Mona Freeman

Monica Elizabeth "Mona" Freeman (June 9, 1926 – May 23, 2014) was an American actress and painter.[1]

Mona Freeman
Mona Freeman in That Brennan Girl.jpg
Mona Freeman in That Brennan Girl (1946)
Born
Monica Elizabeth Freeman

(1926-06-09)June 9, 1926
DiedMay 23, 2014(2014-05-23) (aged 87)
OccupationActress, painter
Years active1944–1972
Spouse(s)
Pat Nerney
(m. 1945; div. 1952)
H. Jack Ellis
(m. 1961; died 1992)
Children1
Mona Freeman and Cliff Robertson in "The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon", a 1961 presentation of The United States Steel Hour. Robertson reprised his role in the film Charly.

Early yearsEdit

Freeman was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in Pelham, New York.[2] A lumberman's daughter,[3] she was a model while in high school, and was selected the first "Miss Subways" of the New York City transit system in 1940.[4][5]

CareerEdit

Paramount Pictures signed Freeman to a contract after she moved to Hollywood.[4] She eventually signed a movie contract with Howard Hughes.[6]

Her contract was later sold to Paramount Pictures. Her first film appearance was in the 1944 film Till We Meet Again.[2] She became a popular teenage movie star. After a series of roles as a pretty, naive teenager, she complained of being typecast.[2]

As an adult, Freeman's career slowed and she appeared in mostly B-movies, though an exception was her role in the film noir Angel Face (1952). She also co-starred in the hit film Jumping Jacks with the comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

Freeman's appearances in films ended in the 1950s, but she continued to work in television. Among her appearances were seven guest roles on The United States Steel Hour from 1960 to 1962 and three on Perry Mason, all of them roles as Mason's client: Jane Wardman in "The Case of the Lurid Letter" (1962), Rosanne Ambrose in "The Case of the Illicit Illusion" (1964), and Ellen Payne in "The Case of the 12th Wildcat" (1965). She appeared in two episodes of Wanted: Dead or Alive starring Steve McQueen titled "The Fourth Headstone" (Season One, Episode 9, air date 11/1/1958) and "Breakout" (Season 2 Episode 4, aired 9/26/1959), and two episodes of Maverick titled "The Cats of Paradise" (1959) and "Cruise of the Cynthia B." (1960), both starring James Garner, in which she played a recurring role as crazy-eyed swindler Modesty Blaine. She also appeared in an episode of Riverboat titled "The Boy from Pittsburgh" (1959) starring Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds, an episode of Checkmate titled "Don't Believe a Word She Says" (1961) starring Doug McClure and Sebastian Cabot, and an episode of The Tall Man titled "Petticoat Crusade" (1961) starring Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett and Clu Gulager as Billy the Kid, along with numerous other leading lady roles in various television series, including anthologies.

Freeman was a portrait painter and concentrated on painting after 1961. Her best-known portrait is that of businesswoman Mary See, founder of See's Candies.[2]

Personal life and deathEdit

Freeman married Pat Nerney, a car dealer, in Los Angeles in 1945.[2][7] The couple had one daughter, Mona.[2] They divorced in 1952.[7] In 1961, she married H. Jack Ellis,[2] a businessman from Los Angeles.[4]

Freeman died on May 23, 2014, at the age of 87 after a long illness, at her Beverly Hills home.[2]

Partial filmographyEdit

 
Freeman in trailer for Angel Face (1953) starring Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons
 
Freeman with husband Pat Nerney and Phyllis Thaxter in 1949

Partial television creditsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lamparski, Richard (July 1, 1982). Whatever became of-- ?: eighth series: the best (updated) and newest of the famous Lamparski profiles of personalities of yesteryear. Crown Publishers. p. 110. ISBN 9780517548554. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Chawkins, Steve (June 6, 2014). "Film star Mona Freeman, typecast as teen in '40s and '50s, dies at 87". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "Greetings". Mexico Ledger. Missouri, Mexico. June 8, 1951. p. 6. Retrieved July 28, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  4. ^ a b c Lentz, Harris M. III (2015). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2014. McFarland. ISBN 9780786476664. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  5. ^ Frost, Natasha. "The Miss Subways Pageant Charted the Highs and Lows of 20th-Century Feminism in New York:From a 1940s beauty queen to a 2017 performance artist". Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  6. ^ Ilnytzky, Ula (October 12, 2012). "Decades of Miss Subways smiled on NYC straphangers". Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam Research.
  7. ^ a b "Mona Freeman". Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Gale. 2007. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam Research.

External linksEdit