lake, California. After 58 1/2 years of marriage, Louie died in 2008 of ALS. Colleen now resides in Fresno, California.



Anyone who knows me are aware that I am a bit of a movie buff. Over the past few years I have been collecting signed photographs of my favourite actors.

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