Gail Patrick

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Gail Patrick
Gail Patrick Argentinean Magazine corp.jpg
1939 studio publicity photograph
Born Margaret LaVelle Fitzpatrick
(1911-06-20)June 20, 1911
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Died July 6, 1980(1980-07-06) (aged 69)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other names Gail Patrick Jackson
Alma mater Howard College
Years active 1932–1973
  • Robert Howard Cobb
    (married 1936–1941)
  • Arnold Dean White
    (married 1944–1946)
  • Thomas Cornwell Jackson
    (married 1947–1969)
  • John E. Velde Jr.
    (married 1974–1980)

Gail Patrick (June 20, 1911 – July 6, 1980) was an American film actress and producer. Often cast as the bad girl or the other woman, she appeared in more than 60 feature films between 1932 and 1948, notably My Man Godfrey (1936), Stage Door (1937) and My Favorite Wife (1940). After retiring from acting she became, as Gail Patrick Jackson, president of Paisano Productions and executive producer of the Perry Mason television series (1957–66).


Gail Patrick was born Margaret LaVelle Fitzpatrick on June 20, 1911, in Birmingham, Alabama.[1] Her parents were Lawrence C. Fitzpatrick, a municipal fireman, and LaVelle Fitzpatrick.[2]

After graduating from Howard College, she remained as acting dean of women[3] and completed two years of law school at the University of Alabama.[4] In 1932, "for a lark", she entered a Paramount Pictures beauty and talent contest and won train fare to Hollywood for herself and her brother. Although she did not win the contest (for "Miss Panther Woman" in the 1932 film, Island of Lost Souls). Patrick was put under contract and began making motion pictures.[1] She played occasional leads but she was most often the cool, aloof, usually unsympathetic "other woman".[3]

Paramount Pictures contract players Wolfe Hopper and Gail Patrick in July 1936; 20 years later William Hopper was Paul Drake and Gail Patrick Jackson was executive producer of the CBS-TV series, Perry Mason
Gail Patrick Jackson and Erle Stanley Gardner speak with Hollywood columnist Norma Lee Browning during filming of the last Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Final Fade-Out" (1966)

Patrick appeared in more than 60 movies between 1932 and 1948, usually as the leading lady's extremely formidable rival. Some of these roles include Carole Lombard's spoiled sister in My Man Godfrey (1936); Linda Shaw, Ginger Rogers' rival in Stage Door (1937); Anna May Wong's sophisticated competitor in Dangerous to Know (1938); and the second wife in My Favorite Wife (1940), starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. She was cast in lead roles in films James Whale's Wives Under Suspicion (1938) and Robert Florey's Disbarred (1939).

On December 17, 1936, Patrick married restaurateur Robert H. Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby. They separated in October 1940[5] and were divorced in November 1941.[6] On July 11, 1944, she married Lieutenant Arnold Dean White, a U.S. Navy airman.[7][8] She was devasted after gaving birth to stillborn twins in June 1945, and became diabetic.[1][9] The couple divorced in 1946.[9][10]

In 1947 Patrick married her third husband, advertising executive Thomas Cornwell Jackson, with whom she adopted two children.[8][11]:75

She created a business out of her home, designing clothing primarily for children, and moved to a shop on Rodeo Drive[1] that she called The Enchanted Cottage.[12] Patrick ran the shop for eight years with considerable success.[13]:19 A 1947 short film, part of the Paramount Pictures Unusual Occupations series, includes scenes of Patrick serving patrons including Maureen O'Sullivan.[1][14]

Gail Patrick Jackson, executive producer of Perry Mason, in 1961

Patrick stopped acting in 1948. "I never formally retired", she told journalist James Bawden in 1979. "I just quit, and it was a good time as TV started taking over."[1] Cornwell Jackson was literary agent for attorney-author Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of the fictional criminal defense attorney Perry Mason. After a series of disappointing Warner Bros. films and a radio series he despised, Gardner had refused to license the popular character for any more adaptations, but Patrick won the author's trust. She had maintained her network in show business, and understood Gardner's love for the law. Patrick and her husband and Gardner formed a production company, Paisano Productions, of which she was president. Patrick developed the television series Perry Mason and sold it to CBS, where it ran for nine seasons (1957–66). Gail Patrick Jackson was its executive producer.[1][15]

Patrick's home, on a six-acre gated estate on La Brea Terrace in Los Angeles, was occasionally a shooting location for Perry Mason, beginning with the third season.[10] The mansion was built in 1911 for Dustin Farnum.[16]

Patrick also developed a half-hour Paisano Productions series based on Gardner's Cool and Lam stories.[13]:19 A pilot directed by Jacques Tourneur aired on CBS in 1958 but a series did not materialize.[17][18]

Patrick was divorced from Jackson in 1969.[1] She was appointed national honorary chairman of the American Lung Association's Christmas Seals campaign in 1970, and in 1973 she was chairman of the American Diabetes Association.[8] In 1974 she married her fourth husband, John E. Velde Jr.[1]

