Sunday, May 03, 2009

Patricia Ellis

Born in Birmingham, Alabama on May 20th, 1916, Patricia, the step-daughter of actor Alexander Leftwich, became interested in acting as a teen. In 1932 she had two small parts, both uncredited, in Three on a Match and Central Park. That same year she was one of fourteen girls chosen as WAMPAS Baby Stars. Patricia, then 16, was the youngest of the group which, also included Lilian Bond, Ginger Rogers and Gloria Stuart.

Her first credited role was in the 1933 film, The Kings Vacation, starring George Arliss. Popular from the start, she would have roles in eight films in 1933, including Convention City, the pre-code lovers holy grail of lost films. Note that Convention City isn't lost due the typical causes, film decay or studio neglect. It caused so many complaints over its risque content that in 1943 Warner Brothers ordered all prints be destroyed. That film aside, Patricia had the female lead in Picture Snatcher opposite James Cagney, and in The Narrow Corner with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

1934 saw Patricia in eight more films, including the musical Harold Teen and the mystery The Affairs of a Gentleman, which also included the aforementioned Lilian Bond. She started 1935 off with the female lead in A Night at the Ritz, opposite William Gargan, and that year also had the the lead in The Case of the Lucky Legs, an entry in the Perry Mason series. Patricia appeared in a total of 14 films during 1935 and 1936.

Patricia remained popular in the late thirties, but made her last film in 1939, choosing to retire, marry outside of the business and raise a family. She went out while still very much at the top of her game.

Sadly, Patricia died relatively young, of cancer at 53, on March 26th, 1970, in Kansas City.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Motion Picture magazine - September 1933.
Patricia is part of a beachwear fashion spread. While most of the country would be getting ready for fall, September is still beach weather in California.

Screenland magazine - December 1933
A revealing promotional shot for The World Changes.

A publicity still from Convention City.

Promotional still for 1934's Easy to Love.

Film Fun magazine - October 1934
A scene from Here Comes The Groom.

In 1937, Carreras started using photographs instead of illustrations for the cards packaged with their cigarettes.

Frames from Picture Snatcher, with a young and uncredited Sterling Hollaway.

Frames from The Case of the Lucky Legs.

Frames from her third to last picture Block-Heads. The last frame is Patricia hiding in a trunk!

Patricia Ellis - What do you think - Allure?


J. W. said...

Love the images.

Cinema Du Meep said...

Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful blog.

artistvermont said...

Love the montage series. You sure do have a labor of love going on here with all the effort you put into putting it all together.

She became more lovely as she aged in my opinion. The longer hair and rounded eyebrows made her more attractive. From a mans point of view I doubt any noticed, how could they when she had that body to look at! Even the statue seems impressed!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo's of beautiful ladies

Artman2112 said...

very nice post! i'm a HUGE fan of Patricia Ellis so yes indeed she had allure to spare imo :D i have posted some nice vintage material on her from my collection, please feel free to stop on by and take a look...shes even in my blog header ;)