Monica Elizabeth "Mona" Freeman (June 9, 1926 – May 23, 2014) was an American actress and painter.
Monica Elizabeth Freeman
June 9, 1926
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Died||May 23, 2014 (aged 87)|
(m. 1945; div. 1952)
H. Jack Ellis
(m. 1961; died 1992)
Freeman was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in Pelham, New York. A lumberman's daughter, she was a model while in high school, and was selected the first "Miss Subways" of the New York City transit system in 1940.
Her contract was later sold to Paramount Pictures. Her first film appearance was in the 1944 film Till We Meet Again. She became a popular teenage movie star. After a series of roles as a pretty, naive teenager, she complained of being typecast.
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.
Personal life and deathEdit
Freeman married Pat Nerney, a car dealer, in Los Angeles in 1945. The couple had one daughter, Mona. They divorced in 1952. In 1961, she married H. Jack Ellis, a businessman from Los Angeles.
- Till We Meet Again (1944) - Elise
- National Velvet (1944) - Schoolgirl (uncredited)
- Here Come the Waves (1944) - Fainting Girl (uncredited)
- Together Again (1944) - Diana Crandall
- Roughly Speaking (1945) - Barbara, ages 15–20
- Junior Miss (1945) - Lois Graves
- Danger Signal (1945) - Anne Fenchurch
- Our Hearts Were Growing Up (1946) - Girl (uncredited)
- Black Beauty (1946) - Anne Wendon
- That Brennan Girl (1946) - Ziggy Brennan
- Dear Ruth (1947) - Miriam Wilkins
- Mother Wore Tights (1947) - Iris
- Variety Girl (1947) - Mona Freeman
- Isn't It Romantic? (1948) - Susie Cameron
- Streets of Laredo (1949) - Rannie Carter
- The Heiress (1949) - Marian Almond
- Dear Wife (1949) - Miriam Wilkins
- I Was a Shoplifter (1950) - Faye Burton
- Copper Canyon (1950) - Caroline Desmond
- Branded (1950) - Ruth Lavery
- Dear Brat (1951) - Miriam Wilkins
- Darling, How Could You! (1951) - Amy
- The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) - Spectator (uncredited)
- Flesh and Fury (1952) - Ann Hollis
- Jumping Jacks (1952) - Betsy Carter
- Thunderbirds (1952) - Lt. Ellen Henderson
- Angel Face (1953) - Mary Wilton
- Battle Cry (1955) - Kathy - later Mrs. Danny Forrester
- Before I Wake (1955) - April Haddon
- The Road to Denver (1955) - Elizabeth Sutton
- Dial 999 (1955) - Terry Moffat Carradine
- Hold Back the Night (1955) - Anne Franklin McKenzie
- Huk! (1956) - Cindy Rogers
- Hold Back the Night (1956) - Ann Bradley
- Dragoon Wells Massacre (1957) - Robin Carson
Partial television creditsEdit
- Wanted: Dead or Alive (2 episodes)
- "The Fourth Headstone" (1958) - Jackie Harris
- "Breakout" (1959) - Margaret Dunn
- Wagon Train
- "The Monty Britton Story" (1958) - Betty Britton
- The Red Skelton Hour (2 episodes)
- "San Fernando's Singing Sensation" (1958) - Guest
- "Freddie Gets a Job" (1959) - Kathy
- "Calculated Risk" (1958) - Nina Hodges
- Playhouse 90 (3 episodes)
- "Sizeman and Son" (1956) - Marie Sizeman
- "Three Men on a Horse" (1957) - Audrey Trowbridge
- "The Long March" (1958) - Betsy
- The DuPont Show with June Allyson
- "The Pledge" (1959) - Sandra McAllen
- Maverick (2 episodes)
- Johnny Ringo
- "Mrs. Ringo" (1960) - Marilyn Barber
- United States Steel Hour
- "The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon" (1961)
- Perry Mason (3 episodes)
- 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.
- 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.
- "Greetings". Mexico Ledger. Missouri, Mexico. June 8, 1951. p. 6. Retrieved July 28, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Lentz, Harris M. III (2015). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2014. McFarland. ISBN 9780786476664. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
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