The American born beauty started her acting career as a bit player in the 1930's and appeared in the very successful film "Grand Hotel" 1936. She plays a young honeymooner in the film with a very small walk on role (I have the movie on tape so perhaps I need to re-watch it to see if she interacts with either Greta Garbo or the Barrymores). After being selected along with 13 other actresses to be one of the studios *Wampas Baby Stars in 1933 Mary got her big break. She was cast as Bing Crosby's co-star in three of his early musicals. "College Humor" 1933, "Double Or Nothing" 1937 and "Dr. Rhythm" 1938.
Mary appeared in over 70 films between 1930 and 1943 then retired from acting when she felt her career wasn't heading in the right direction and prompted by her marriage to James Blakeley, also a former actor. (They met while filming a Bing Crosby musical together). Mr. Blakeley later became a successful executive (producer,editor) at Twentieth Century-Fox studios. The happy couple remained married until his death in 2007 and had one child together.
Mary's whereabouts aren't known to me today but it would be nice to hear her stories about her days in Hollywood. In later years she was known to be managing an Elizabeth Arden salon in Beverly Hills, CA. Mary was recently given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
*A promotional campaign by Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers (Wampas) selected young actresses considered on their way to stardom. The selection of actresses started in 1922 and ran until 1934. The annual awardees we're honored with a special party called the 'WAMPAS Frolic' each year. The winners we're given massive media coverage to help promote their careers. The promotion ended after 1934 when the studios weighed in on the winners not necessarily being actresses that they wanted raised up. Some of the most famous Wampas winners we're Joan Crawford, Janet Gaynor, Dolores Del Rio, Dorothy MacKaill, Joan Blondell, Loretta Young, and Ginger Rogers.
The 'Wampas Babies' of 1932. with Mary Carlisle and notably Gloria Stuart who passed away recently and who starred in Titanic as the older Rose. (Both Gloria Stuart and Ginger Rogers are on the back row. Mary Carlisle is the first beautiful blonde seated)
Until next time,