Judith Wood

Judith Wood (born Helen Johnson, August 1, 1906 – April 6, 2002) was an American film actress from the end of the 1920s through the 1940s.

Judith Wood
Helen Johnson

(1906-08-01)August 1, 1906
DiedApril 6, 2002(2002-04-06) (aged 95)
Years active1929–1950
Spouse(s)Percival Christopher Wren Jr. (1939 - ?)

Early years

The daughter of cartoonist Merle Johnson,[1] she was born in New York City, Wood moved to Hollywood, California to pursue an acting career in the late 1920s.

She studied art at Skidmore College for a year, then traveled with her mother to Paris, where she studied art for two years. Besides learning art, she became fluent in French during those two years.[1]

After returning to New York, she was a model for illustrations in magazines and for advertisements in addition to designing for theatrical productions.

She changed her name to Judith Wood for the film The Vice Squad (1931).[2]


Wood's first role was in the 1929 film Gold Diggers of Broadway. In this first film, as well as in the four in which she would star during 1930, Wood was credited under her birth name.

Her first film of 1931 was It Pays to Advertise, which starred Carole Lombard. It was the last film in which she was billed as Helen Johnson, and thereafter all of her film credits were under the name Judith Wood. In 1931, she was selected as one of 13 girls to be WAMPAS Baby Stars, along with actresses Marian Marsh, Karen Morley, Marion Shilling, and Barbara Weeks.[1]

Wood starred in six films in 1931, and then her career slowed and eventually faded. Also in 1931, she was injured in an automobile accident and spent months recuperating.[2]

She starred as Kitty Packard in the original Broadway production of Dinner at Eight,[3] but the film version went to Jean Harlow. In 1934, she only received three film roles, one of which was uncredited. In 1936 and 1937, she had small but credited roles in two films, then did not receive another until 1941, which was uncredited. Her last film was in 1950 when she had an uncredited role in The Asphalt Jungle (1950).

Personal life

On March 17, 1939, Wood married Percival Christopher Wren Jr. in Tokyo.[4]

Later years and death

Following her marriage she retired from acting, but remained in Los Angeles. She died there in 2002 of natural causes, aged 95.

Partial filmography


  1. Peak, Mayme Ober (August 30, 1931). "Talkies Announce Bumper Crop of Wampas Starlets". Hartford Courant. Connecticut, Hartford. p. 41. Retrieved July 4, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  2. Kear, Lynn; Rossman, John (2012). The Complete Kay Francis Career Record: All Film, Stage, Radio and Television Appearances. McFarland. pp. 56–58. ISBN 9781476602875. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. "Judith Wood". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  4. "Judith Wood Marries". Hartford Courant. Connecticut, Hartford. Associated Press. March 25, 1939. p. 8. Retrieved July 4, 2018 via Newspapers.com.

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