Mary Treen

Biography

About as reliable as one could ever find, character actress Mary Treen was a familiar face to most and could always be counted on to bring a bit of levity to any film scene. A minor actress for much of her career, she managed to secure a plain, unassuming niche for herself in 40s, 50s and 60s Hollywood. She was born Mary Louise Treen in St. Louis, Missouri in 1907, her father dying while she was still an infant. Raised in California by her mother, who once performed under the stage name Helene Sullivan, and her stepfather, a physician, she attended the Westlake School for Girls as well as a convent where she tried out successfully in school plays. Mary began dancing in vaudeville shows and revues before seeking her fame in the movies. Tall (5'9") and stringy-framed, she formed a musical comedy duo with Marjorie Bennett, who was 5'3", billing themselves as "Treen and Barnett: Two Unsophisticated Vassar Co-eds." Much of their comedy was centered around their difference in height. Not a beauty by Hollywood standards, Mary relied on humor to get attention. In 1934, Warner Brothers signed her up after seeing her in a local play. After three years, she freelanced. Her scores of pudgy-cheeked nurses, waitresses, career girls, wallflowers and confidantes enhanced many a comedy or, at the very least, offered a brief respite in a heavier drama. In the long run, however she deserved better. A few of Mary's highlights would include the films Kentucky Moonshine (1938), I Love a Soldier (1944) (the role was written especially for her), Don Juan Quilligan (1945), and the Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946) (as James Stewart's cousin Tilly). In later years both Jerry Lewis and Elvis Presley utilized her talents in their movie vehicles. On TV Mary was given a bit more to do and actually stole a few scenes as the arch maid Hilda on "The Joey Bishop Show" (1961) for three seasons. She typically guested on lightweight sitcoms such as "The Andy Griffith Show," "Green Acres," "Here's Lucy," "Happy Days" and "The Dukes of Hazzard." Perhaps because she could play old maid types so easily in later years, she was often thought to have never married. She actually did marry, quite late in life, to a whole-sale liquor dealer. They had no children. He died in 1965 and she eventually moved in with her ex-vaudeville partner, Marjorie Barnett-Klein, who was also widowed. In later years the two performed their old routines to the delight of other senior citizens. Mary was living in Balboa Beach, California when she died of cancer in 1989. (This bio came from IMDB.com)¥

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Known For
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Swing It, Sailor!

Gertie Burns

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The Joey Bishop Show - The Complete Second Season

Hilda

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Geld oder Liebe

Miss Adams

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So Proudly We Hail

Lt. Sadie Schwartz

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When Gangland Strikes

Emily Parsons

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Red Hot Tires

Maggie

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Dance Charlie Dance

Jennie Wolfe - Arden's Agent

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Between Us Girls

Mary Belle

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The Murder of Dr. Harrigan

Nurse Margaret Brody

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A Day at Santa Anita

Mary Treen (uncredited)

Starring In
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The Strongest Man in the World

Mercedes

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Paradise, Hawaiian Style

Mrs. Belden

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Fun In Acapulco

Mrs Stevers (uncredited)

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Who's Minding the Store?

Mattress Customer

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Girls! Girls! Girls!

Mrs. Figgot - Hat Customer (uncredited)

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The Errand Boy

Commissary Cashier

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All In A Night's Work

Miss Schuster

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Bachelor in Paradise

Mrs. Bruce Freedman (uncredited)

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The Joey Bishop Show - The Complete Second Season

Hilda

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El tercer hombre era mujer

Clubwoman with Pecan Pie (uncredited)

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Don't Give Up the Ship

Mother at Wedding Party (uncredited)

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Career

Marie, Secretary to Shirley Drake

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I Married a Monster From Outer Space

Mother Bradley (uncredited)

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Rock-a-Bye Baby

Nurse

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The Sad Sack

Sgt. Hansen

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The Joker Is Wild

Heckler (uncredited)

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Hold That Hypnotist

Hotel Maid (uncredited)

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When Gangland Strikes

Emily Parsons

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Bundle of Joy

Matron

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The Eternal Sea

Admitting Nurse (uncredited)

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Let's Do it Again

Nelly - the Maid

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The Caddy

(uncredited)

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Clipped Wings

Mildred

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Room for One More

Grace Roberts (as Mary Lou Treen)

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The Stooge

Miss Regan, Robertson's Secretary (uncredited)

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Dreamboat

Wife in Bar (uncredited)

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Sailor Beware

Ginger

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The Fuller Brush Girl

Woman Selling Magazine (uncredited)

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The Snake Pit

Nurse Jones (uncredited)

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Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven

Wife (uncredited)

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Geld oder Liebe

Miss Adams

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It's a Wonderful Life

Cousin Tilly

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Swing Parade of 1946

Marie Finch

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Strange Impersonation

Talkative Nurse

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From This Day Forward

Alice Beesley

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She Wouldn't Say Yes

Train Passenger at Bar

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The Navy Way

Agnes

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Casanova Brown

Monica Case, the Maid

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So Proudly We Hail

Lt. Sadie Schwartz

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They all Kissed the Bride

Susie Johnson

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The Great Man's Lady

Persis

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Roxie Hart

Secretary (uncredited)

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Between Us Girls

Mary Belle

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Ship Ahoy

Nurse (uncredited)

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The Flame of New Orleans

Party Guest (uncredited)

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Tall, Dark and Handsome

Martha, Sales Girl

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Father Takes a Wife

Secretary

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Me Perteneces

Doris

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Kitty Foyle

Pat

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First Love

Agnes, Barbara's Maid

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Three Smart Girls Grow Up

Secretary (uncredited)

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The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (Babes in Arms / Babes on Broadway / Girl Crazy / Strike

Receptionist (uncredited)

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Huracán

Waitress (uncredited)

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Swing It, Sailor!

Gertie Burns

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Sally, Irene and Mary

Miss Barkow

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Always Goodbye

Bride-to-be (uncredited)

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Second Honeymoon

Elsie

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Maid of Salem

Suzy Abbott

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A Day at Santa Anita

Mary Treen (uncredited)

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Ever Since Eve

Employment Clerk

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Dance Charlie Dance

Jennie Wolfe - Arden's Agent

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The Murder of Dr. Harrigan

Nurse Margaret Brody

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Snowed Under

Secretary Taking Mike's Dictation (uncredited)

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El chico Cantor

Secretary (scenes deleted)

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Miss Pacific Fleet

Violet Johnson - Butch's Girl (uncredited)

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The Girl from 10th Avenue

Secretary (uncredited)

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Red Hot Tires

Maggie

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El casino de París

Silent Showgirl (uncredited)

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Babbitt

Miss McGoun, Babbitt's Secretary

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Jimmy the Gent

Nurse (scenes deleted)

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The St. Louis Kid

Giddy Girl (scenes deleted)

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