Mary Boland

Mary Boland (born Marie Anne Boland, January 28, 1882 – June 23, 1965) was an American stage and film actress.

Mary Boland
Boland, 1930s
Marie Anne Boland

(1882-01-28)January 28, 1882
DiedJune 23, 1965(1965-06-23) (aged 83)
Years active1901–1955
Parent(s)William Augustus Boland
Mary Cecilia Hatton

Early years

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Boland was the daughter of repertory actor William Augustus Boland,[1] and his wife Mary Cecilia Hatton. She had an older sister named Sara.[2] The family later moved to Detroit.

Boland went to school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Detroit. By the age of fifteen she had left school and was performing on stage.

In 1901, she began acting on stage with a local stock theater company.[1]


She debuted on Broadway in 1907 in the play The Ranger[3] with Dustin Farnum and had appeared in eleven Broadway productions, notably with John Drew, becoming his "leading lady in New York and on the road."[4] She made her silent film debut for Triangle Studios in 1915. She entertained soldiers in France during World War I then returned to America. After appearing in nine movies, she left filmmaking in 1920, returning to the stage and appearing in a number of Broadway productions. She became famous as a comedian.

Boland's greatest success on the stage in the 1920s was the comedy The Cradle Snatchers (1925–26), in which she, Edna May Oliver, and Margaret Dale, having been abandoned by their husbands, take on young lovers. Boland's paramour was Humphrey Bogart in one of his first roles. She had previously performed with Bogart in the 1923 comedy Meet the Wife at the Klaw Theatre as Gertrude Lennox.

After an eleven-year absence, in 1931 she returned to Hollywood under contract to Paramount Pictures. She achieved far greater film success with her second try, becoming one of the most popular character actresses of the 1930s, always playing major roles in her films and often starring, notably in a series of comedies opposite Charles Ruggles.

Boland appeared in numerous films, including Ruggles of Red Gap, The Big Broadcast of 1936, Danger - Love at Work, Nothing but Trouble, and Julia Misbehaves. She is likely best remembered for her portrayals of Countess DeLave in The Women (1939) and Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (1940).

For the remainder of her career, Boland combined films and, later television productions, with appearances onstage (including starring in the 1935 Cole Porter musical Jubilee), making her last Broadway appearance in 1954 at the age of seventy-two. That play, Lullaby, was not a success. Her last acting was done in the 1955 television adaptation of The Women recreating her film role.

Personal life and death

Boland never married or had children. On June 23, 1965, she died of a heart attack at her home in New York.[1] She was interred in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Vespers in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.[5] Boland was a practicing Roman Catholic[6] and a Republican who supported the campaign of Dwight Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential election[7].


For her contribution to the film industry, Boland has a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6150 Hollywood Boulevard.[8]





  1. Nissen, Axel (2007). Actresses of a Certain Character: Forty Familiar Hollywood Faces from the Thirties to the Fifties. McFarland. pp. 38–43. ISBN 9780786427468. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  2. Great Stars of the American Stage, Profile #76, c.1952(reprint 1954) by Daniel Blum
  3. "Mary Boland". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 27 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  4. Hischak, Thomas S. (2008). The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 82. ISBN 9780195335330. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  5. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 37. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  6. Morning News, January 10, 1948, Who Was Who in America (Vol. 2)
  7. Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 34, Ideal Publishers
  8. "Mary Boland". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 27 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
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