Prolific 1930's actress dies at the age of 104

Preeti Pillai
Aug 02, 2018
11:33 P.M.

The Hollywood actress was famous in the '30s for her musical comedies opposite singer Bing Crosby.


According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mary Carlisle lost her life at the age of 104 on Wednesday morning at a retirement home for actors in Woodland Hills.

Her son, James Blakeley III announced the death but did not reveal an immediate cause. She was thought to be 104 but never confirmed her age, even to her loved ones.

As an oldster, she was known to tell her visitors that her true age was 'none of their business.'

With her blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin, Carlisle had the beauty of an 'all-American porcelain doll.' Universal studio production chief Carl Laemmle Jr. gave her a screen test when he spotted her in the Universal commissary.

Carlisle was just fourteen at the time. Read more about Mary Carlisle on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.


Carlisle appeared in more than 60 films in a career that lasted about twelve years. Much to her chagrin, she was always typecast as the evergreen innocent, a decorative virgin.

She started out with small roles in big films, playing a newlywed in the star-filled melodrama Grand Hotel in 1932. Twice, she played Lionel Barrymore's daughter, in the 1933-film Should Ladies Behave and the 1934-film This Side of Heaven.


Carlisle retired from her acting career after doing a low-budget horror film Dead Men Walk in 1943. She remained the manager of an Elizabeth Arden salon in Beverly Hills for decades.

Carlisle was born in Gwendolyn Witter in Stockton, possibly on February 3, 1914, but some say that she was born in 1912. She was brought up by her widowed mother in Los Angeles.

The legendary actress married James Blakeley, a British-born actor and later a film editor and head of the post-production team at 20th Century Fox, who died in 2007 at the age of 96.

Besides her son, who is an interior designer in Beverly Hills, Carlisle is survived by two grandchildren.

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