A radio and stage actress since early childhood, Mala Powers made her first film appearance at age 11 in the 1942 Dead End Kids opus Tough As They Come. After attending U.C.L.A., she was discovered by filmmaker/actress Ida Lupino who starred Powers in her 1950 film Outrage. That same year, Stanley Kramer signed Powers to star opposite Jose Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac. Though critical reviews for the film were mixed, Powers was praised for her beauty, sensitivity, and naturalness in portraying Cyrano's great love, Roxanne. It remains her best-known role. Her promising career was nipped in the bud the following year by a life-threatening illness. Following her recovery, Powers had difficulty obtaining production insurance and this in turn made it difficult for her to appear in A-features. As a result, she spent the majority of her subsequent career appearing in low-budget Westerns and adventure films. She died of complications from leukemia, at age 76, in early June 2007.