Osa Massen

SANTA MONICA, CALIF.--Osa Massen, the Danish actress who often played "femme fatale" roles in 1940s Hollywood films, died at a convalescent home here Jan. 2, while recovering from surgery. She was 91. MSTies will remember her for one of her later film roles as brainy, smokin' hot rocket scientist Dr. Lisa Van Horn in episode 201-ROCKETSHIP X-M.

Born Aase Madsen, she was trained as a newspaper photographer and was working as a film editor when Danish director Alice O'Fredericks cast her in two of her films. Her sultry good looks caught the eye of stateside casting directors and won her a contract at 20th Century Fox in 1936.

After stealing every scene she was in from Madeleine Carroll and Fred MacMurray in 1939's "Honeymoon in Bali," she moved to Warner Brothers, where she duked it out with Joan Crawford in director George Cukor's "A Woman's Face" (1941). Other films included "Background to Danger" (1943), "Deadline at Dawn" (1946) and "Night Unto Night" (1949). Her final screen appearance was in "Outcasts of the City" (1958), which was also one of the last films released by Republic Pictures.

Her name caused some confusion with actresses Ona Munson and Ilona Massey, so in 1948's "Million Dollar Weekend" she was billed as Stefanie Paull. She was back to Osa Massen by the time she appeared in "Rocketship X-M." in 1950. She continued to work in television into the early 1960s before retiring.

She was married and divorced three times and until recently was living in a suburb of Copenhagen.