Joan Carroll

Joan Carroll (January 18, 1931 November 16, 2016) was an American child actress who appeared in films until retiring in 1945.

Joan Carroll
Carroll in Laddie (1940) with Tim Holt.
Joan Marie Felt

(1931-01-18)January 18, 1931
DiedNovember 16, 2016(2016-11-16) (aged 85)
Years active1936, 1938–69
James Joseph Krack
(m. 1951; div. 1969)

Childhood career

Carroll was born Joan Marie Felt to Wright and Freida Felt on January 18, 1931.[1] Her father was a government electrical engineer, and her mother was a club and stage pianist. Carroll took dramatic lessons when she was very young and was performing locally by age 4. Her family moved to California in 1936, where she received a bit part in The First Baby (1936; billed as Mary Joan Felt).

Carroll developed into an excellent singer and tap dancer at the Fanchon and Marco Dancing School in Hollywood,[2] and became an accomplished child actress. Her stage name was changed to Carol and then Carroll.[3]

Between 1937 and 1940 she appeared in supporting roles in several movies. Her big break came the 1940 film, Primrose Path, as Ginger Rogers's younger sister, for which she won a Critics Award. The same year she became the first child star to be summoned from Hollywood in order to appear in the leading role in a Broadway musical, Panama Hattie, which ran from October 30, 1940 to January 3, 1942.[4]

Carroll became RKO Radio Pictures' resident juvenile personality in both "A" and "B" pictures. RKO starred Carroll in the leading role with Ruth Warrick in two zany comedy vehicles, Obliging Young Lady (1941) and Petticoat Larceny (1943). She continued to work in films as an adolescent, but less frequently. Two of her best-remembered pictures came from this period: Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) as Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien's sister, and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), in which she played a troubled teenager.[5]

Later life

After The Bells of St. Mary's in 1945, Carroll retired. She married in 1951 to James Joseph Krack; the couple had four children.[5]

She and her brother donated a historic family lamp to the Nevada State Museum on July 7, 2011.[6] The lamp was originally given to her father, Wright Felt, who was the Public Works Administrator for Nevada at the time the Hoover Dam was built. The lamp was created out of materials used in the construction of the 155-mile, $900,000 power line to the Hoover Dam, and was presented to him by the Lincoln County Power District No. 1 on September 25, 1937, for his assistance with the project.

Carroll died on November 16, 2016 near her home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, aged 85. She was survived by her four children and extended family.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1936The First Baby
1937One Mile from HeavenSunny
1938Walking Down BroadwaySunny Martin
1938Two SistersSally, as a child
1939Mr. Moto's Last WarningMary Delacour
1939Tower of LondonLady MowbrayUncredited
1939A Child Is BornLittle GirlUncredited
1939BarricadeWinifred Ward
1940LaddieSister Stanton
1940Primrose PathHoneybell
1940Anne of Windy PoplarsBetty Grayson
1942Obliging Young LadyBridget Potter
1943Petticoat LarcenyJoan Mitchell / Small Change
1944Meet Me In St. LouisAgnes Smith
1944Tomorrow the WorldPat Frame
1945The ClockMan in Penn StationUncredited
1945The Bells of St. Mary'sPatricia 'Patsy' Gallagher


  • Best, Marc. Those Endearing Young Charms: Child Performers of the Screen. South Brunswick and New York: Barnes & Co., 1971, pp. 20–24; ISBN 0498077292 / ISBN 9780498077296


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