CelebrityHollywood

January 10, 2022

Susan Peters' Ex-Husband Was Haunted by Her Shooting Accident & Took His Own Life Years Later

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Late Actress Susan Peters was a Hollywood icon during the late 1940s, and she married renowned Filmmaker Richard Quine a year after meeting him. However,  the couple's union left Quine traumatized. 

Late Actress Susan Peters was renowned for appearing in numerous drama films. In Hollywood, she met former Child Star-turned-Filmmaker Richard Quine, who she tied the knot to in 1943. 

Like Peters, Quine was a star in his own right. He was famous for his remarkable work in several movies and TV shows, including "The Cockeyed Miracle" in 1946 and "The Mickey Rooney Show" in 1954.

​​Susan Peters and Richard Quine pictured having lunch al fresco on the set of the 1942 film "Tish." | Photo: Getty Images

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QUINE'S LOVE FOR FILMMAKING

Quine's movies usually leave viewers feeling emotional. Many of his film characters were desperate, often described as "lonely, broken people ensnared by desire." He said about his love for filmmaking:

"Making a movie is a bit like having a baby."

Quine's other incredible works of art include the movies "Pushover" in 1954 and "Strangers When We Meet" in 1960. His classic movies often feature Actress Kim Novak. 

Kim Novak on the set of the 1958 film "Vertigo" on October 12, 1957. | Photo: Getty Images

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DATING ACTRESS KIM NOVAK

At the time, Novak was one of the biggest stars in the entertainment industry. Besides being a famous leading actress in movies, she was also known for her relationship with Quine.

However, the couple's plans to get married abruptly came to an end.

In a 1960 interview with Ocula Star, Quine shared he would phone Novak every day. He said he and the gorgeous actress would've married each other if they were not busy with their careers. 

A portrait of Richard Quine in January 1935. | Photo: Getty Images

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As a result of his work, Quine traveled to several countries, including Hong Kong, while Novak remained in California. If things had not been so complicated, he said he and Novak would have been married long before they tried.

Unfortunately, the couple's plans to get married abruptly came to an end. Novak had cold feet on their wedding day and panicked; she ran off and left Quine standing at the altar alone.

Despite being heartbroken over Novak, Quine managed to meet another woman. He met Peters, the actress best known for the 1940 movies "Santa Fe Trail" and "Money and the Woman," and "Here Comes Happiness" in 1941.

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An undated photo of Susan Peters wearing beret. | Photo: Getty Images

MARRYING ACTRESS SUSAN PETERS

The renowned filmmaker and Peters first met on the set of the 1942 movie "Tish." The couple tied the knot the following year and adopted a boy named Timothy Richard. 

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The couple enjoyed widespread fame in their career besides their thriving marriage. However, Quine and Peters did not anticipate that a tragedy would undermine their relationship. 

In 1945, Peters had an accident on a duck hunting trip within the Cuyamaca Mountains near San Diego with Quine during New Year's Day. The couple was accompanied by Quine's cousin Tom and Tom's wife.

Susan Peters smiles as she poses outside in Los Angeles, California in 1940. | Photo: Getty Images

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A TRAUMATIZING ACCIDENT

During their trip, Peters accidentally dropped her .22-caliber rifle. The rifle accidentally discharged a bullet after she bent over to pick it up off the ground. She suffered wounds on her stomach.

The bullet did affect not only Peters's stomach but also affected her spine. After months of hospitalization, the promising actress went home paralyzed from the waist down.

According to the doctors who monitored Peters's health, the actress would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Despite being paralyzed, Peters remained determined to continue her career.

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After two years off the spotlight, Peters returned to the big screen, starring as a girl with a disability in the 1948 drama film "The Sign of the Ram." While she moved on from her accident, Quine was traumatized. He said:

"All my life, I'll hear that shot."

Although Peters made a successful comeback in the industry, her husband was still disturbed by her accident. They were only a few years into their marriage when the tragedy happened. 

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In addition to his trauma from his wife's accident, Quine was also disturbed by Novak dumping him on their supposed wedding day. With his extreme sadness, he said he could no longer work in Hollywood.

Quine and Peters called quits and finalized their divorce in 1951. After their divorce, Peters was engaged to Col. Robert Clark, doing overseas duty in Germany. 

Meanwhile, Quine was married four times. He married Actress Barbara Bushman from 1951 to 1960 and Singer Fran Jeffries from 1965 to 1970. His last wife was Diana Balfour, who he married in 1977.

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HIS EX-WIFE'S DEATH

While Clark was away, Peters continued her acting career, appearing in the TV soap opera "Miss Susan." Her tight schedule in the TV show affected her health, and she left the show. 

Sadly, the renowned TV actress passed away in 1952 at Visalia Municipal Hospital after suffering kidney problems and pneumonia. She was 31. She was survived by her only adoptive son, Timothy.

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A BROKEN FATHER-SON RELATIONSHIP

Before his adoptive mother's death, Timothy lived with Quine. According to Timothy's daughter, Shannon, Quine was not a good father as his attention was mostly on his career.

Shannon said Timothy developed self-reliance early because he was not close to Quine when he was growing up. She revealed that Quine kicked her dad out of the house at 16 or 17, and he spent most of his years alone.

A portrait of Richard Quine in January 1946. | Photo: Getty Images

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For the lack of parental attention, Timothy turned to drugs and alcohol, which resulted in him ending in jail several times. Although he had lawless behavior, he worked hard and lived a good life until he died in 2007.

With Peters' death, it seemed that the past trauma from his ex-wife's accident came back to Quine. It also haunted the veteran filmmaker in the latter years of his life. 

Richard Quine talking to actress Audrey Hepburn on the set of 1964 film "When It Sizzles." | Photo: Getty Images

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QUINE'S TRAGIC END

In 1989, Quine was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. He was 68. His untimely death happened just a day before his new wife, Balfour, would celebrate her birthday. 

Some people speculated that the celebrated filmmaker died because Peters tormented him for a long time. But the police said the reason behind Quine's death was grief over poor health.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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