Sunday, December 11, 2016

Joan Carroll of Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Passes On

I was very sorry to learn this evening that actress Joan Carroll passed away last month.

Carroll died on November 16th. IMDb lists her age as 84, while the Hollywood Reporter obituary says she was 85. (Update: IMDb has updated their entry to reflect she was 85 at the time of her passing.)

Carroll played Agnes, the third Smith sister, in one of my all-time favorite movies, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944). I've often felt she's the movie's secret weapon; as I wrote almost exactly half a decade ago, "She was pitch perfect but is too often overlooked amidst the large cast."

She's seen below in scans of two ST. LOUIS stills from my personal collection. She's left of Margaret O'Brien in this shot from the party sequence:

And here she's at the left talking to O'Brien while Judy Garland and Lucille Bremer watch. When the older girls are horrified to learn of the pranks the children have been up to on Halloween, Carroll's Agnes memorably replies to her oldest sister, "Oh, Rose, you're so stuck up!"

I believe O'Brien, June Lockhart, and Darryl Hickman (who is in the Halloween sequence) are now the film's surviving cast members.

Carroll's eight-year film career began in 1937, with credits including LADDIE (1940), PRIMROSE PATH (1940), and her last film, THE BELL'S OF ST. MARY'S (1945).

It sounds as though she had a happy life after her film career, with a long marriage, four children, and many grandchildren.


Blogger Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

I've only seen her in a handful of movies, but I've always thought she was one of the sweetest and most natural child actresses I've ever seen. She was the best thing about the decidedly...unusual TOMORROW, THE WORLD! It's been so many years since I saw MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS that I only have a general recollection of her character there.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

I just saw this news on your site, Laura, and I'm saddened to learn of the passing of our dear Agnus. You are so right - she is, indeed, the movie's secret weapon. Wonder why she left the movie industry after Bells of St. Mary's? That was a pretty substantial role.

I am happy to hear she was married and had a nice family.... It puts a picture of the Smith family (like in Meet Me in St. Louis) in my mind and warms my heart!

I'll be looking forward to watching Meet Me in St. Louis on Christmas Eve on TCM! Fortunately, it ends, just as It's a Wonderful Life begins on NBC!

Thank you for your beautiful site, Laura! And, all the great classic movie news!

A very MERRY CHRISTMAS to You!!!
And many Blessings, too!!! Net

8:33 AM  

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