Patsy Kelly


Actor
Patsy Kelly

About

Also Known As
Sarah Veronica Rose Kelly
Birth Place
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Born
January 12, 1910
Died
September 24, 1981

Biography

Tough, wisecracking comic of stage and screen, who brightened up many a film in the 1930s. The Brooklyn-born, Manhattan-bred Kelly was discovered by vaudeville star Frank Fay and by 1927 was on Broadway, in "Harry Delmar's Revels." Among her other Broadway shows were "Three Cheers" and Earl Carroll's "Sketch Book" (1929), Carroll's "Vanities" (1930), and "Wonder Bar" (1931). Hollywood ca...

Photos & Videos

Please Don't Eat the Daisies - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Freaky Friday - Pressbook
Freaky Friday - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Wilma Cox
Companion
Singer. Lived together in the 1930s; separated when they moved to NYC in the early 1940s.
Tallulah Bankhead
Companion
Actor. Had long-term relationship in 1940s and 50s.

Notes

Kelly was arrested in a bar brawl with two other women in 1963.

"There are just times when it seems you can't do anything wrong. Then there are other times when whatever you do is wrong. I think I could have had more drive. I was never very ambitious."--Patsy Kelly, quoted in Richard Lamparski's "WHATEVER BECAME OF...?", vol. 8.

Biography

Tough, wisecracking comic of stage and screen, who brightened up many a film in the 1930s. The Brooklyn-born, Manhattan-bred Kelly was discovered by vaudeville star Frank Fay and by 1927 was on Broadway, in "Harry Delmar's Revels." Among her other Broadway shows were "Three Cheers" and Earl Carroll's "Sketch Book" (1929), Carroll's "Vanities" (1930), and "Wonder Bar" (1931). Hollywood came calling that same year, and Hal Roach signed her to do a series of delightful two-reel comedies co-starring Thelma Todd. The series ended after 21 films when Todd died in 1935.

Kelly broke into features in 1933 as Marion Davies' wisenheimer pal in "Going Hollywood"; she made nearly 40 more films in the next ten years, including "The Girl from Missouri" (1934), "Page Miss Glory" (1935), "Pigskin Parade" (1936), "Pick a Star" (1937), "The Cowboy and the Lady" (1938), "Topper Returns" (1940) and "Danger! Women at Work" (1943).

But the hard-working actress was nearly unemployable by the mid-1940s and found work as a domestic. Some claim it was her drinking, others that her openness about her homosexuality was off-putting in Hollywood. Finally, Tallulah Bankhead (who was hardly shocked by drinking or homosexuality), hired Kelly to support her in "Dear Charles" (1955). Kelly returned to features with "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" (1960) and was one of the coven in Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" (1968). She had something of a renaissance in 1971, returning to Broadway alongside Ruby Keeler in a revival of "No, No, Nanette," staged by Busby Berkeley (for which she received a Tony Award) and two years later supported Debbie Reynolds in a revival of "Irene."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The North Avenue Irregulars (1979)
Freaky Friday (1976)
Mrs Schmauss
The Phynx (1970)
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Laura-Louise
C'mon, Let's Live a Little (1967)
Mrs. Fitts
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)
Myrtle Forbush
The Naked Kiss (1964)
Mac
Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)
Maggie
The Crowded Sky (1960)
Gertrude Ross
My Son, the Hero (1943)
Gerty
Danger! Women at Work (1943)
Terry [Olsen]
Ladies' Day (1943)
Hazel Jones
Sing Your Worries Away (1942)
Bebe
In Old California (1942)
Helga
Playmates (1941)
Lulu Monahan
Topper Returns (1941)
Maid
Broadway Limited (1941)
Patsy [Riley]
Road Show (1941)
Jinx
Hit Parade of 1941 (1940)
Judy Abbot
The Gorilla (1939)
Kitty
There Goes My Heart (1938)
Peggy O'Brien
The Cowboy and the Lady (1938)
Katie Callahan
Pick a Star (1937)
Nellie Moore
Nobody's Baby (1937)
Kitty [Reilly]
Wake Up and Live (1937)
Patsy Kane
Ever Since Eve (1937)
Sadie Day
Sing, Baby, Sing (1936)
Fitz
Pigskin Parade (1936)
Bessie Winters
Kelly the Second (1936)
Mollie [Patricia Kelly]
Private Number (1936)
Gracie
Page Miss Glory (1935)
Betty
Go into Your Dance (1935)
Irma
Every Night at Eight (1935)
Daphne O'Connor
Thanks a Million (1935)
Phoebe Mason
Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round (1934)
Patsy Clarke
The Party's Over (1934)
Mabel
The Girl from Missouri (1934)
Kitty Lennihan
The Countess of Monte Cristo (1934)
Mimi Schmidt
Going Hollywood (1933)
Jill [Barker]

Cast (Short)

At Sea Ashore (1936)
Pan Handlers (1936)
Hill-Tillies (1936)
An All American Toothache (1936)
Treasure Blues (1935)
Top Flat (1935)
Hot Money (1935)
Twin Triplets (1935)
Sing Sister Sing (1935)
The Tin Man (1935)
The Misses Stooge (1935)
Slightly Static (1935)
Roamin' Vandals (1934)
Maid in Hollywood (1934)
Babes in the Goods (1934)
Three Chumps Ahead (1934)
Done in Oil (1934)
I'll Be Suing You (1934)
Soup and Fish (1934)
Bum Voyage (1934)
One-Horse Farmers (1934)
Opened by Mistake (1934)
Beauty and the Bus (1933)
Backs to Nature (1933)
Air Fright (1933)
The Grand Dame (1931)

Life Events

1927

Began appearing on Broadway

1933

Co-starred with Thelma Todd in series of two-reel comedies for producer Hal Roach

