Barbara Kent

Barbara Kent (born Barbara Cloutman; December 16, 1907 – October 13, 2011) was a Canadian-American film actress, prominent from the silent film era to the early talkies of the 1920s and 1930s. In 1925 Kent won the Miss Hollywood Beauty Pageant.

Barbara Kent
Kent as Rose Maylie in the 1933 film Oliver Twist
Barbara Cloutman

(1907-12-16)December 16, 1907
DiedOctober 13, 2011(2011-10-13) (aged 103)
OccupationFilm actress
Years active1925–1941
Harry E. Edington
(m. 1932; died 1949)

Marc Monroe
(m. 1954; died 1998)


Kent was born Barbara Cloutman on December 16, 1907 in Gadsby, Alberta, to Lily Louise (née Kent) and Jullion Curtis Cloutman[1] In 1925, she graduated from Hollywood High School and went on to win the Miss Hollywood Pageant.[2] It was also the year in which she began her Hollywood career with a small role for Universal Studios, which signed her to a contract.[2] A petite brunette, who stood less than five feet tall, Kent became popular as a comedian opposite such stars as Reginald Denny. She made a strong impression as the heroine pitted against Greta Garbo's femme fatale in Flesh and the Devil in 1926 after Universal had loaned Kent to MGM to make the film.[2] She then attracted the attention of audiences and censors the following year in No Man's Law by appearing to swim nude. She actually wore a flesh-colored moleskin bathing suit in scenes that were considered very daring at the time.[3] The popularity of that film led to her selection as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars for 1927. She made a smooth transition into talking pictures opposite Harold Lloyd in the 1929 comedy Welcome Danger.[3] Kent was also featured with Lloyd in his iconic Feet First.[2] Over the next few years, she remained popular and received critical praise in 1933 for her role in the film version of Oliver Twist.[3]

Kent married talent agent Harry Edington in Yuma, Arizona, on December 16, 1932—her 25th birthday.[4] During a one-year hiatus, Edington groomed Kent for what he intended to be a high-profile career. By the time she returned to films, however, her popularity had waned and she was unable to reestablish herself. She made her last appearance on screen with Columbia's Under Age in 1941.[5] This final screen credit is attributed to Barbara on IMDb, but it and two other credits, Blondie Meets the Boss and The Fleet's In, belong to another younger actress also called Barbara Kent, born in England in 1921.

Later years

Following the death of her husband in 1949, Kent retreated from public life. She married Jack Monroe, an engineer, in 1954.[3] They lived in Sun Valley, Idaho, later settling in Palm Desert, California. She died in 2011 at 103 years of age.


Kent had a great love for the outdoors. Always active, she enjoyed golf, fly-fishing, hunting, and gardening. She was a longtime member of Marakkesh, Sunland, and Thunderbird Country Clubs. She was known as a talented cook and loved entertaining friends and family. Kent continued to fly light aircraft until her 85th birthday and was still playing golf well into her mid-90s.[6]



  1. "From the Bigknife to the Battle: Gadsby and area". Our Roots. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  2. "Barbara Kent: Silent film star was also in talkies". Los Angeles Times: AA5. October 20, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  3. Weber, Bruce (October 19, 2011). "Barbara Kent, Star of Silent Movies, Dies at 103". New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  4. "Barbara Kent, Actress, Wed". New York Times: 22. December 17, 1932.
  5. "Barbara Kent". London: Telegraph. October 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  6. "Barbara Kent Interview". Western Clippings. Retrieved 2014-02-08.

Further reading

  • Michael G. Ankerich (2011) [1998]. The Sound of Silence. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-6383-1.
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