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Mary Carlisle, '30s Starlet, Dead at 104

Mary Carlisle, '30s Starlet, Dead at 104
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Carlisle in the '30s

Mary Carlisle, a plucky ingénue of the 1930s known for three films with Bing Crosby, died August 1 at the age of 104.

Carlisle's death was confirmed by officials at her residence, the Motion Picture Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, California.

Among her most notable appearances, she had been the last surviving cast member of the Greta Garbo classic "Grand Hotel" (1932), and co-starred with Crosby in "College Humor" (1933), "Double or Nothing" (1937), and "Doctor Rhythm" (1938).

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Carlisle, left, in 2003 with Bing Crosby's widow, Kathryn Crosby

Carlisle held the distinction of having been selected as a WAMPAS Baby Star of 1932. That campaign, organized to celebrate talents on the rise, singled out 13 to 15 young actresses each year between 1922 and 1934 (skipping 1930 and 1933), many of them future superstars and Oscar winners, like Joan Crawford and Ginger Rogers.

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She also played an uncredited part in the Jackie Coogan silent "Long Live the King" (1923); with her passing, only 11 actors who appeared in a Silent Era silent movie are known to survive.

Ahead of her retirement from acting in 1943, Carlisle married actor and film exec James Blakely in 1942 (they were wed until his 2007 death at age 96) and for decades managed the Elizabeth Arden salon in Beverly Hills.

She is survived by her son and two grandchildren.

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