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in a photograph taken by Russell Ball
Mary Elizabeth Riggs
October 20, 1895
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
|Died||June 4, 1975 (aged 79)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Other names||Betty Riggs|
|Spouse(s)||B. P. Fineman |
Harry D. Edwards (m.1928–div.1947)
(m.?–1959; his death)
Born in Tampa and known as Betty, Brent was a child of 10 when her mother Eleanor died, leaving her father Arthur to raise her alone.
After moving to New York City as a teenager, her good looks brought modeling jobs that led to an opportunity to become involved in the still relatively new business of making motion pictures.
She originally studied to be a teacher. While attending a normal school in New York she visited the World Film Studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Two days later she was working there as an extra making $3 a day.
She began her film career working under her own name at a New Jersey film studio then made her major debut in the 1915 silent film production of the Robert W. Service poem, The Shooting of Dan McGrew.
She met American playwright Oliver Cromwell, who urged her to accept an important role in The Ruined Lady. The production was presented on the London stage and the actress remained in England for four years performing on stage and in films produced by British companies before going to Hollywood in 1922.
Her career received a major boost the following year when she was chosen as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. then signed her but failed to find a story for her; she left his company to join Associated Authors.
Brent went on to make more than two dozen silent films including three for the noted Austrian director Josef von Sternberg, such as The Last Command (1928), an epic war drama for which Emil Jannings won the first Academy Award for Best Actor and featured a pivotal supporting performance for William Powell.
Later that same year, she starred opposite William Powell in Paramount Pictures' (and her own) first talkie. One film, Interference (1928), did not live up to expectations at the box office. Despite that, Brent played major roles in several more features, most notably The Silver Horde and the Paramount Pictures all-star revue Paramount on Parade (both 1930).
By the early part of the 1930s, she was busy working in secondary roles in a variety of films as well as touring with vaudeville shows.
By 1941 her screen career was at its least prestigious point. Having become too mature for ingenue roles, and no longer in demand by major studios, she found plenty of work at the smaller, low-budget studios in "B" films.
She photographed attractively opposite leading men who were also at advanced ages and later stages in their careers: Neil Hamilton in Producers Releasing Corporation's production Dangerous Lady, Lee Tracy in the same studio's The Payoff, and Jack Holt in the serial Holt of the Secret Service, produced by Larry Darmour for Columbia Pictures. Her performances were still persuasive, and her name was still recognizable to moviegoers that when marketing films theater owners often put her name on their marquees. In the early 1940s she worked in Pine-Thomas "B" action features for Paramount Pictures releases. Veteran director William Beaudine cast her in many such productions as well, including Emergency Landing (1941), Bowery Champs (1944), The Golden Eye (1948), and Again Pioneers (1950). After performing in more than 120 films, she retired from acting in 1950 and worked for a number of years as an actor's agent.
Personal life and death
Evelyn Brent was married three times: to movie executive Bernard P. Fineman, to producer Harry D. Edwards, and finally to the vaudeville actor Harry Fox for whom the foxtrot dance was named. They were still married when he died in 1959.
|1914||A Gentleman from Mississippi||Hope Langdon|
|1915||The Heart of a Painted Woman||Lost film|
|1915||The Shooting of Dan McGrew||Nell (adult)||Lost film|
|1915||When Love Laughs||Bessie||Short film|
|1916||The Lure of Heart's Desire||Little Snowbird||Lost film|
|1916||The Iron Will||Uncredited|
|1916||The Soul Market||Vivian Austin||Lost film|
|1916||Playing with Fire||Lucille Vane||Lost film|
|1916||The Spell of the Yukon||Dorothy Temple||Lost film|
|1916||The Weakness of Strength||Bessie Alden||Lost film|
|1916||The Iron Woman||Nannie Maitland||Lost film|
|1917||The Millionaire's Double||Constance Brent||Lost film|
|1917||To the Death||Rosa||Lost film|
|1917||Who's Your Neighbor?||Betty Hamlin||Lost film|
|1917||Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman||Ethel - Lord Amersteth's Daughter|
|1918||Daybreak||Det. Alma Peterson||Lost film|
|1919||Border River||Marie Dubuque||Short film|
|1919||Help! Help! Police!||Marian Trevor||Lost film|
|1919||Fool's Gold||Nancy Smith|
|1919||The Other Man's Wife||Becky Simon||Lost film|
|1919||The Glorious Lady||Lady Eileen|
|1920||The Shuttle of Life||Miriam Grey||Lost film|
|1920||The Law Divine||Daphne Grey||Lost film|
|1921||Demos||Emma Vine||Lost film|
|1921||The Door That Has No Key||Violet Melton||Lost film|
|1921||Sybil||Sybil Gerard||Lost film|
|1921||Sonia||Sonia Dainton||Lost film|
|1921||Laughter and Tears||Pierette|
|1922||Trapped by the Mormons||Nora Prescott|
