Mona Barlee Smith
18 December 1909
|Died||27 June 1964 (aged 54)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Knox United Church Cemetery, Agincourt, Toronto|
Charles Harold Rayson
(m. 1928; div. 1931)
Paul Macklin Bolton
Born Mona Barlee Smith in London to comedian Phil Smith and variety performer Jessie Barlee, she lived in Australia from 1913, and made her professional debut as Mona Barlee on stage in a 1922 J. C. Williamson production of The Merry Widow. For the next ten years she performed for J.C. Williamson's, mostly in musical comedies and earning a popular reputation, appearing with numerous Australian based variety stars including Roy Rene. She also appeared in her first film, His Royal Highness, with Australian comedian George Wallace. In 1933 she emigrated to New York, was given a test for films and this led to signing with Fox Film Corporation. She made her first US film Sleepers East using the stage name Mona Barrie.
While her lack of a glamorous beauty resulted in her generally being cast in important but secondary roles, during a film career spanning almost twenty years she appeared in more than fifty films. She co-starred in 1942's Dawn on the Great Divide, the last film Buck Jones made before he died in the Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston, Massachusetts. Barrie also performed at various playhouses across the U.S, debuting on Broadway in 1937 as Lady Agatha in Arthur Schwartz's Virginia.
She married Charles Harold Rayson in Melbourne, Australia, in July 1928, however the marriage was not a success and a divorce was granted in 1931. In 1938 she married Canadian Paul Macklin Bolton. Both unions were childless.
- His Royal Highness (1932)
- Carolina (1934) - Virginia Buchanan
- Sleepers East (1934) - Ada Robillard
- All Men Are Enemies (1934) - Margaret Scrope
- Such Women Are Dangerous (1934) - Wanda Paris
- One Night of Love (1934) - Rosa Lally
- Charlie Chan in London (1934) - Lady Mary Bristol
- I'll Fix It (1934) - Anne Barry
- Mystery Woman (1935) - Margaret Benoit
- Storm Over the Andes (1935) - Theresa
- The Unwelcome Stranger (1935) - Madeline Chamberlain
- Ladies Love Danger (1935) - Rita Witherspoon
- The Melody Lingers On (1935) - Sylvia Turina
- King of Burlesque (1936) - Rosalind Cleve
- Here Comes Trouble (1936) - Evelyn Howard
- A Message to Garcia (1936) - Spanish Spy
- Love on the Run (1936) - Baroness Hilda
- Mountain Justice (1937) - Evelyn Wayne
- I Met Him in Paris (1937) - Helen Anders
- Something to Sing About (1937) - Stephanie 'Steffie' Hajos
- Love, Honor and Behave (1938) - Lisa Blake
- Men Are Such Fools (1938) - Beatrice Harris
- Say It in French (1938) - Lady Westover
- I Take This Woman (1940) - Sandra Mayberry
- Love, Honor, and Oh Baby! (1940) - Deedee Doree
- Who Killed Aunt Maggie? (1940) - Eve Benedict
- Lady with Red Hair (1940) - Mrs. Brooks
- Murder Among Friends (1941) - Clair Turk
- When Ladies Meet (1941) - Mabel Guiness
- Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941) - The Producer's Wife
- Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring (1941) - Nurse Marian Tracy
- Skylark (1941) - Charlette Gorell
- Road to Happiness (1941) - Millie Rankin
- Today I Hang (1942) - Martha Courtney
- A Tragedy at Midnight (1942) - Alta Wilton
- The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942) - Eileen Crispin
- Syncopation (1942) - Lillian
- Lady in a Jam (1942) - Woman (uncredited)
- Cairo (1942) - Mrs. Morrison
- Dawn on the Great Divide (1942) - Sadie Rand
- One Dangerous Night (1943) - Jane Merrick
- Storm Over Lisbon (1944) - Evelyn
- Just Before Dawn (1946) - Harriet Travers
- The Devil's Mask (1946) - Louise Mitchell
- The Secret of the Whistler (1946) - Linda Vail
- I Cover Big Town (1947) - Dora Hilton
- When a Girl's Beautiful (1947) - Cordova
- Cass Timberlane (1947) - Avis Elderman
- My Dog Rusty (1948) - Dr. Toni Cordell
- The First Time (1952) - Cassie Mayhew
- Strange Fascination (1952) - Diana Fowler
- Plunder of the Sun (1953) - Tourist (uncredited) (final film role)
- Wilson, Scott (19 August 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-4766-2599-7. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
- Biographer Dr. Clay Djubal believes this suggests a 1906 date of birth as more likely than 1909.
- Dr Clay Djubal. "Mona Barlee Research notes" (PDF). Australian Variety Theatre Archive. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- "Fox's Newest Actress Set .Mona Barrie Handed Her First Role..." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 18 October 1933. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- Brooks Atkinson (3 September 1937). THE PLAY: 'Virginia' Opens the Season With a Large Musical Drama at the Center Theatre Theatre Units' Plays Tonight. The New York Times. p. 13.
- "Hollywood Walk of Fame - Mona Barrie". walkoffame.com. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
- The Age (Melbourne, Vic.: 1854-1954), 4 June 1931, Page 11 "DIVORCE COURT"; accessed 10 January 2017.
- "Hollywood Star Walk - Mona Barrie". Los Angeles Times. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic.: 1869-1954), 25 October 1941, Page 9, "The Voice Behind the 'Mike'"; accessed 10 January 2017.
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