She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1948 film Key Largo. She also played Betty McWade in the 1935 film version of Dante's Inferno.
She was born Claire Wemlinger and raised by her merchant tailor father and her housewife mother.
She played many bad girl roles in noir films.
She was married to her second husband, Cylos William Dunsmoore, from 1943 to 1947 and together the couple had a son.
She starred with John Wayne in The High and the Mighty.