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Mary Carlisle has died


SullivansTravels
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While hardly surprising at her age, I'm still sorry to hear that Mary Carlisle has passed away.

TCM fans who are familiar with an enjoyable little MGM "B," Murder in the Private Car, may recall her as the heiress whose life is in danger being protected by detective Charlie Ruggles.

murder-in-the-private-car-DXJX8A.jpg

Otherwise her mark in history may be that she was the last surviving cast member of 1932's Grand Hotel. She arrives at the end of the film as a giggling bride dressed like an aviatrix.

grand-hotel-mary-carlisle-lionel-barrymo

Here's what I wrote six years ago about Mary:

Hers is a name that will only have a slight ring of familiarity to avid film buffs but today's Lionel Barrymore tribute on TCM will also have a tribute, of sorts, to pretty blonde Mary Carlisle, as well. That's because she appears in three of the MGM features, unbilled as a honeymooner in Grand Hotel, as well as playing Lionel's daughter in Should Ladies Behave and This Side of Heaven.

Carlisle, having turned 100 on February 3rd this year, is the last survivor of the 1932 WAMPAS Baby Stars. WAMPAS was an annual event (until 1934) by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers to promote 13 starlets (14 in 1932) that were hailed to be "stars of tomorrow."

That, unfortunately, didn't usually turn out to be the case, though Ginger Rogers is among those on the 1932 list. Carlisle, unfortunately, would be among the majority, with good roles and stardom eluding her Hollywood career.

Having said that, however, Carlisle worked in the studio system during one of its most legendary periods, the 1930s, and at a lot of the majors, MGM, Paramount and RKO. She had difficulty breaking free of the picture perfect, starry eyed ingenue roles, and would end her career at the Poverty Row Studios, her final appearance as a screaming heroine in PRC's Dead Men Walk before her decision to retire from the industry. (In her later years she would manage a Beverly Hills Elizabeth Arden Salon, as well as receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010).

The highlights of Carlisle's career were, perhaps, her three co-starring appearances in Bing Crosby musicals, College Humor (1933), Double or Nothing (1937) and Doctor Rhythm (1938).

Carlisle was, needless to say, very pretty. Her slightly chubby face reminds me a bit of Toby Wing, another pretty performer who never came close to star status, as well as Patricia Ellis, another would-be star and recipient of the 1932 WAMPAS selection.

As for Carlisle's films, I have a genuine affection for a 1934 MGM "B" she made, Murder in the Private Car. She has a screaming heroine in distress role in a strange mixture of humour (Charlie Ruggles and Una Merkel are the affable leads) and completely over-the-top melodrama. Rather than being set in a secluded house, this murder mystery is on a speeding train, in which its frightened cast are trapped, with the lights frequently going out (plenty of screams then) and the killer's voice frequently coming over the intercom system to terrorize them even more.

There's even a gorilla loose on board this train, for a short while. The film has a wild careening train car loose on the tracks climax which is genuinely fun in spite of the obvious rear screen projection. TCM occasionally shows this little gem, and it's well worth a look. And Carlisle is a lovely heroine. The part may be undemanding but she fulfils its requirements just fine.

Carlisle was interviewed by Filmfax in 1989 but I have been unable to locate that interview. Always adding to the frustration of film buffs is the knowledge that a few of the remaining direct participants of the Hollywood Golden Age still with us may be willing to recount memories of that time but are not contacted. I don't know, of course, whether this would apply to Ms. Carlisle who, according to one internet source, has a Beverly Hills address today. It would certainly be worth the effort, however, for someone to see if the lady may want to share some of her film anecdotes. With Mary Carlisle we are probably talking about, among other things, the last remaining person to have worked on the set of the legendary Grand Hotel.

So here's a heads up to those watching some of today's films to keep a eye open for pretty Mary Carlisle in the three films named (though you have to look for her quickly in Grand Hotel).

220px-Mary_Carlisle.jpg

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Here's an obit from The Hollywood Reporter:

#RIP Mary Carlisle, 104, lovely object of Bing Crosby's affection in three 1930s musical comedies. She showed no favorites when it came to a fierce college football rivalry, starring in 'Hold 'Em Navy' and then 'Touchdown, Army.'

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mary-carlisle-dead-bing-crosby-star-delightful-musicals-was-104-1085748

3TY3KReq?format=jpg&name=600x314

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One of the loveliest people I have ever met. It was always a pleasure to see her.

I often wonder about the happenstance of some people who quietly pass through our lives. I certainly can't say I knew Mary well. Though we met several times, and had somewhat lengthy conversations, her age prevented her from really remembering these facts. Still, I was always charmed by her and was left wishing I could have known her in her prime.

Again, a sweet, lovely, lady. I'm so glad she graced my life. I am left knowing I'm better for it.

