Irene Hervey

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Irene Hervey
Irene Hervey 1937.JPG
Hervey in 1937
Beulah Irene Herwick

(1909-07-11)July 11, 1909
Venice, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedDecember 20, 1998(1998-12-20) (aged 89)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Cremation
Education Venice High School
Years active1933-1981
Spouse(s)William Fenderson
(m. 1929; div. 193?)
Allan Jones
(m. 1936;div. 1957)
Children2, including Jack Jones

Irene Hervey (born Beulah Irene Herwick; July 11, 1909 December 20, 1998) was an American film, stage, and television actress who appeared in over fifty films and numerous television series spanning her five-decade career. [1]


A native of Los Angeles, Hervey was trained in her youth by British stage and film actress Emma Dunn, a friend of her mother. She signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1933, appearing in several films for the studioincluding The Stranger's Return (1933), opposite Lionel Barrymore before landing a supporting role as Valentine de Villefort in United Artists' The Count of Monte Cristo (1934). She signed a contract with Universal Pictures, appearing in numerous films for the studio, including the Western Destry Rides Again (1939) opposite Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich, the mystery The House of Fear (1939), and the musical The Boys from Syracuse (1940), the latter of which she appeared opposite her then-husband Allan Jones.

She appeared in films throughout the 1940s into the 1950s, including the horror film Night Monster (1942) opposite Bela Lugosi, the fantasy Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948), and the film noir A Cry in the Night (1956). Beginning in the mid-1950s, Hervey transitioned to television, appearing as a guest star on Perry Mason , Honey West , and My Three Sons , the latter of which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. Hervey appeared in occasional minor film roles in her later career, such as Gene Saks's Cactus Flower (1969) and Clint Eastwood's thriller Play Misty for Me (1971).

Hervey died on December 20, 1998 of heart failure in Los Angeles. She had two children, one of whom is pop singer Jack Jones.

Early life

Hervey was born Beulah Irene Herwick on July 11, 1909 in Venice, Los Angeles, California. [lower-roman 1] [5] Her father was a sign painter, and her mother a Christian Science practitioner whose pupil was English actress Emma Dunn. [6] Dunn agreed to become Hervey's acting coach during her childhood. [6] Hervey attended Venice High School in Venice, Los Angeles, where she appeared in school theater productions. [7]


Early films

She began her acting career after being introduced to a casting agent from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). After a successful screen test, she was signed by the studio and made her screen debut in the 1933 film The Stranger's Return, opposite Lionel Barrymore. [6]

Though signed by MGM, Hervey was loaned by the studio and appeared in several films including United Artists' The Count of Monte Cristo (1934) and With Words and Music , released by Grand National Films Inc.. [6] In 1934, she was cast as the murderess Myra in the thriller Rendezvous at Midnight , but was replaced by Irene Ware. [8]

In 1936, Hervey left MGM and signed with Universal Pictures. [6] While at Universal, Hervey appeared in The League of Frightened Men (1937) and Destry Rides Again (1939) with Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart. [9] She also intermittently freelanced at other studios, appearing in such films as Grand National Pictures' The Girl Said No (1937), a musical comedy featuring music by Gilbert and Sullivan. [10]

At Universal from 1940 to 1943, Hervey had the lead in 11 B pictures, one A ( The Boys from Syracuse ) and one serial ( Gang Busters ).

In 1943, Hervey was seriously injured in a car accident and was forced to retire from acting for five years. [6] Though she did briefly return to acting for the stage play No Way Out, where she played Dr. Enid Karley, in 1944. [11]

Later career

Hervey returned to acting in 1948 with the film Mickey , followed by Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid . By the early 1950s, she began appearing in television. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Hervey appeared in several television series, including the crime dramas Richard Diamond, Private Detective , Peter Gunn , and Hawaiian Eye . She also made three guest appearances on Perry Mason : in 1958, she played Helen Bartlett in "The Case of the Black-Eyed Blonde"; in 1961, she played Grace Davies in "The Case of the Jealous Journalist", and in 1963, she played Jill Garson in "The Case of the Lawful Lazarus". She returned to theater with a role opposite Hans Conried in Take Her, She's Mine, a comedy written by Henry and Phoebe Ephron, which had regional performances in Massachusetts and Connecticut in the summer of 1963. [12] A reviewer from a local publication noted that Hervey "registers effectively" in her role. [12] In 1965, she landed a regular role on The Young Marrieds , followed by a stint on the short-lived Anne Francis series Honey West as the titular character's Aunt Meg.

In 1969, Hervey was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her appearance on My Three Sons . [13] After her roles as Mrs. Durant in the comedy Cactus Flower and as Madge in the 1971 thriller film Play Misty for Me with Clint Eastwood, Hervey retired from acting. She took a job working at a travel agency in Sherman Oaks, California and briefly returned to acting in 1978 with a role in Charlie's Angels . In 1981, she made her last on-screen appearance in the television movie Goliath Awaits, which centers on a community of survivors from a World War II shipwreck who have survived decades living underwater. [14]

Personal life

Hervey with second husband Allan Jones, 1941. Irene Hervey-Allan Jones (1941 still).jpg
Hervey with second husband Allan Jones, 1941.

