I ran across an obituary for Virginia Patton Moss. She was 97. Except for one famous role, she was a working actress in Hollywood for almost ten years in the 1940's, before marrying and retiring from show business.

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Of course, the movie was "It's a Wonderful Life", which was essentially a bomb when it debuted, but thanks to television reruns and a lapsed copyright, has become a holiday staple for many. Patton played George Bailey's (Jimmy Stewart's) sister-in-law.

In real life, she met and married Cruse Moss in 1949 and left acting. The couple settled in Ann Arbor, where she became president of The Patton Corp, an investment and real estate holdings company, while she and her husband of 69 years raised three children. (She was also the niece of General George S. Patton)

Regarding her own "Wonderful Life", Patton Moss said:

I couldn't see me doing that for my life. I wanted exactly what I am. Ann Arbor, Michigan, a wonderful husband, wonderful children, a good part of the community. I work hard for the community. - IMDb

In 2003, she introduced the film at the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts.

(StNicholas Institute via YouTube)

But as we remember Virginia Patton Moss, here's a question to ponder: Would you rather be in the cast of one beloved, famous movie, or be a star of, or even a featured "character actor", in a string of average movies? Looking at her IMDb bio, the only other movie of hers that was fairly well known was Jack Benny's The Horn Blows at Midnight, but she wasn't even credited in that.

By all accounts, Moss had a wonderful life, but it's something to think about.

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