Joan Leslie


Actor
Joan Leslie

About

Also Known As
Joan Brodel, Joan Agnes Theresa Sadie Brodel
Birth Place
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Born
January 26, 1925

Biography

Joan Leslie was an American actress who appeared in over 50 films throughout the 1940s and '50s, including the Golden Age classics "High Sierra" (1941), "Sergeant York" (1941), and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942). Leslie was born in Highland, Michigan in 1925, but never set out to become an actress. In fact, her mother, who was an accomplished pianist, had her young daughter learn how to pl...

Photos & Videos

Biography

Joan Leslie was an American actress who appeared in over 50 films throughout the 1940s and '50s, including the Golden Age classics "High Sierra" (1941), "Sergeant York" (1941), and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942). Leslie was born in Highland, Michigan in 1925, but never set out to become an actress. In fact, her mother, who was an accomplished pianist, had her young daughter learn how to play a number of musical instruments at a very young age, including the banjo, saxophone and the accordion. Leslie had a relatively stress-free early life until the Great Depression sunk her family, like most, into a pit of financial distress. With no work and no options to work, Leslie's father had Joan and her two young sisters embark on a career in vaudeville in order to make ends meet. Joan quickly became the standout of the three for her spot-on impressions of such iconic actors of the day, including Katharine Hepburn. It wasn't long before a Hollywood talent scout took notice and signed the 11-year-old to a contract with MGM. Over the next few years Leslie appeared in a number of films in uncredited roles, including "Camille" (1936), "Men with Wings" (1938), and "Love Affair" (1939). Leslie was eventually dropped from her contract at MGM, but was quickly signed by Warner Bros. It was during her contract at Warner that Leslie appeared in some of her best-known films, including "High Sierra," "Sergeant York," and "This Is the Army" (1943), the latter of which also starred future President Ronald Reagan. Leslie was dropped from Warner in 1946 after a dispute with the studio over the types of roles she was being offered, and despite appearing in a number of films (mostly B-movies) in the late '40s and early '50s, never regained the prestige of her early '40s heyday. She all but gave up acting after 1956's "The Revolt of Mamie Stover" to raise her children, appearing only on a few TV shows in the ensuing decades. Leslie's last credited screen role was in the 1991 made-for-TV movie "Fire in the Dark." Leslie died at her home in Los Angeles on October 12, 2015. She was 90.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

James Cagney: Top Of The World (1992)
Fire in the Dark (1991)
Turn Back the Clock (1989)
New York Woman '88
Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Herself
Charley Hannah (1986)
Sandy Hannah
The Keegans (1976)
The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956)
Annalee
Flight Nurse (1954)
Lt. Polly Davis
Hell's Outpost (1954)
Sarah Moffit
Jubilee Trail (1954)
Garnet Hale
Woman They Almost Lynched (1953)
Sally Maris
Toughest Man in Arizona (1952)
Mary Kimber
Hellgate (1952)
Elly Hanley
Man in the Saddle (1951)
Laure Bidwell
The Skipper Surprised His Wife (1950)
Daphne Lattimer
Born to Be Bad (1950)
Donna [Foster]
The Skipper Suprised His Wife (1950)
Northwest Stampede (1948)
Chris Johnson
Repeat Performance (1947)
Sheila Page
Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946)
Connie Read
Janie Gets Married (1946)
Janie Conway
Cinderella Jones (1946)
Judy Jones
Where Do We Go from Here? (1945)
Sally/Prudence Smith/Katrina
Rhapsody in Blue (1945)
Julie Adams
Too Young to Know (1945)
Sally Sawyer
Hollywood Canteen (1944)
Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)
Pat Dixon
The Sky's the Limit (1943)
Joan Manyon
This Is the Army (1943)
Eileen Dibble
The Hard Way (1943)
Katherine Blaine
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Mary Cohan
The Male Animal (1942)
Patricia Stanley
Thieves Fall Out (1941)
Mary Matthews
The Great Mr. Nobody (1941)
Mary Clover
Sergeant York (1941)
Gracie Williams
The Wagons Roll at Night (1941)
Mary Coster
High Sierra (1941)
Velma [Goodhue]
Star Dust (1940)
College girl
High School (1940)
Patsy
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Jones's sister
Military Academy (1940)
Marjorie Blake
Laddie (1940)
Shelley [Stanton]
Love Affair (1939)
Autograph seeker
Winter Carnival (1939)
Betsy Phillips
Nancy Drew... Reporter (1939)
Mayme
Two Thoroughbreds (1939)
Wendy [Conway]
Men with Wings (1938)
Patricia Falconer, eleven years
Camille (1936)
Marie Jeanette

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Other

Cast (Special)

Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Yankee Doodle Dandy (2003)
Herself
Gary Cooper: The Face of a Hero (1998)
Interviewee
Inside The Dream Factory (1995)
Hollywood: The Dream Factory (1972)

Cast (Short)

I Am An American (1944)
Herself
Stars on Horseback (1943)
Herself
Alice in Movieland (1940)

Misc. Crew (Short)

The Voice That Thrilled the World (1943)
Archival Footage

Life Events

1936

Made her feature film debut in "Camille"

1941

Landed her breakout role in "High Sierra"

1941

Appeared alongside Gary Cooper in "Sergeant York"

1943

Appeared alongside Ronald Reagan in "This is the Army"

1956

Appeared in her final feature film, "The Revolt of Mamie Stover"

1991

Officially retired from acting.