As a teenager, Hervey married her first husband William Fenderson in 1929 and had a daughter, Gail; they divorced. [9] In the mid-1930s, she was [15] engaged to Robert Taylor. In 1936, she met and married actor Allan Jones. The couple had a son, singer Jack Jones, born in 1938. [16] They divorced in 1957. [6] [9]

Hervey died on December 20, 1998 at the age of 89 from heart failure [17] at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. [1] She was cremated, and her ashes returned to her surviving daughter. [18]


For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Hervey has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6336 Hollywood Boulevard. [1]



1933The Stranger's ReturnNettie Crane [19]
1933Turn Back the ClockUncredited [20]
1933 The Women in His Life Doris Worthing [19]
1934 Three on a Honeymoon Millicent Wells [19]
1934 Hollywood Party Show GirlUncredited [19]
1934 Let's Try Again Marge Phelps [19]
1934 The Count of Monte Cristo Valentine de Villefort [19]
1934 The Dude Ranger Anne Hepburn [19]
1935 The Winning Ticket Mary Tomasello [19]
1935 Motive for Revenge Muriel Webster King [19]
1935 Honeymoon Limited Judy Randall [19]
1935 Hard Rock Harrigan 'Andy' Anderson [19]
1935 His Night Out Peggy Taylor [19]
1935 Charlie Chan in Shanghai Diana Woodland [19]
1935A Thrill for ThelmaThelma BlackShort film; uncredited [21]
1935 White Lies Mary Mallory [19]
1936 Three Godfathers MollyAlso known as: Miracle in the Sand [19]
1936 Absolute Quiet Laura Tait [19]
1936 Along Came Love Emmy Grant [19]
1937 Woman in Distress Irene Donovan [19]
1937 The League of Frightened Men Evelyn Hibbard [19]
1937 The Girl Said No Pearl Proctor / Peep-Bo [19]
1937 The Lady Fights Back Heather McHale [19]
1938 Say It in French Auriol Marsden [19]
1938Society SmugglersJoan Martin [19]
1939 East Side of Heaven Mona Barrett [19]
1939 The House of Fear Alice Tabor [19]
1939 Missing Evidence Linda Parker [19]
1939 Destry Rides Again Janice Tyndall [19]
1940 Three Cheers for the Irish Heloise Casey [19]
1940 The Crooked Road Louise Dalton [19]
1940 The Boys from Syracuse Adriana [19]
1940 The San Francisco Docks Kitty Tracy [19]
1941 Mr. Dynamite Vicki Martin [19]
1942 Bombay Clipper Frankie Gilroy Wilson [19]
1942 Frisco Lil Lillian Grayson / Frisco Lil [19]
1942 Unseen Enemy Gen Rand [19]
1942 Gang Busters Vicki Logan [22]
1942Half Way to ShanghaiVicky Neilson [19]
1942 Destination Unknown Elena Varnoff [19]
1942 Night Monster Dr. Lynn Harper [19]
1942 Keeping Fit Irene - Dick's WifeShort film [23]
1943 He's My Guy Terry Allen [19]
1946Studio Visit [24]
1948 Mickey Louise Williams [19]
1948 Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid Mrs. Polly Peabody [19]
1949 The Lucky Stiff Mrs. Eve Childers [19]
1949 Manhandled Ruth / Mrs. Alton Bennet [19]
1949 Chicago Deadline Belle Dorset [19]
1956 A Cry in the Night Helen Taggart [19]
1956 Teenage Rebel Helen Sheldon McGowan [19]
1958Going SteadyGrace Turner [19]
1958 Crash Landing Bernice Willouby [19]
1960O'Conner's OceanVictoria ArdenTelevision film [25]
1969 Cactus Flower Mrs. Durant [26]
1969RobertaMrs. TealeTelevision film [27]
1971 Play Misty for Me Madge [19]
1981Goliath AwaitsCarrieTelevision film [28]