Gail Patrick died from leukemia on July 6, 1980, at age 69 at her home in Hollywood.[8]

Select film and television credits[edit]

Clip from My Man Godfrey (1936), with Patrick as Cornelia Bullock
Year Title Role Notes
1932 If I Had a Million Secretary Film debut[19][1]
1933 The Mysterious Rider Mary Benton Foster [19][1][20]
1933 Murders in the Zoo Jerry Evans [19]
1933 The Phantom Broadcast Laura Hamilton [19]
1933 To the Last Man Ann Hayden Stanley [19]
1933 Cradle Song Maria Lucia [19]
1934 Death Takes a Holiday Rhoda Fenton [19]
1934 The Crime of Helen Stanley Helen Stanley [19]
1934 Murder at the Vanities Sadie Evans [19]
1934 Take the Stand Cornelia Burbank [19]
1934 Wagon Wheels Nancy Wellington [19]
1934 One Hour Late Mrs. Eileen Barclay [19]
1935 Rumba Patsy [19]
1935 Mississippi Elvira Rumford [19]
1935 Doubting Thomas Florence McCrickett [19]
1935 No More Ladies Theresa German [19]
1935 Smart Girl Kay Reynolds [19]
1935 The Big Broadcast of 1936 Nurse [19][20]
1935 The Wanderer of the Wasteland Ruth Virey [19]
1935 Two Fisted Sue Parker [19]
1935 The Lone Wolf Returns Marcia Stewart [19]
1936 Two in the Dark Irene Lassiter [19]
1936 The Preview Murder Mystery Claire Woodward [19]
1936 Early to Bed Grace Stanton [19]
1936 My Man Godfrey Cornelia Bullock [19]
1936 Murder with Pictures Meg Archer [19]
1936 White Hunter Helen Varek [19]
1937 John Meade's Woman Caroline Haig [19]
1937 Her Husband Lies Natalie Thomas [19]
1937 Artists and Models Helen Varek [19]
1937 Stage Door Linda Shaw [19]
1938 Mad About Music Gwen Taylor [19]
1938 Dangerous to Know Margaret Van Case [19]
1938 Wives Under Suspicion Lucy Stowell [19]
1938 King of Alcatraz Dale Borden [19]
1939 Disbarred Joan Carroll [19]
1939 Man of Conquest Margaret Lea [19]
1939 Grand Jury Secrets Agnes Carren [19]
1939 Reno Jessie Gibbs [19]
1939 The Hunchback of Notre Dame minor role [19][20]
1940 The Doctor Takes a Wife Marilyn Thomas [19]
1940 My Favorite Wife Bianca [19]
1940 Gallant Sons Clare Pendleton [19]
1941 Kathleen Lorraine Bennett [19]
1941 Love Crazy Isobel Grayson [19]
1942 Tales of Manhattan Ellen [19]
1942 We Were Dancing Linda Wayne [19]
1943 Quiet Please, Murder Myra Blandy [19]
1943 Hit Parade of 1943 Toni Jarrett [19]
1944 Women in Bondage Margot Bracken [19]
1944 Up in Mabel's Room Mabel Essington [19]
1945 Brewster's Millions Barbara Drew [19]
1945 Twice Blessed Mary Hale [19]
1946 The Madonna's Secret Ella Randolph [19]
1946 Rendezvous with Annie Dolores Starr [19]
1946 Claudia and David Julia Naughton [19]
1946 Plainsman and the Lady Cathy Arnesen [19]
1947 Calendar Girl Olivia Radford [19]
1947 King of the Wild Horses Ellen Taggert [19]
1947 Unusual Occupations Herself "Film Tot Fairyland"[1][14][21]
1948 The Inside Story Audrey O'Connor [19]
1957–66 Perry Mason (TV series) Executive producer[22]

Select radio credits[edit]

Dinah Shore and Patrick in the CBS Radio studio at a rehearsal for The Screen Guild Theater (1945)
Date Title Notes
May 27, 1937 Kraft Music Hall [23]
August 16, 1937 1937 Shakespeare Festival "As You Like It"[24]
January 24, 1938 Lux Radio Theatre "Clarence"[25][26]
April 18, 1938 Lux Radio Theatre "Mad About Music"[25][26]
May 9, 1938 Lux Radio Theatre "My Man Godfrey"[25][26]
January 30, 1939 Lux Radio Theatre "The Arkansas Traveler"[25]
April 24, 1939 Lux Radio Theatre "Broadway Bill"[25][27]
January 29, 1940 Lux Radio Theatre "Intermezzo"[25]
December 9, 1940 Lux Radio Theatre "My Favorite Wife"[25][28]
March 9, 1941 The Free Company "An American Crusader"[29]
April 28, 1941 Lux Radio Theatre "Wife, Husband and Friend"[25][30]
June 19, 1941 Kraft Music Hall [23]
February 23, 1942 Cavalcade of America "Arrowsmith"[31][32]
March 23, 1942 Lux Radio Theatre "The Strawberry Blonde"[25]
April 10, 1942 Lum and Abner [33]
February 8, 1943 Lux Radio Theatre "The Maltese Falcon"[25][34]
February 4, 1945 The Harold Lloyd Comedy Theatre "My Favorite Wife"[35][36]
February 12, 1945 The Screen Guild Theater "Belle of the Yukon"[37][38][39]
October 9, 1945 This Is My Best "The Gilded Pheasant"[40]
November 12, 1945 The Screen Guild Theater "My Favorite Wife"[38][39]
November 20, 1945 This Is My Best "This Is Violet"[41]
December 16, 1946 Lux Radio Theatre "Killer Kates"[25][42][43]
April 24, 1947 Lum and Abner [33]
June 2, 1947 Lux Radio Theatre "The Jazz Singer"[25][44]
1947 Proudly We Hail [45]
194- The Dreft Star Playhouse "Dark Victory"[46]:211


