0 downloadsMary Treen
She was usually there in the background, playing an almost invisible switchboard operator, secretary or nurse. But, you couldn’t help but notice Mary Treen, particularly when she let lose with a wisecrack or two. Never was there a more reliable “Hollywood Reliable” than she.
Mary Treen was born in St. Louis in 1907 but moved as a child to California shortly after her father’s death. She always loved performing and as a young woman formed a musical comedy duo with Marjorie Barnett, billing themselves as “Treen & Barnett: Two Unsophisticated Vassar Co-eds.” Mary Treen appeared in several vaudeville shows and danced in revues until 1934 when Warner Brothers signed her after seeing her appear in a local play. She worked under contract at Warners for just three years and then freelanced for the rest of her career. She worked continuously from 1934-1984, appearing in over 144 films including: “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “So Proudly We Hail,” “The Snake Pit,” “I Married A Monster From Outer Space,” and “I Love A Soldier,” a part which was written especially for her. After her long film career, she transitioned to TV where she had a recurring role in “The Joey Bishop Show” along with guest appearances on many other shows including: “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Here’s Lucy.”
Mary once said: “I’m very proud to be able to work with stars but I never wanted to be one. They are nearly always driven, ruthless people, and I suspect, terribly unhappy basically.”
Tomorrow: A Salute to Nat Pendleton.