Tommy Noonan (born Thomas Noone; April 29, 1921 – April 24, 1968) was a comedy genre film performer, screenwriter and producer. He acted in a number of high-profile films as well as B movies from the 1940s through the 1960s, and he is best known for his supporting performances as Gus Esmond, wealthy fiancé of Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and as the musician Danny McGuire in A Star Is Born (1954). He played a stockroom worker in the film Bundle of Joy (1956) with Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
April 29, 1921
Bellingham, Washington, U.S.
|Died||April 24, 1968 (aged 46)|
|Resting place||San Fernando Mission Cemetery|
Noonan was the son of Michael James Noone and Gracie Ferguson. His father was a vaudeville comedian and a native of Galway County, Ireland. His mother, a piano teacher, was from Glasgow, Scotland. He attended New York University.
He teamed with Peter Marshall to form a comedy team in the late 1940s. The team's performances were limited because they continued their individual careers, "working together only when both were available at the same time". Working as Noonan and Marshall, they appeared on television, nightclubs, and in the films Starlift (1951), FBI Girl (1951) (in a brief appearance), The Rookie (1959), and Swingin' Along (1962). The duo went their separate ways after the release of Swingin' Along.
In 1953, Noonan appeared in the classic musical movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as Gus Esmond, the nerdy fiancé of Marilyn Monroe's character Lorelei Lee. In 1955, he played a voyeuristic bank manager in the Richard Fleischer Film Noir Melodrama, Violent Saturday.
In the early 1960s, Noonan appeared in a few B movies, including Promises! Promises! (1963) with Jayne Mansfield and 3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt (1964) with Mamie Van Doren, which he also directed, wrote and produced. His last effort as a producer was Cottonpickin' Chickenpickers (1967), which was also Sonny Tufts' last movie.
Noonan was married five times. His last wife was actress Carole Langley whose stage name was Pocahontas Crowfoot. They were married 16 years and had four children. Noonan also had a daughter from his first marriage and son from his second marriage.
Eight months after an operation for a brain tumor, Noonan died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, just a few days shy of his 47th birthday.
- Boys Town (1938) - Red (uncredited)
- George White's Scandals (1945) - Joe (uncredited)
- Dick Tracy (1945) - Johnny Moko (uncredited)
- Riverboat Rhythm (1946) - Colonial Hotel Bartender (uncredited)
- From This Day Forward (1946) - Maxie - Refreshment Stand Counterman (uncredited)
- Ding Dong Williams (1946) - Zang
- Bedlam (1946) - 1st Stonemason (uncredited)
- The Truth About Murder (1946) - Jonesy
- The Bamboo Blonde (1946) - Art Department
- Step by Step (1946) - Counterman (uncredited)
- Crack-Up (1946) - Bonbon Vendor (uncredited)
- Criminal Court (1946) - Cab Driver (uncredited)
- Vacation in Reno (1946) - War Surplus Outlet Employee (uncredited)
- Beat the Band (1947) - Toby (uncredited)
- Lost Honeymoon (1947) - Roughneck (uncredited)
- The Big Fix (1947) - Andy Rawlins
- A Likely Story (1947) - Taxi Driver (uncredited)
- Born to Kill (1947) - Bellboy (uncredited)
- Riffraff (1947) - First Down-and-Outer at Cabaret (uncredited)
- The Hal Roach Comedy Carnival (1947) - Elevator Boy, in "Fabulous Joe"
- The Fabulous Joe (1947) - Elevator Boy (uncredited)
- For You I Die (1947) - Stick-Up Man (uncredited)
- Open Secret (1948) - Bob - Barfly
- Jungle Patrol (1948) - Lt. 'Ham' Hamilton
- I Shot Jesse James (1949) - Charles Ford
- I Cheated the Law (1949) - Sad Sam Carney
- The Set-Up (1949) - Masher on Street (uncredited)
- Trapped (1949) - Bank Teller (uncredited)
- Battleground (1949) - G.I. Straggler (uncredited)
- Adam's Rib (1949) - Reporter (uncredited)
- The Return of Jesse James (1950) - Charlie Ford
- Holiday Rhythm (1950) - Surgeon
- FBI Girl (1951) - Television Act
- The Model and the Marriage Broker (1951) - Young Clerk (uncredited)
- Starlift (1951) - Himself (as part of Noonan and Marshall) (uncredited)
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) - Gus Esmond Jr.
- A Star Is Born (1954) - Danny McGuire
- Violent Saturday (1955) - Harry Reeves, Bank Manager
- How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955) - Eddie Jones
- The Ambassador's Daughter (1956) - Cpl. Al O'Connor
- The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956) - Carl Frisbee
- Bundle of Joy (1956) - Freddie Miller
- The Girl Most Likely (1958) - Buzz
- The Rookie (1959) - Pvt. Thomas Patrick "Tommy" Noonan / Japanese Submarine Sailor
- Swingin' Along (1961) - Freddy
- Promises! Promises! (1963) - Jeff Brooks
- 3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt (1964) - Tom
- Cottonpickin' Chickenpickers (1967) - Bird-Dog Berrigan (final film role)
- Clarke, Joseph F. (1977). Pseudonyms. BCA. p. 123.[full citation needed]
- "Comedian Tommy Noonan, 46, Dies". The San Bernardino County Sun. United Press International. April 25, 1968. p. C-9. Retrieved November 17, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Tommy Noonan Dies After Long Illness at Hospital". Van Nuys News. April 25, 1968. p. 10A. Retrieved July 16, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Erickson, Hal (2012). Military Comedy Films: A Critical Survey and Filmography of Hollywood Releases Since 1918. McFarland. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-0786492671. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Tommy Noonan". Playbill. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Wide-eyed Star, Tommy Noonan, Dies Of Tumor". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Associated Press. April 25, 1968. p. A-15. Retrieved November 18, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
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