|Born||February 3, 1912 or February 3, 1914 (sources differ)|
(1942–2007; his death)
Mary Carlisle (born February 3, 1912 or 1914; sources differ) is a retired American actress, singer and dancer. Raised in Boston, Massachusetts, she starred in several Hollywood films in the 1930s, having been one of 15 girls selected as WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1932. Her first major role was in the 1933 film College Humor with Bing Crosby. The two went on to perform together in two additional films, Double or Nothing (1937) and Doctor Rhythm (1938). Carlisle retired from her acting career shortly after her marriage in 1942, with Dead Men Walk (1943) being her final film credit.
Mary Carlisle was raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Born into a religious family, she was educated in a convent in Back Bay, Boston after her family moved to that neighborhood when she was 6 months old. Some time after her father's death when she was four years old, Carlisle and her mother relocated to Los Angeles.
Carlisle was discovered by studio executive Carl Laemmle, Jr. at the age of 14 while she was eating lunch with her mother at the Universal Studios commissionary. Carlisle, at 5 feet tall, with blonde hair, dimples and big, round blue eyes, was praised for her angelic looks, and Laemmle offered her a screen test. Though she passed the test and started doing extra work at Universal, she was stopped by a welfare officer who noticed that she was underaged and had to finish school first.
After completing her education two years later, she headed to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio for work in movies. The casting director asked if she could dance; when she replied that she could, he arranged for an audition to take place a couple of days later. Carlisle, who had lied about her good dancing abilities, took a one-day basic tap dancing lesson, won the part along with future star Ann Dvorak and appeared briefly in one film. She signed a one-year contract with MGM in 1930 and was used as a back-up dancer.
In the beginning of her movie career, she had small parts in movies such as Madam Satan and Passion Flower. She also had a role in Grand Hotel in 1932, where she played a bride named Mrs. Hoffman. She gained recognition when she was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars (young actresses believed to be on their way to stardom) in 1932. Her major acting break came when Paramount Studios loaned her to star in the 1933 musical comedy College Humor alongside Bing Crosby. The performance was critically acclaimed and catapulted her into a leading actress. She went on to make two more movies with Crosby: Double or Nothing and Doctor Rhythm. She continued working for different studios, mainly in B-movies as a leading lady. Being an actress whose beauty was considered a favorable trait among the studios, she used to diet in order to keep her figure.
Marriage and retirement from acting
In 1942, Carlisle married British-born actor James Edward Blakeley (1910–2007), who later became an executive producer at 20th Century-Fox. She retired from films shortly after getting married. The couple had one child during their nearly 65-year marriage. In her later life, she was in charge of the Elizabeth Arden Salon in Beverly Hills, California.
Accolades and recognition
On February 8, 1960, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6679 Hollywood Boulevard. With the deaths of Dorothy Layton, Gloria Stuart and Barbara Kent in 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively, Carlisle became the only surviving "WAMPAS Baby Star".
|1923||Long Live The King||Bit role (uncredited)|
|1930||The Girl Said No||Party guest|
|Montana Moon||Party girl|
|Children of Pleasure||Secretary|
|Madam Satan||Little Bo Peep|
|Passion Flower||Blonde party guest|
|Remote Control||Young blonde violinist|
|The Devil's Cabaret (short)||Impy|
|1931||The Great Lover||Blonde autograph seeker|
|1932||This Reckless Age||Cassandra Phelps|
|Grand Hotel||Mrs. Hoffman|
|Night Court||Elizabeth Osgood|
|Now's the Time|
|Ship A Hooey|
|Down to Earth||Jackie Harper|
|Smilin' Through||Young party guest|
|Her Mad Night||Constance 'Connie' Kennedy|
|1933||Men Must Fight||Evelyn|
|College Humor||Barbara Shirrel|
|Ladies Must Love||Sally Lou Cateret|
|Saturday's Millions||Thelma Springer|
|The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi||Vivian|
|East of Fifth Avenue||Edna Howard|
|Should Ladies Behave||Leone Merrick|
|This Side of Heaven||Peggy Turner|
|Once to Every Woman||Doris Andros|
|Murder in the Private Car||Ruth|
|Handy Andy||Janice Yates|
|Million Dollar Ransom||Francesca Shelton|
|That's Gratitude||Dora Maxwell|
|Girl o' My Dreams||Gwen|
|1935||Grand Old Girl||Gerry Killaine|
|The Great Hotel Murder||Olive Temple|
|One Frightened Night||Doris Waverly|
|Champagne for Breakfast||Edie Reach|
|The Old Homestead||Nancy Abbott|
|It's in the Air||Grace Gridley|
|1936||Love in Exile||Emily Stewart|
|Lady Be Careful||Billie 'Stonewall' Jackson|
|Double or Nothing||Vicki Clark|
|That Navy Spirit||Judy Hollan|
|1938||Tip-Off Girls||Marjorie Rogers|
|Dr. Rhythm||Judy Marlowe|
|Hunted Men||Jane Harris|
|Touchdown, Army||Toni Denby|
|Illegal Traffic||Carol Butler|
|Say It in French||Phyllis Carrington|
|Beware Spooks!||Betty Lou Winters Gifford|
|Call a Messenger||Marge Hogan|
|Rovin' Tumbleweeds||Mary Ford|
|1940||Dance, Girl, Dance||Sally|
|1941||Rags to Riches||Carol Patrick|
|1942||Torpedo Boat||Jane Townsend|
|Baby Face Morgan||Virginia Clark|
|1943||Dead Men Walk||Gayle Clayton|
- "Mary Carlisle - Inducted to the Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960". Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
- "Los Angeles Times Hollywood Star Walk: Mary Carlisle". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 2, 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- "Minute biographies: Mary Carlisle". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 20, 1933. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
- "Mary didn't need an agent". The Register-Guard, June 11, 1939. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
- Soanes, Wood (February 18, 1937). "Sad-Eyed Comedienne". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. p. 75. Archived from the original on February 15, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Mary Carlisle sets record! Opposite Bing Crosby second time". Ottawa Citizen, May 29, 1937. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
- Wollstein, Hans J. (2000–2001). "The WAMPAS Baby Stars". B-Westerns.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- "Eddie Cantor picks Mary Carlisle as lead". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 3, 1933. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
- Benoit, Sharon (January 2007). "Passagess". Editors Guild Magazine. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- Biern, Shawn Patrick (2009). Orphans: A Hollywood Dream Come True. Dorrance Publishing Co. p. 79. ISBN 978-1434901422.