|1922||The Spanish Jade||Mañuela||Lost film|
|1922||Married to a Mormon||Beryl Fane||Lost film|
|1922||The Experiment||Doris Fielding||Lost film|
|1922||Pages of Life||Mitzi / Dolores||Lost film|
|1923||Held to Answer||Bessie Burbeck||Lost film|
|1924||Loving Lies||Ellen Craig||Lost film|
|1924||The Shadow of the Desert||Lolaire||Lost film|
|1924||Arizona Express||Lola Nichols|
|1924||The Plunderer||The Lily||Lost film|
|1924||The Lone Chance||Margaret West||Lost film|
|1924||The Desert Outlaw||May Halloway|
|1924||The Cyclone Rider||Weeping Wanda|
|1924||The Dangerous Flirt||Sheila Fairfax||Lost film|
|1924||My Husband's Wives||Marie Wynn||Lost film|
|1924||Silk Stocking Sal||'Stormy' Martin||Lost film|
|1925||Midnight Molly||Margaret Warren / Midnight Molly|
|1925||Forbidden Cargo||Polly O'Day||Lost film|
|1925||Alias Mary Flynn||Mary Flynn||Lost film|
|1925||Smooth as Satin||Gertie Jones||Lost film|
|1925||Lady Robinhood||Señorita Catalina / La Ortiga||Lost film|
|1925||Three Wise Crooks||Molly||Lost film|
|1925||Broadway Lady||Rosalie Ryan|
|1926||Queen o'Diamonds||Jeanette Durant / Jerry Lyon||Lost film|
|1926||Secret Orders||Janet Graaham||Lost film|
|1926||The Impostor||Judith Gilbert||Lost film|
|1926||The Jade Cup||Peggy Allen||Lost film|
|1926||Flame of the Argentine||Inez Remírez||Lost film|
|1926||Love 'Em and Leave 'Em||Mame Walsh|
|1927||Love's Greatest Mistake||Jane||Lost film|
|1927||Blind Alleys||Sally Ray||Lost film|
|1927||Women's Wares||Dolly Morton|
|1928||Beau Sabreur||Mary Vanbrugh||Lost film|
|1928||The Last Command||Natalie Dabrova|
|1928||The Showdown||Sibyl Shelton|
|1928||A Night of Mystery||Gilberte Boismartel|
|1928||His Tiger Lady||Tiger Lady||Lost film|
|1928||The Drag Net||The Magpie||Lost film|
|1928||The Mating Call||Rose Henderson|
- Interference (1928) as Deborah Kane
- Broadway (1929) as Pearl
- Fast Company (1929) as Evelyn Corey
- Woman Trap (1929) as Kitty Evans
- Why Bring That Up? (1929) as Betty
- Darkened Rooms (1929, extant, Library of Congress) as Ellen
- Slightly Scarlet (1930) as Lucy Stavrin
- Framed (1930) as Rose Manning
- Paramount on Parade (1930) as Bedroom Apache - Episode 'Origin of the Apache'
- The Silver Horde (1930) as Cherry Malotte
- Madonna of the Streets (1930) as May
- Paramount on Parade (1930) as Himself
- Traveling Husbands (1931) as Ruby Smith
- The Pagan Lady (1931) as Dorothy 'Dot' Hunter
- The Mad Parade (1931) as Monica Dale
- High Pressure (1932) as Francine Dale
- Attorney for the Defense (1932) as Val Lorraine
- The Crusader (1932) as Tess Brandon
- The World Gone Mad (1933) as Carlotta Lamont
- Symphony of Living (1935) as Paula Greig Rupert
- Home on the Range (1935) as Georgia
- Without Children (1935) as Shirley Ross Cole
- The Nitwits (1935) as Mrs. Alice Lake
- Speed Limited (1935) as Natalie
- One for All (1936)
- Song of the Trail (1936) as Myra
- It Couldn't Have Happened – But It Did (1936) as Beverly Drake
- The President's Mystery (1936) as Ilka Blake
- Hopalong Cassidy Returns (1936) as Lilli Marsh
- Jungle Jim (1937, Serial) as Shanghai Lil, one of four main characters
- King of Gamblers (1937) as Cora
- The Last Train from Madrid (1937) as Soldier (uncredited)
- Night Club Scandal (1937) as Julia Reed
- Sudden Bill Dorn (1937) as Diana Viargas
- Daughter of Shanghai (1937) as Olga Derey
- Tip-Off Girls (1938) as Rena Terry
- Mr. Wong, Detective (1938) as Olga aka Countess Dubois
- The Law West of Tombstone (1938) as Clara 'Clary' Martinez
- Panama Lady (1939) as Lenore
- Daughter of the Tong (1939) as Carney - The Illustrious One
- The Mad Empress (1939) as Empress Eugenie
- Emergency Landing (1941) as Maude Lambert
- Forced Landing (1941) as Doctor Vidalek's Housekeeper
- Wide Open Town (1941) as Belle Langtry
- Dangerous Lady (1941) as Hester Engle
- Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring (1941) as Nurse holding microscope (uncredited)
- Holt of the Secret Service (1941) as Kay Drew - R49
- Westward Ho (1942) as Mrs. Healey
- Wrecking Crew (1942) as Martha Poska
- The Payoff (1942) as Alma Dorn
- Silent Witness (1942) as Mrs. Roos / Anna Barnes
- Spy Train (1943) as Frieda Molte
- The Seventh Victim (1943) as Natalie Cortez
- Bowery Champs (1944) as Gypsy Carmen
- Raiders of the South (1947) as Belle Chambers
- Robin Hood of Monterey (1947) as Maria Belmonte Sanchez
- Stage Struck (1948) as Miss Lloyd
- The Golden Eye (1948) as Sister Teresa
- Life of St. Paul Series (1949) as Jailer's Wife
- Again Pioneers (1950) as Alice Keeler
- Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 75. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- Passport application. "Ancestry.com".
- 1929 passenger list for Evelyn edwards. "Ancestry.com".
- Kear, Lynn (2009). Evelyn Brent: The Life and Films of Hollywood's Lady Crook. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7864-4363-5.
- Evelyn Brent: the life and films of Hollywood's Lady Crook. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 195. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- "Hollywood Walk of Fame - Evelyn Brent". walkoffame.com/. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- The New York Times, Evelyn Brent, 75, Film Star of 1920s, June 8, 1975, Page 55.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Evelyn Brent.|