Laura Devon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Laura Devon
Laura Devon - Publicity Photograph - The Lieutenant, Season 1 - Episode 5, A Very Private Affair (1964).jpg
Devon in The Lieutenant (1964)
Born Mary L. Briley
(1931-05-23)May 23, 1931
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died July 19, 2007(2007-07-19) (aged 76)
Beverly Hills, California
Occupation Actress, singer, model
Years active 1959–1967
Spouse(s) Brian Kelly
(1962–1966; divorced)
Maurice Jarre
(1967–1984; divorced)
Children Kevin Jarre

Laura Devon (May 23, 1931 – July 19, 2007) was an American actress, singer and model.

Early life[edit]

Laura Devon was born May 23, 1931 in Chicago. Her birth name has been given as either Mary Lou Briley[1] or Mary Laura Briley.[2][3] Her father was identified in the press as Merrill Devon, an automotive engineer, and her mother as Velma Prather.[4] She attended school in Chicago and the Grosse Pointe suburbs of Detroit.[4] She entered Wayne State University, majoring in journalism and political science, where she learned how to act in school theater productions.[5]

In 1954, she gave birth to her only child, Kevin, who grew up to become Kevin Jarre, a noted screenwriter.[6] After performing in amateur theatricals and light opera,[7] her first professional part was a lead in a production of The Boy Friend at the Vanguard Playhouse in Detroit.[1]

In 1962, she married Brian Kelly, son of Justice Harry F. Kelly, then a member of the Michigan Supreme Court and a former Michigan governor. Brian Kelly was a fellow actor and, a month after their wedding, he and Devon appeared together on stage in Lillian Hellman's Toys in the Attic at the Laguna Beach Summer Theater. Two years later, he was to become well known for his role as Porter Ricks on the TV series Flipper. They divorced in January 1966.[1]

Screen career[edit]

Devon and Dean Martin in Rawhide (1964)

In 1961, Laura Devon was discovered by Bob Goldstein of 20th Century Fox while she was singing at the London Chop Shop in Detroit.[1] She tells the story of her coming to Hollywood in this way:

A 1962 featured role in the TV show Route 66 was her first significant part.[4] Following that, she appeared in many popular TV shows and five Hollywood films.[2] She appeared in an episode of Rawhide entitled "Canliss" as Dean Martin's gunfighter character's wife in 1964.

In 1967, she married film composer Maurice Jarre and retired from acting.[8]

Singing career[edit]

Laura Devon released only one professional recording, a single: "I Like the Look" (A side) / "Dreamsville" (B side).[9] Both songs were composed by Henry Mancini and were featured in the film Gunn, Devon's last film.

She also can be heard on the soundtrack to the 1975 film Mr. Sycamore, performing the song "Time Goes By", written by her then husband, Maurice Jarre, and lyricist Paul Francis Webster.

Later life and death[edit]

Devon and Jarre divorced in 1984.[1] She died of heart failure in Beverly Hills, July 19, 2007.[10]


Although Laura Devon's big-screen film career was relatively brief, she had the opportunity to work with some of the most illustrious directors active at that time.[11]

Year Film Role Director
1964 Goodbye Charlie Rusty Sartori Vincente Minnelli
1965 Red Line 7000 Julie Kazarian Howard Hawks
1966 Chamber of Horrors Marie Champlain Hy Averback
1967 A Covenant with Death Rosemary Lamont Johnson
Gunn Edie Blake Edwards

During a seven-year period (1960-1967), Laura Devon had featured roles in numerous popular TV shows,[2] including: Insight, The New Breed, Route 66, The Twilight Zone, Stoney Burke, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Rawhide, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Rogues, Bonanza, I Spy, The Fugitive, T.H.E. Cat, The Big Valley, Coronet Blue, and The Invaders. She had a recurring role on four episodes of Dr. Kildare and she was a member of the repertory cast that rotated major and supporting roles on the critically acclaimed series The Richard Boone Show.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Private Life and Times of Laura Devon". Beauty Lies in the Eyes of the Beholder. Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Laura Devon (I) (1931–2007)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Laura Devon". Find A Grave. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Hopper, Hedda (9 August 1964). "Laura Devon, Born With a Silver Spoon, Strikes Gold in Motion Picture Debut". Los Angeles Times: B4–5, 35. Retrieved 9 July 2012. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "Laura Devon Wins 5-Picture Contract". Calgary Herald, 15 June 1966. Calgary Herald. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (22 April 2011). "Kevin Jarre dies at 56; screenwriter of 'Glory' and 'Tombstone'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Heffernan, Harold (29 July 1966). "Don't Call Laura Devon 'Pretty'". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Marriage Announcement 3 -- No Title". Chicago Tribune. 13 January 1968. 
  9. ^ "I Like the Look / Dreamsville". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Passings; Laura Devon, 76; had a brief TV and film acting career in the 1960s". Los Angeles Times. 27 July 2007. 
  11. ^ "Laura Devon". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d ed.. Jefferson NC: McFarland. p. 893. ISBN 978-0786464777. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 

External links[edit]