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bawden, James (April 29, 2014). "Dream Factory Time: Gail Patrick". Classic Images. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  2. ^ "1930 United States Federal Census [database online]". Operations Inc. 2002. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  3. ^ a b Katz, Ephraim (1998). The Film Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. p. 1070 isbn=0-06-273492-X. 
  4. ^ Shearer, Lloyd (April 26, 1959). "Gail Patrick, Happiest Woman in Three Worlds". Parade. 
  5. ^ United Press (October 29, 1940). "Gail Patrick to Ask Divorce". Wisconsin State Journal. 
  6. ^ United Press (November 24, 1941). "Gail Patrick Granted Final Divorce Decree". McAllen Daily Press (McAllen, Texas). 
  7. ^ Associated Press (July 12, 1944). "Gail Patrick weds naval officer at Jacksonville". Lincoln Journal. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Gail Patrick, Actress Who Gave Up Movies to Produce TV Series". The New York Times. July 7, 1980. 
  9. ^ a b United Press (February 16, 1946). "Gail Patrick Files Suit for Divorce". Corpus Christi Times. 
  10. ^ a b Davidson, Jim (2014). "The First TV Series (1957–1966)". The Perry Mason Book: A Comprehensive Guide to America's Favorite Defender of Justice (e-book). ASIN B00OOELV1K. 
  11. ^ Balling, Fredda (March 1961). "Perry Mason's Secret Ingredient". TV Radio Mirror (Macfadden Publications, Inc.) 55 (4): 24–25, 75–76. Retrieved 2015-04-15. 
  12. ^ Hirshberg, Jack (October 25, 1947). "Enchanted Cottage: Screen Star Gail Patrick Runs Shop for Tiny Tots in Hollywood". Montreal Standard. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  13. ^ a b "The Case of the Businesslike Beauty". TV Guide: 17–19. June 21, 1958. 
  14. ^ a b "Unusual Occupations". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-04-10. 
  15. ^ Gould, Jack (May 23, 1966). "TV: Perry Mason's End Really a Rich Beginning". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ Barragan, Bianca (July 18, 2014). "Rent Helen Mirren's Lushly-Landscaped Hills Villa for $35k". Curbed Los Angeles. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  17. ^ Smith, Kevin Burton. "Bertha Cool and Donald Lam". The Thrilling Detective. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  18. ^ "Cool and Lam TV Pilot Intro". The Rap Sheet. YouTube. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh "Gail Patrick". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2015-04-10. 
  20. ^ a b c "Gail Patrick". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-04-10. 
  21. ^ "Unusual Occupations". Shields Pictures Inc. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  22. ^ "Perry Mason 1957–66". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  23. ^ a b "Kraft Music Hall". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  24. ^ "1937 Shakespeare Festival". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "The Lux Radio Theatre". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  26. ^ a b c "Lux Radio Theatre 1938". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  27. ^ "Lux Radio Theatre 1939". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  28. ^ "Lux Radio Theatre 1940". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  29. ^ "The Free Company". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  30. ^ "Lux Radio Theatre 1941". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  31. ^ "The Cavalcade of America". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  32. ^ "Cavalcade of America". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  33. ^ a b "Lum and Abner". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  34. ^ "Lux Radio Theatre 1943". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  35. ^ "The Harold Lloyd Comedy Theatre". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  36. ^ "Old Gold Comedy Theatre". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  37. ^ "Those Were The Days". Nostalgia Digest 39 (2): 32–39. Spring 2013. 
  38. ^ a b "The Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  39. ^ a b "Screen Guild Theatre". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  40. ^ "This Is My Best". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  41. ^ "This Is My Best". Digital Deli Too. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  42. ^ "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest 39 (1): 32–41. Winter 2013. 
  43. ^ "Lux Radio Theatre 1946". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  44. ^ "Lux Radio Theatre 1947". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  45. ^ "Proudly We Hail". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  46. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. 

External links[edit]