Evalyn Knapp

Evalyn Knapp (born Evelyn Pauline Knapp; June 17, 1906 – June 12, 1981) was an American film actress of the late 1920s, 1930s and into the 1940s. She was a leading B-movie serial actress in the 1930s. She was the younger sister of the orchestra leader Orville Knapp (1904–1936).

Evalyn Knapp
Evalyn Knapp publ.jpg
Knapp in 1932
Evelyn Pauline Knapp

(1906-06-17)June 17, 1906
DiedJune 12, 1981(1981-06-12) (aged 74)[1]
Years active1929–1943
Spouse(s)Dr. George A. Snyder (1934–1977; his death)

Life and careerEdit

Knapp was born in 1906 in Kansas City, Missouri. She started acting in silent films, her first role being in the 1929 film At the Dentist's. She was cast as leading lady in Smart Money in 1931, the only film starring both Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney. In 1932, Knapp was one of 14 girls, along with Ginger Rogers and Gloria Stuart, selected as WAMPAS Baby Stars.[2]

Evalyn Knapp in 1934.

Knapp achieved success in cliffhanger serials, which were popular at the time. She played the title character in the 1933 serial The Perils of Pauline. The same year, she starred, with top billing, alongside 26-year-old John Wayne in His Private Secretary, a light comedy in which Wayne portrays a playboy determined to win her over. She also appeared in Corruption that year opposite Preston Foster. One of her better known film roles was opposite Ken Maynard in the 1934 film In Old Santa Fe[3] featuring Gene Autry in his first screen appearance, in which he sang with a bluegrass band.

She worked through 1941, but her career slowed afterward. In 1943, she played her last role, uncredited, in Two Weeks to Live, one of the Lum and Abner films starring Chester Lauck and Norris Goff.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1931, Evelyn Knapp spent several months in the hospital[4] after she fell from a cliff during a hike with her brother, Stanley. Two vertebrae were fractured[5] and it was necessary for her to learn to walk again, step by step.[citation needed]

Her brother, orchestra leader Orville Knapp, died in a plane crash while piloting the plane in 1936, smashing into the runway. He was 32 years old. Her brother was married to film actress Gloria Grafton (1909–1994).

She married Dr. George A. Snyder in 1934.[6] Snyder gave her a yacht as a wedding gift, and she became one of Hollywood's leading yachtswomen and a big game fisher woman.[citation needed]

Following her retirement, she concentrated on her family. She and Snyder remained married until his death in 1977. On June 12, 1981, five days before her 75th birthday, Knapp died of heart disease at St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles, California.[7]

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Knapp was born in 1906, not 1908, as has been misreported, according to the Social Security Death Index under the name Evelyn Snyder. Also a search of the 1930 United States census by name shows that Pauline Knapp, as she was then calling herself, was born "around 1907". As the census began on April 1, and Knapp's birthday was not until June, this also supports the 1906 birth year. However the Social Security Death Index info (above) is more dispositive of the matter.
  2. ^ "Here They Are Together – Hollywood's Baby Stars". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Associated Press. December 24, 1932 – via Newspapers.com.  
  3. ^ a b Evalyn Knapp at IMDb
  4. ^ "Joe E. Brown Is Star of Hudson Theatre Picture". The Richmond Item. Indiana, Richmond. May 29, 1932. p. 13. Retrieved July 14, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  5. ^ "Evelyn Knapp, Screen Beauty, Breaks Back". The Tennessean. Tennessee, Nashville. United Press. June 22, 1931. p. 2. Retrieved July 14, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  6. ^ "Hollywood Surgeon Weds Evelyn [sic] Knapp Today". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. Associated Press. November 10, 1934. p. 10. Retrieved July 14, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  7. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 412. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved July 14, 2018.

External linksEdit