Yancey

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Dance, Girl, Dance ; Held for Murder ; Baby Face Morgan ; are listed on Netflix. Which one should I choose first?

I did not know of her. It's rather striking to be "introduced" to someone like that so suddenly. A life that has come and gone in a trice. There's a poignant little feeling of melancholy about it. Enjoyed the fine write-up, TomJH.

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14 hours ago, TomJH said:

While hardly surprising at her age, I'm still sorry to hear that Mary Carlisle has passed away.

TCM fans who are familiar with an enjoyable little MGM "B," Murder in the Private Car, may recall her as the heiress whose life is in danger being protected by detective Charlie Ruggles.

murder-in-the-private-car-DXJX8A.jpg

Otherwise her mark in history may be that she was the last surviving cast member of 1932's Grand Hotel. She arrives at the end of the film as a giggling bride dressed like an aviatrix.

grand-hotel-mary-carlisle-lionel-barrymo

Here's what I wrote six years ago about Mary:

Hers is a name that will only have a slight ring of familiarity to avid film buffs but today's Lionel Barrymore tribute on TCM will also have a tribute, of sorts, to pretty blonde Mary Carlisle, as well. That's because she appears in three of the MGM features, unbilled as a honeymooner in Grand Hotel, as well as playing Lionel's daughter in Should Ladies Behave and This Side of Heaven.

 

Carlisle, having turned 100 on February 3rd this year, is the last survivor of the 1932 WAMPAS Baby Stars. WAMPAS was an annual event (until 1934) by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers to promote 13 starlets (14 in 1932) that were hailed to be "stars of tomorrow."

That, unfortunately, didn't usually turn out to be the case, though Ginger Rogers is among those on the 1932 list. Carlisle, unfortunately, would be among the majority, with good roles and stardom eluding her Hollywood career.

 

Having said that, however, Carlisle worked in the studio system during one of its most legendary periods, the 1930s, and at a lot of the majors, MGM, Paramount and RKO. She had difficulty breaking free of the picture perfect, starry eyed ingenue roles, and would end her career at the Poverty Row Studios, her final appearance as a screaming heroine in PRC's Dead Men Walk before her decision to retire from the industry. (In her later years she would manage a Beverly Hills Elizabeth Arden Salon, as well as receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010).

 

The highlights of Carlisle's career were, perhaps, her three co-starring appearances in Bing Crosby musicals, College Humor (1933), Double or Nothing (1937) and Doctor Rhythm (1938).

 

Carlisle was, needless to say, very pretty. Her slightly chubby face reminds me a bit of Toby Wing, another pretty performer who never came close to star status, as well as Patricia Ellis, another would-be star and recipient of the 1932 WAMPAS selection.

 

As for Carlisle's films, I have a genuine affection for a 1934 MGM "B" she made, Murder in the Private Car. She has a screaming heroine in distress role in a strange mixture of humour (Charlie Ruggles and Una Merkel are the affable leads) and completely over-the-top melodrama. Rather than being set in a secluded house, this murder mystery is on a speeding train, in which its frightened cast are trapped, with the lights frequently going out (plenty of screams then) and the killer's voice frequently coming over the intercom system to terrorize them even more.

 

There's even a gorilla loose on board this train, for a short while. The film has a wild careening train car loose on the tracks climax which is genuinely fun in spite of the obvious rear screen projection. TCM occasionally shows this little gem, and it's well worth a look. And Carlisle is a lovely heroine. The part may be undemanding but she fulfils its requirements just fine.

 

Carlisle was interviewed by Filmfax in 1989 but I have been unable to locate that interview. Always adding to the frustration of film buffs is the knowledge that a few of the remaining direct participants of the Hollywood Golden Age still with us may be willing to recount memories of that time but are not contacted. I don't know, of course, whether this would apply to Ms. Carlisle who, according to one internet source, has a Beverly Hills address today. It would certainly be worth the effort, however, for someone to see if the lady may want to share some of her film anecdotes. With Mary Carlisle we are probably talking about, among other things, the last remaining person to have worked on the set of the legendary Grand Hotel.

 

So here's a heads up to those watching some of today's films to keep a eye open for pretty Mary Carlisle in the three films named (though you have to look for her quickly in Grand Hotel).

220px-Mary_Carlisle.jpg

Lovely tribute!

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12 hours ago, laffite said:

Dance, Girl, Dance ; Held for Murder ; Baby Face Morgan ; are listed on Netflix. Which one should I choose first?

I did not know of her. It's rather striking to be "introduced" to someone like that so suddenly. A life that has come and gone in a trice. There's a poignant little feeling of melancholy about it. Enjoyed the fine write-up, TomJH.

I wasnt familiar with her either. Hope she lived a happy life. I'll look for her in credits. I do remember her in Grand H otel, but didnt know who that actress was.

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