Friday, June 06, 2014

Mona Freeman Dies at 87

Lovely actress Mona Freeman, who photographed so young that she played young teens until she was well into her 20s, has passed away at the age of 87.

I first became familiar with Freeman from one of her teenage roles, as the daughter of Betty Grable and Dan Dailey in MOTHER WORE TIGHTS (1947), and also from her two appearances as Modesty Blaine in the fondly recalled MAVERICK episodes "The Cats of Paradise" and "The Cruise of the Cynthia B."

In more recent years I've enjoyed Freeman in a variety of her "teenage" roles, particularly as Lois, the older sister of Peggy Ann Garner in JUNIOR MISS (1945), and as the irrepressible Miriam in DEAR RUTH (1947) and the two sequels which followed. Freeman's deadpan line deliveries in DEAR RUTH are quite amusing.

In the late '40s and early '50s it wasn't unusual for Freeman to switch back and forth from leading lady to young teen from movie to movie. For instance, she was roughly 24 when she played the 15-year-old daughter of Joan Fontaine and John Lund in DARLING, HOW COULD YOU! (1951), yet the previous year she'd been Alan Ladd's romantic interest in BRANDED (1950).

Freeman retired from acting after the mid '60s, excepting one role in the early '70s.

Freeman was also an artist, and I was surprised to read in the Los Angeles Times that she was the artist who painted the portrait of Mary See which hangs in See's Candies shops.

Mona Freeman films previously reviewed at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: TOGETHER AGAIN (1944), DANGER SIGNAL (1945) (also here), VARIETY GIRL (1947), DEAR RUTH (1947), DEAR WIFE (1949), COPPER CANYON (1950), BRANDED (1950), DEAR BRAT (1951), DARLING, HOW COULD YOU! (1951), and THE WORLD WAS HIS JURY (1958).

Other well-known Mona Freeman films included THE HEIRESS (1947), ANGEL FACE (1952), and BATTLE CRY (1955).

Update: Here are reviews of HERE COME THE WAVES (1944), BLACK BEAUTY (1946), I WAS A SHOPLIFTER (1950), THE LADY FROM TEXAS (1951), FLESH AND FURY (1952), BATTLE CRY (1955), and DRAGOON WELLS MASSACRE (1957).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of Mona's passing.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's sad news. I watched a couple of her movies over the last few months - Angel Face & Branded.


2:46 AM  

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