Symona Boniface

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Symona Boniface
Symona Ferner Boniface LCCN2014705957 (cropped).jpg
Boniface in c. 1917
Symona Ferner Boniface

(1894-03-05)March 5, 1894
New York City, U.S.
DiedSeptember 2, 1950(1950-09-02) (aged 56)
Resting placeValhalla Memorial Park Cemetery
Years active1925–1950
SpouseFrank Pharr Simms

Symona Ferner Boniface (March 5, 1894 – September 2, 1950) was an American film actress, most frequently seen in bit parts in comedy shorts, mostly at Columbia Pictures, particularly those of The Three Stooges. She appeared in 120 films between 1925 and 1950.

Early life[edit]

Boniface was born in New York City, the daughter of George C. Boniface, an actor, and his wife Norma (née Ferner) Boniface, an inventor. Symona's father was of English extraction and her mother of German heritage, though both were New York natives.[1]


Boniface is probably best known as a society matron foil for slapstick comedy trio the Three Stooges, intercepting many a flying pie. Thanks to the daily television broadcast of the wildly popular Stooge films, Boniface is widely seen on a regular basis. Boniface employed her comic timing in several of her appearances. She dealt with a shrinking or torn skirt in No Census, No Feeling and Crash Goes the Hash, squirmed uncontrollably thanks to a mouse crawling down her back in Loco Boy Makes Good, and was flooded in both Spook Louder and her final appearance, Vagabond Loafers. Conversely, she maintained her composure in Micro-Phonies and even dealt Curly Howard several painful face slaps in An Ache in Every Stake.

Half-Wits' Holiday[edit]

Boniface's tour de force performance came in Half-Wits Holiday opposite Moe Howard. Mischievous Curly grabs a cream pie from a pastry table, and tries to eat it whole. Moe sees this, swipes the pie, and pushes Larry out of the way. Seeing the approaching Mrs. Smythe-Smythe (Boniface), Moe tosses the pie straight up, resulting in it sticking to the ceiling. Noticing his nervousness and frequent upward glances, Smythe-Smythe sympathetically comments, "Young man, you act as if the Sword of Damocles is hanging over your head." Moe tells her she must be psychic and leaves. Bewildered, Mrs. Smythe-Smythe says "I wonder what's wrong with that young man?" and looks up to see what had him so concerned. At that moment, the pie comes crashing down in the society matron's face. The footage would be recycled four more times over the next 13 years in the films Pest Man Wins, Scheming Schemers, Pies and Guys and Stop! Look! and Laugh!.

Boniface also appeared in the Stooges' 1949 television pilot Jerks of All Trades, which would be the last project she ever appeared in. Stock footage of her would appear in six ensuing Stooges shorts following her death.

Personal life and death[edit]

Boniface married Frank Pharr Simms, a salesman and real-estate broker from Decatur, Georgia.[2][3] Boniface was 56 years of age when she died of pancreatic cancer on September 2, 1950.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ United States Census: Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1026; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0694; Image: 874; FHL Number: 1375039.
  2. ^ United States Census: Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 137; Page: 16A; Image: 601.0; Family History Library Film: 2339872.
  3. ^ United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Registration Location: Buckingham County, Virginia; Roll: 1984264; Draft Board: 0.

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