Mary Carlisle is a retired American actress and singer. The starry-eyed archetypical blonde was a star of Hollywood films during the 1930’s.
Mary Carlisle was born February 3, 1912 in Boston, Massachusetts. When she was four, Carlisle and her recently widowed mother moved to Hollywood. At the age of fourteen Carlisle and her mother were having lunch at the Universal commissary when she was noticed by producer Carl Laemmle Jr. who immediately gave her a screen test. Because of her young age, Carlisle instead completed her high school studies before moving into acting. An uncle connected to MGM supposedly helped give the budding young actress her break into the movies as a singer/dancer a few years later. Carlisle started out as an extra and bit part player in such films as “Madam Satan” (1930), “The Great Lover” (1931) and in “Grand Hotel” (1932). The glamorous, vibrant beauty’s career was given a boost when she was chosen as a “Wampas Baby Star” in 1932. She performed in a number of lightweight pictures such as “Night Court” (1932) with Anita Page, “Murder in the Private Car” (1934) starring Charles Ruggles and “It’s in the Air” (1935) with Jack Benny. Carlisle is probably best remembered as a breezy co-star in three of Bing Crosby’s early musicals, “College Humor” (1933), “Double or Nothing” (1937) and “Dr. Rhythm” (1938). Other movie credits of note include, “Kind Lady” (1935) with Basil Rathbone and Aline MacMahon, “Touchdown, Army” (1938) with John Howard and Robert Cummings, “Hawaiian Nights” (1939) with Johnny Downs, “Rovin’ Tumbleweeds” (1939) with Gene Autry, and “Baby Face Morgan” (1942) with Richard Cromwell and Robert Armstrong. Carlisle retired from films after her last movie “Dead Men Walk” (1943).
In 1942, Mary Carlisle married New York socialite James Blakely, a film actor who later became an executive producer at 20th Century-Fox. The couple had one son and remained married until his death in 2007.
In 2010, she received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.