1952 The Gulf Playhouse Episode: "Our Two Hundred Children"
1953–55 The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse 2 episodes
1953–56 Lux Video Theatre Susan Arnold / Lucille / Patricia4 episodes
1954–55 Fireside Theatre Miss Vickers / Louise2 episodes
1954 Stage 7 Fran AbbelardEpisode: "The Time of Day"
1954 The Lone Wolf Mae EastEpisode: "The Runaway Story (a.k.a. Death of a Lawyer)"
1955 Studio 57 Ann Randall2 episodes
1955 The Public Defender Mrs. HarrisEpisode: "Mama's Boy"
1955–57 Climax! Nancy Blount2 episodes
1955–58 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show Clara Bagley / Florence Henderson5 episodes
1955–58 Matinee Theatre Margaret March / Stella Martyn / Myra Gordon8 episodes
1955 Damon Runyon Theater Episode: "Small Town Caper"
1956 The Millionaire MaxineEpisode:"The Candy Caldwell Story"
1956The Charles Farrell ShowMrs. AndrewsEpisode: "Charlie's Love Secret"
1957 Circus Boy Martha NeilsonEpisode: "Farewell to the Circus"
1957 Panic! Gretchen BeresfordEpisode: "Two Martinis"
1958 Studio One Beth ByrnesEpisode: "The Lonely Stage"
1958–63 Perry Mason Jill Garson / Grace Davies / Helen Bartlett3 episodes
1959 Playhouse 90 Mrs. McBurnieEpisode: "A Quiet Game of Cards"
1959 Richard Diamond, Private Detective Mary ForsytheEpisode: "The Sport"
1959 The Ann Sothern Show LorraineEpisode: "The Ugly Bonnet"
1959 The Donna Reed Show Louise CollierEpisode: "A Penny Earned"
1960 Bourbon Street Beat Alice NicholsEpisode: "False Identity"
1960 Markham Mrs. FranklinEpisode: "The Silken Cord"
1960 Thriller Mrs. Edith PettitEpisode: "The Watcher"
1960The Case of the Dangerous RobinThelma HendersonEpisode: "Temporary Window"
1961 Peter Gunn Madelon RidgelyEpisode: "Blind Item"
1961The DuPont Show with June AllysonGladysEpisode: "The Guilty Heart"
1961 Shirley Temple's Storybook EsperanzaEpisode: "The Princess and the Goblins"
1961 Surfside 6 Mrs. GardnerEpisode: "Little Mister Kelly"
1961–62 Hawaiian Eye Mary Kirk / Marjorie Lloyd / Harriet Regan3 episodes
1962 Target: The Corruptors Nora TremaineEpisode: "One for the Road"
1962 Follow the Sun JeanetteEpisode: "The Last of the Big Spenders"
1962 77 Sunset Strip Ellen GilmoreEpisode: "Framework for the Badge"
1962 The Wide Country Dorothy StannardEpisode: "Our Ernie Kills People"
1962 Dr. Kildare Martha KildareEpisode: "An Ancient Office"
1963 The Eleventh Hour Valerie PrenticeEpisode: "The Wings of Morning"
1964 The Twilight Zone Martha TillmanEpisode: "Black Leather Jackets"
1964 Burke's Law Mrs. TilsonEpisode: "Who Killed April?"
1964 The Baileys of Balboa MarieEpisode: "Won't You Come Home, Sam Bailey"
1964–65 The Young Marrieds Irene Forsythe #1
1965–66 Honey West Aunt Meg16 episodes
1967 Love on a Rooftop Helen CavendishEpisode: "One Too Many Cooks"
1968 Ironside Margaret WhitfieldEpisode: "Reprise"
1968 The Mod Squad Mrs. SandersonEpisode: "A Quiet Weekend in the Country"
1968–70 Family Affair Mrs. Eldridge / Miss Scranton2 episodes
1969–72 My Three Sons Sylvia Anderson / Beatrice Brady2 episodes
Nominated  Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding
Single Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role [13]
1976 Most Wanted Mrs. MorrisonEpisode: "The Ten-Percenter"
1978 Charlie's Angels Samantha McKendrickEpisode: "The Jade Trap"
1979 Delta House TrusteeEpisode: "The Fall of Dean Wormer"

Stage credits

1944No Way OutDr. Enid Karley Cort Theatre Broadway production [11]
1963Take Her, She's MineAnne Michaelson Westport Country Playhouse
The Cape Playhouse (Cape Cod)
Regional touring production [12] [29]


  1. Obituaries in the Performing Arts cites Hervey's birthdate as July 11, 1909; [2] this is corroborated by California Vital Statistics' Birth Index, which lists Beulah Irene Herwick's birthdate as July 11, 1909. [3] Hervey's birth name is corroborated by a 1936 article in the Oakland Tribune. [4]

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  4. "Allen [sic] Jones Too Busy, So Bride-to-Be Gets License". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. United Press. July 23, 1936. p. 17. Retrieved July 13, 2016 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
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  10. "The Girl Said No" (PDF) (Press release). Al Greenstone. 1937. pp. 1–16. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 7, 2010 via William K. Everson Collection (New York University).
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  14. "Goliath Awaits (1981)". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved April 15, 2018.
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  18. Wilson, Scott (August 17, 2016). "Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed". McFarland via Google Books.
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  20. American Film Institute. American Film Institute Catalog: Feature Films 1931-1940, Volumes 1–3. University of California Press. p. 330. ISBN   978-0-520-07908-3.
  21. Halliwell 1996, p. 259.
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Works cited