Photo Collections

Yankee Doodle Dandy - Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos taken to publicize Warner Bros' Yankee Doodle Dandy (1943), starring James Cagney and Joan Leslie. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Sky's the Limit - Publicity Stills
Here are a few stills taken to help publicize RKO's The Sky's the Limit (1943), starring Fred Astaire and Joan Leslie. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Videos

Movie Clip

Repeat Performance (1947) — (Movie Clip) The Stars Look Down John Ireland’s narration from the novel by William O’Farrell, schticky city-scape yields quickly to Joan Leslie in trouble, then into a becoming mink, and a New Year’s celebration where she meets partying Richard Basehart as William, Virginia Field as Paula, Benay Venuta as Bess, in the long underrated Noir Repeat Performance, 1947.
Repeat Performance (1947) — (Movie Clip) At The City Morgue Baffled because she’s jumped from New Year’s Eve 1946 when she shot and killed her husband, back in time to the previous year, Joan Leslie as actress Sheila is greatly relieved to find him (Louis Hayward in his first scene as playwright Barney) alive, affectionate and sober, in director Alfred Werker’s Noir Repeat Performance, 1947.
Repeat Performance (1947) — (Movie Clip) People Do Live Things Over We have reason to infer that William (Richard Basehart) may be lover as well as friend to actress Sheila (Joan Leslie) to whom she’s just confessed, at a New Year’s party, to killing her husband, prompting them to visit her intrepid producer Friday (Tom Conway) when things get metaphysical, John Ireland narrating, in Repeat Performance, 1947.
This Is The Army (1943) - This Is War! Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Broadway pro Johnny (Ronald Reagan) drops in on his music-store employee gal Eileen (Joan Leslie) with big news, whereupon they see Frances Langford and co. perform "What Does He Look Like?" in Irving Berlin's This Is The Army, 1943.
Sky's The Limit, The (1943) - One For My Baby Bummed out pilot Fred Astaire introduces the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer original that became a Frank Sinatra standard, with lots of real broken glass, which caused some fuss at the time due to wartime shortages, and medics were standing by off camera, in The Sky’s The Limit, 1943.
Hollywood Canteen (1944) - Kiss Giver-Outer In Bert Glennon's camera, Joan Leslie surely never looked prettier, as Bette Davis, "president" of the operation, and John Garfield, a leading volunteer, bend the rules so she can give a smooch to smitten G.I. "Slim" (Robert Hutton), in the Warner Bros' tale about the Hollywood Canteen, 1944.
Two Guys From Milwaukee (1946) -- Hooking Up With A Prince Nearing the end, New York cabbie Buzz (Jack Carson) is trying to persuade his longtime gal Connie (Joan Leslie) to choose him over visiting European prince Henry (Dennis Morgan), with whom he’s now reconciled, and who’s about to address his country by radio, in Two Guys From Milwaukee, 1946.
Two Guys From Milwaukee (1946) - It's The Royal Seal Dennis Morgan is Prince Henry, gone incognito in New York, having his mustache removed at a barber shop, as his pal, Cabbie Buzz (Jack Carson) pawns his royal cigarette case, and we meet Buzz’s gal, manicurist Connie (Joan Leslie) and her pal Polly (Janis Paige), in Two Guys From Milwaukee, 1946.
Two Guys From Milwaukee (1946) - Aren't You Lauren Bacall? Manicurist Connie (Joan Leslie) drags boyfriend Buzz (Jack Carson) along to see off now former-prince Henry (Dennis Morgan), catching the plane for Milwaukee, and she tricks them both, and Warner Bros. executes the only known Bogart-Bacall cameo, the finalè in Two Guys From Milwaukee, 1946.
Hard Way, The (1943) - You'll Get Out Older sister Helen (Ida Lupino) catches Katherine (Joan Leslie) on the porch with vaudevillian Albert (Jack Carson), husband Sam (Roman Bohnen) getting steamed, then a scheme developing, in Vincent Sherman's melodrama The Hard Way, 1943.
Hard Way, The (1943) - Last Night You Said Louisville Older sister Helen (Ida Lupino) laying a shrewd line on traveling vaudevillian Albert (Jack Carson), who then springs younger sister Katherine (Joan Leslie) on partner Paul (Dennis Morgan) as they leave town, in The Hard Way, 1943.
Janie Gets Married (1946) - I'll Have The Screaming Meanies! Mayhem on wedding day at the Conway household, mom (Ann Harding) greets bridesmaids (Anne Gillis, Ruth Tobey), meets Dad (Edward Arnold) and preoccupied Joan Leslie (title character) tangles with her sly little sister (Clare Foley), Hattie McDaniel the exasperated maid, early in Janie Gets Married, 1946.

Trailer

Bibliography