Mary Beth Hughes

Mary Beth Hughes

American actress, film, television and theater
Date of Birth: 13.11.1919
Country: USA

Biography of Mary Beth Hughes

Mary Elizabeth Hughes was an American actress of film, television, and theater. She was born on November 13, 1919, in Alton, Illinois. Her parents divorced in 1923, and her mother, Mary Frances Hughes, relocated with her daughter to Washington, D.C. As a child, Mary began performing on the theatrical stage. She caught the attention of Clifford Brown, the owner of his own theater company, during a school play in the early 1930s. Brown offered her a role in a touring production of "Alice in Wonderland." While on tour with another play, a talent scout offered her a contract with Gaumont-British Studios, but she declined in order to finish school.

Mary Beth Hughes

After completing her education in 1937, Hughes returned to Brown's theater company, where she continued to perform on stage until the summer of 1938. She then moved with her mother to Los Angeles, hoping to become a film actress. Six months of unsuccessful auditions made Mary and her mother consider returning to Washington, but a meeting with agent Wally Ross led to an introduction to influential agent Johnny Hyde from the New York agency William Morris. Thanks to Hyde, Hughes signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and soon played a small role as a party girl in the musical drama "Broadway Serenade" in 1939. This was followed by appearances in the comedy "The Women" with Norma Shearer and the comedy "Dancing Co-Ed" with Lana Turner and Richard Carlson. Mary also portrayed Jerry W. Lawrence in the comedy mystery "Fast and Furious" directed by Busby Berkeley.

Mary Beth Hughes

In 1940, 20th Century Fox offered Hughes a contract. Later that same year, she landed the leading role of Sylvia Manners in the comedy "The Great Profile" alongside John Barrymore. Mary would later name Sylvia as one of her favorite characters. After deciding not to renew her contract with Fox in 1943, the actress performed in nightclubs and soon signed a three-year deal with Universal Pictures. In the mid-1940s and 1950s, Mary Beth worked in both film and television, playing Kitty Reed in the cult drama "I Accuse My Parents." She also appeared in William A. Berke's film noir "Waterfront at Midnight," the crime drama "The Devil's Henchman" with Warner Baxter, and the TV series "Dragnet" and "Studio One."

In 1961, Hughes decided to retire from acting and began working at a plastic surgeon's office reception desk while continuing to perform in nightclubs. The following year, she became a director and one of the main stars of the Los Angeles production of "Pajama Tops." Mary spent the rest of the 1960s appearing on television, including in the series "Rawhide" and "Dennis the Menace." In the 1970s, she participated in 11 episodes of "The Red Skelton Show" and in 1976, she retired from show business, stating that she was "tired of auditioning for roles as sexy grandmas." Her final film appearance was in "Tanya."

After retiring, Mary Beth Hughes opened a beauty salon in Canoga Park, California, in the late 1970s, which closed in the late 1980s. She worked in telemarketing until 1991. As an MGM starlet, Mary dated many actors, including Lew Ayres, Franchot Tone, Mickey Rooney, and James Stewart. In 1940, against the wishes of 20th Century Fox, Hughes began a relationship with actor Robert Stack, which lasted for a year. In 1943, she married Ted North and gave birth to their son, Donald. They divorced in 1947. The following year, Mary became the wife of singer and actor David Street, but their marriage ended in 1956. Her third husband was manager Nicky Stewart, from 1973 to 1977.

Mary Beth Hughes passed away on August 27, 1995, at the age of 75, in Los Angeles.

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