Previous Next 

Feb 24 2013
A Movie Star Still Alive 90 Years After Her Debut Comments (1)

Continuing on my kick of reaching out to living performers who ever appeared in a silent movie (in recent times, I've "gotten" Carla Laemmle, Lupita Tovar, Michael D. Moore, Diana Serra Cary aka Vintage-Mary-Carlisle"Baby Peggy," Mickey Rooney and Dickie Moore), I asked my good buddy Bryan to see if he could get me a signature from Mary Carlisle. Carlisle, the third oldest living person to have appeared in a silent-era silent film, is 101 as of less than two weeks ago. Carlisle started acting as a child, so her first screen appearance was 90 (!) years ago, opposite Jackie Coogan in the silent Long Live the King. She is the last surviving WAMPAS Baby Star; her 1932 class included Gloria Stuart and Ginger Rogers.

Retired from film, where she had a solid career as a B-movie bombshell,  for over 70 years, this one-time glamourpuss is also retired from a high-profile job as the manager of the Elizabeth Arden Salon in Beverly Hills. She was married to Jim Blakely, an actor who wound up as an executive producer at 20th Century-Fox. Blakely lived into his nineties, so I'm thinking this couple, married for 65 years, might have been either doing some seriously healthy living or were freaks of nature who happened to find each other.

Mary-visitMary Carlisle in the not-so-distant past

According to this blog, she is a resident of the Motion Picture Retirement Home. I've heard she does not like to pose for photos anymore (so I'm not sure when the above photo is from...definitely not that many years ago) and that while happy to chat, she has a firm rule: No gossip about the famous folks she knew (she was besties with Marion Davies and starred in three flicks with Bing Crosby).

I'm thrilled to have her autograph. Thanks, Bryan.