1933

First role in full-length feature, "Going Hollywood"

1943

Last film for nearly twenty years, "Ladies' Day"

1953

Was panelist on TV game show "Anyone Can Win" (CBS)

1960

Returned to features in "Please Don't Eat the Daisies"

1969

TV-movie debut, "The Pigeon" (ABC)

1971

Co-starred in Broadway revival of "No No Nannette", starring Ruby Keeler

1972

Appeared with Debbie Reynolds in Broadway revival of "Irene"

1979

Last feature film, "North Avenue Irregulars"

Photo Collections

Please Don't Eat the Daisies - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960), starring Doris Day and David Niven.
Freaky Friday - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for Disney's Freaky Friday (1976). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
Freaky Friday - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Disney's Freaky Friday (1977). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

North Avenue Irregulars, The (1979) - He's Not Taking Threats Rev. Hill (Edward Herrmann), baffled by rampant gambling at his church, takes to the air with an ad-libbed crusade, alarming his secretary (Susan Clark), also Patsy Kelly and Douglas Fowley, bookie Harry (Alan Hale Jr.), gangster Roca (Frank Campanella) and parishoners Barbara Harris and Cloris Leachman, in the Walt Disney crime-comedy The North Avenue Irregulars, 1979.
North Avenue Irregulars, The (1979) - God, Are You Home? Opening with Edward Herrmann in a relatively rare lead role, as Presbyterian Rev. Hill, with his kids (Bobby Rolofson, Melora Hardin) arriving at his new church, where the gang of ladies for whom the picture is named are having a crisis, Karen Valentine, Patsy Kelly, Cloris Leachman, Virginia Capers, Barbara Harris and Susan Clark at the fore, in Disney’s The North Avenue Irregulars, 1979.
Please Don't Eat The Daisies (1960) - Awful Quiet... Establishing the trials of family life in the city, plus mother Kate (Doris Day) in black negligee, with sons (Charles Herbert, Flip Mark, Baby Gellert, Stanley Livingston), the opening of Please Don't Eat The Daisies, 1960, co-starring David Niven, from the Jean Kerr book.
Pigskin Parade (1936) - What's Wrong With Texas? New York high school coach Jack Haley and wife Patsy Kelly arrive for his new gig at fictional Texas State, greeted by Johnny Downs as Carson, Betty Grable his girl, with Dixie Dunbar, Arline Judge and Fred Kohler Jr. as running back Biff, in Pigskin Parade, 1936, from Twentieth Century-Fox.
Girl From Missouri, The (1934) - Most Girls Our Age Opening scenes introducing Kitty (Patsy Kelly) and girlfriend Eadie (Jean Harlow) giving up on their dead-end circumstance at home and lighting out for New York, in MGM's The Girl From Missouri, 1934.
Girl From Missouri, The (1934) - Very Partial To Blondes Tycoon Paige (Lionel Barrymore) is mistaken for a waiter, having just turned down his business rival and party host Cousins (Lewis Stone), then encouraging novice gold-digger showgirl Eadie (Jean Harlow) to visit him, in MGM's The Girl From Missouri, 1934.
Pigskin Parade (1936) - Y'all Stop For Melons? Judy Garland’s first scene in her first feature, collegians Johnny Downs and Betty Grable on a failed recruiting trip with the coach’s wife (Patsy Kelly) when they discover Judy and her redneck melon-heaving brother Stu Erwin, in Twentieth Century-Fox’s Pigskin Parade 1936.
Pigskin Parade (1936) - We Want The Balboa The football team dance, Dixie Dunbar with Stu Erwin, all the Yacht Club Boys, Betty Grable and Johnny Downs, Patsy Kelly and Jack Haley, and finally Judy Garland, loaned from MGM to Fox, for her first song in her first feature, by Lew Pollack and Sidney D. Mitchell, in Pigskin Parade, 1936.
Pigskin Parade (1936) - Texas Tornado Sending the Texas State team off for the game with Yale, with Jack Haley — later the Tin Man in The Wizard Of Oz — as the preening coach, and Judy Garland as the hillbilly quarterback’s little sister, with her second song in the feature, in Pigskin Parade, 1936.
Please Don't Eat The Daisies (1960) - It's Like Out Of Ivanhoe Kate (Doris Day) finally wins over Lawrence (David Niven) to a move to the country, comedy with sons (Charles Herbert, Flip Mark, Stanley Livingston, Baby Gellert) and maid (Patsy Kelly) ensues, in Please Don't Eat The Daisies, 1960.
Nobody's Baby (1937) - She's A Foreigner Kooky Lena (Lyda Roberti) bungles her fare on the New York tour bus, rescued from the conductor (Tom Dugan) by her reluctant but kind nursing school roommate Kitty (Patsy Kelly), getting to know each other in their first and only comedy-team feature from Hal Roach, Nobody's Baby, 1937.
Nobody's Baby (1937) - You Put Me On The Radio? Chill Wills sings bass and also seems to lead the Hal Roach group the "Avalon Boys," on air at the radio station where principals Patsy Kelly and Lyda Roberti make noisy entrances and butt heads for the first time, opening the girl-buddy comedy Nobody's Baby, 1937.

Trailer

Companions

Wilma Cox
Companion
Singer. Lived together in the 1930s; separated when they moved to NYC in the early 1940s.
Tallulah Bankhead
Companion
Actor. Had long-term relationship in 1940s and 50s.

Bibliography

Notes

Kelly was arrested in a bar brawl with two other women in 1963.

"There are just times when it seems you can't do anything wrong. Then there are other times when whatever you do is wrong. I think I could have had more drive. I was never very ambitious."--Patsy Kelly, quoted in Richard Lamparski's "WHATEVER BECAME OF...?", vol. 8.