Joan Leslie

Actor, Model, Dress designer
Joan Leslie was an American actress who appeared in over 50 films throughout the 1940s and '50s, including the Golden Age classics "High Sierra" (1941), "Sergeant York" (1941), and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942). Leslie ... Read more »
Born: 01/26/1925 in Detroit, Michigan, USA

Filmography

Actor (33)

Gary Cooper: The Face of a Hero 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Dream Factory 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

James Cagney: Top of the World 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Going Hollywood: The War Years 1987 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

The Revolt of Mamie Stover 1956 (Movie)

Annalee (Actor)

Man in the Saddle 1951 (Movie)

Laurie Bidwell Isham (Actor)

Born to Be Bad 1950 (Movie)

Donna (Actor)

Two Guys From Milwaukee 1946 (Movie)

(Actor)

Where Do We Go From Here? 1945 (Movie)

Sally (Actor)

Thank Your Lucky Stars 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

This Is the Army 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

Yankee Doodle Dandy 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

Sergeant York 1941 (Movie)

Gracie Williams (Actor)

High Sierra 1940 (Movie)

Velma (Actor)

The Wagons Roll at Night 1940 (Movie)

Mary Coster (Actor)

Thieves Fall Out 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

Charley Hannah (TV Show)

Actor

Cinderella Jones (Movie)

Judy Jones (Actor)

Fire in the Dark (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood Canteen (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Janie Gets Married (Movie)

Janie Conway (Actor)

Laddie (Movie)

Shelley (Actor)

Men with Wings (Movie)

Patricia Falconer at Age 11 (Actor)

Repeat Performance (Movie)

Sheila Page (Actor)

Rhapsody in Blue (Movie)

Julie Adams (Actor)

Star Dust (Movie)

College Girl (Actor)

The Keegans (TV Show)

Actor

The Male Animal (Movie)

Patricia Stanley (Actor)

The Sky's the Limit (Movie)

Joan Manion (Actor)

The Toughest Man in Arizona (Movie)

Mary Kimber (Actor)

Too Young to Know (Movie)

Sally Sawyer (Actor)

Turn Back the Clock (TV Show)

Actor

Winter Carnival (Movie)

Betsy Phillips (Actor)

Biography

Joan Leslie was an American actress who appeared in over 50 films throughout the 1940s and '50s, including the Golden Age classics "High Sierra" (1941), "Sergeant York" (1941), and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942). Leslie was born in Highland, Michigan in 1925, but never set out to become an actress. In fact, her mother, who was an accomplished pianist, had her young daughter learn how to play a number of musical instruments at a very young age, including the banjo, saxophone and the accordion. Leslie had a relatively stress-free early life until the Great Depression sunk her family, like most, into a pit of financial distress. With no work and no options to work, Leslie's father had Joan and her two young sisters embark on a career in vaudeville in order to make ends meet. Joan quickly became the standout of the three for her spot-on impressions of such iconic actors of the day, including Katharine Hepburn. It wasn't long before a Hollywood talent scout took notice and signed the 11-year-old to a contract with MGM. Over the next few years Leslie appeared in a number of films in uncredited roles, including "Camille" (1936), "Men with Wings" (1938), and "Love Affair" (1939). Leslie was eventually dropped from her contract at MGM, but was quickly signed by Warner Bros. It was during her contract at Warner that Leslie appeared in some of her best-known films, including "High Sierra," "Sergeant York," and "This Is the Army" (1943), the latter of which also starred future President Ronald Reagan. Leslie was dropped from Warner in 1946 after a dispute with the studio over the types of roles she was being offered, and despite appearing in a number of films (mostly B-movies) in the late '40s and early '50s, never regained the prestige of her early '40s heyday. She all but gave up acting after 1956's "The Revolt of Mamie Stover" to raise her children, appearing only on a few TV shows in the ensuing decades. Leslie's last credited screen role was in the 1991 made-for-TV movie "Fire in the Dark." Leslie died at her home in Los Angeles on October 12, 2015. She was 90.

Relationships

Mary Brodel Actor

Sister
Born Sept. 27, 1917

Betty Brodel Actor

Sister

William Caldwell

Husband
Married March 17, 1950 until his death April 5, 2000

Milestones

1991

Officially retired from acting.

1956

Appeared in her final feature film, "The Revolt of Mamie Stover"

1942

Appeared alongside Ronald Reagan in "This is the Army"

1940

Appeared alongside Gary Cooper in "Sergeant York"

1940

Landed her breakout role in "High Sierra"

1936

Made her feature film debut in "Camille"

Bonus Trivia

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Prior to becoming a film actress, Leslie was a well-known impressionist on the vaudeville circuit.

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In 1946 Leslie demanded she be released from her Warner Bros. contract, and was subsequently blacklisted by the studio's powerful head, Jack Warner.

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Leslie appeared in her last film at the age of 30 in 1956, and only acted sporadically on television up until her death at 90 in 2015.

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At the age of 11 Leslie was signed to a movie contract with MGM on the strength of her vaudeville act.

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