Brooks in the 1930s
July 18, 1915|
Boise, Idaho, U.S.
|Died||August 1, 1995
Cape Neddick, Maine, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Torbert H. Macdonald (m. 1945–76); his death|
Phyllis Brooks (July 18, 1915 – August 1, 1995) was an American actress and model. She was born in Boise, Idaho. Some sources have also inaccurately cited 1914 as her year of birth, but 1915 is the correct year according to Social Security records.
She was a model for two years before progressing to a career in film. She stated, "I started posing for photographers as a lark, and it was a lot of fun."
Initially known as Mary Brooks, she began her career in films in 1934 at age 20, in I've Been Around. Brooks, who had about 30 performances in films, was a B-movie leading lady during the 1930s and 1940s, with roles in such films as In Old Chicago (1937), Little Miss Broadway (1938) and The Shanghai Gesture (1941).
|This section does not cite any sources. (April 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Brooks was reported (UK Sunday Telegraph December 1942) as being president of Parties Unlimited Inc. in an article about Hollywood at war. Along with actress Una Merkel, and accompanied by film star Gary Cooper, Brooks was the first civilian woman to travel to the Pacific theater of war during World War II, on a USO tour.
Brooks moved East to Cambridge, Massachusetts with her new husband in 1945 so that he could complete his studies at Harvard Law School. He had been a Harvard football captain and a decorated PT boat captain in World War II. He died in office in 1976.
Brooks continued performing in summer stock theater after her marriage, and hosted the first television interview program in Boston in the early 1950s (on WBZ-TV). She retired from public performances after that, concentrating on raising her family. The couple had four children, the eldest of whom was President Kennedy's godson.
Brooks died on August 1, 1995, in Cape Neddick, Maine, aged 80. She was survived by sons, Torbert Jr. and Brian, daughters Laurie and Robin, and eight grandchildren. She was also survived by her brother, playwright Norman Allen Brooks (died 2000).
- One Exciting Adventure (1934)
- Another Face (1935)
- In Old Chicago (1937)
- Dangerously Yours (1937)
- City Girl (1938)
- Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)
- Little Miss Broadway (1938)
- Up the River (1938)
- Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)
- Charlie Chan in Reno (1939)
- Lucky to Me (1939)
- Slightly Honorable (1939)
- The Flying Squad (1940)
- The Shanghai Gesture (1941)
- No Place for a Lady (1943)
- Silver Spurs (1943)
- Lady in the Dark (1944)
- Dangerous Passage (1944)
- High Powered (1945)
- The Unseen (1945)
- Katz, Ephraim (1979). The Film Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single Volume. Perigee Books; ISBN 0-399-50601-2, pg. 170.
- Keavy, Hubbard (August 31, 1935). "Their Modeling Days Are Over -- Phyllis and Marsha Play Leads". Altoona Tribune. p. 6. Retrieved October 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Phyllis Brooks; Model Acted on Stage, Screen". Los Angeles Times. August 5, 1995. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
- "Phyllis Brooks, 80, Actress and Hostess". The New York Times. August 3, 1995. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Phyllis Brooks". Playbill Vault. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Marriages". Billboard. July 28, 1945. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Phyllis Brooks, 80, Actress and Hostess". The New York Times. August 3, 1995. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- "Biographies of the Representatives of the 7th District of Massachusetts". Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- Norman Allen Brooks profile, MaineGenealogy.net; accessed May 6, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Phyllis Brooks.|