Mary Elizabeth Riggs
October 20, 1895
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
|Died||June 4, 1975 (aged 79)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Other names||Betty Riggs|
B. P. Fineman
(m. 1922; div. 1927)
Harry D. Edwards
(m. 1928; div. 1947)
(m. 1948; died 1959)
Evelyn Brent (born Mary Elizabeth Riggs, October 20, 1895 – June 4, 1975) was an American film and stage actress.
Brent was born in Tampa, Florida, and known as Betty. When she was age 10, her mother Eleanor (née. Warner) died, leaving her father Arthur to raise her alone.
She moved to New York City as a teenager, and her good looks brought modeling jobs that led to an opportunity to become involved in movies.
She originally studied to be a teacher. While attending a normal school in New York, she visited the World Film Studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Two days later, she was working there as an extra, earning $3 per day.
She began her film career working under her own name at a New Jersey film studio, then made her major debut in the 1915 silent film production of the Robert W. Service poem The Shooting of Dan McGrew.
As Evelyn Brent, she continued to work in film, developing into a young woman with sultry looks. After World War I, she went to London for a vacation and met American playwright Oliver Cromwell, who urged her to accept an important role in The Ruined Lady. The production was presented on the London stage. She remained in England for four years, performing on stage and in films produced by British companies, then she moved to Hollywood in 1922.
Her career received a major boost the following year when she was chosen as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. signed her but failed to find a story for her; she left his company to join Associated Authors.
Brent made more than two dozen silent films, including three for director Josef von Sternberg. One of these was The Last Command (1928), an epic war drama for which Emil Jannings won the first Academy Award for Best Actor.
Later that year, she starred opposite William Powell in her first sound movie. Brent played major roles in several features, most notably The Silver Horde and the Paramount Pictures all-star revue Paramount on Parade (both 1930).
By the early part of the 1930s, she was working in secondary roles in a variety of films as well as touring with vaudeville shows. In 1936, she played William Boyd's love interest/femme fatale in Hopalong Cassidy Returns. However, by 1941, she was no longer in demand by major studios, and she found work at smaller, low-budget studios.
She photographed attractively opposite leading men who were also at advanced ages and later stages in their careers: Neil Hamilton in Producers Releasing Corporation's production Dangerous Lady, Lee Tracy in the same studio's The Payoff, and Jack Holt in the serial Holt of the Secret Service. In the early 1940s, she worked in action features for Paramount releases. Veteran director William Beaudine cast her in many productions as well, including Emergency Landing (1941), Bowery Champs (1944), The Golden Eye (1948), and Again Pioneers (1950). After performing in more than 120 films, she retired from acting in 1950 and worked for a number of years as an actor's agent.
She returned to acting in television's Wagon Train for one episode in 19 titled60, "The Lita Foladaire Story", starring Ward Bond and Diane Brewster. Brent played a housekeeper.
Evelyn Brent was married three times: to movie executive Bernard P. Fineman, to producer Harry D. Edwards, and finally to the vaudeville actor Harry Fox for whom the foxtrot dance was named. They were married when he died in 1959.
Brent died of a heart attack in 1975 at her Los Angeles home. She was cremated and interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California.
In 1960, Brent was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star for her contributions to the film industry. Her star is located at 6548 Hollywood Boulevard.
|1914||A Gentleman from Mississippi||Hope Langdon|
|1915||The Heart of a Painted Woman||Lost film|
|1915||The Shooting of Dan McGrew||Nell (adult)||Lost film|
|1915||When Love Laughs||Bessie||Short film|
|1916||The Lure of Heart's Desire||Little Snowbird||Lost film|
|1916||The Iron Will||Uncredited|
|1916||The Soul Market||Vivian Austin||Lost film|
|1916||Playing with Fire||Lucille Vane||Lost film|
|1916||The Spell of the Yukon||Dorothy Temple||Lost film|
|1916||The Weakness of Strength||Bessie Alden||Lost film|
|1916||The Iron Woman||Nannie Maitland||Lost film|
|1917||The Millionaire's Double||Constance Brent||Lost film|
|1917||To the Death||Rosa||Lost film|
|1917||Who's Your Neighbor?||Betty Hamlin||Lost film|
|1917||Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman||Ethel - Lord Amersteth's Daughter|
|1918||Daybreak||Det. Alma Peterson||Lost film|
|1919||Border River||Marie Dubuque||Short film|
|1919||Help! Help! Police!||Marian Trevor||Lost film|
|1919||Fool's Gold||Nancy Smith|
|1919||The Other Man's Wife||Becky Simon||Lost film|
|1919||The Glorious Lady||Lady Eileen|
|1920||The Shuttle of Life||Miriam Grey||Lost film|
|1920||The Law Divine||Daphne Grey||Lost film|
|1921||Demos||Emma Vine||Lost film|
|1921||The Door That Has No Key||Violet Melton||Lost film|
|1921||Sybil||Sybil Gerard||Lost film|
|1921||Sonia||Sonia Dainton||Lost film|
|1921||Laughter and Tears||Pierette|
|1922||Trapped by the Mormons||Nora Prescott|
|1922||The Spanish Jade||Mañuela||Lost film|
|1922||Married to a Mormon||Beryl Fane||Lost film|
|1922||The Experiment||Doris Fielding||Lost film|
|1922||Pages of Life||Mitzi / Dolores||Lost film|
|1923||Held to Answer||Bessie Burbeck||Lost film|
|1924||Loving Lies||Ellen Craig||Lost film|
|1924||The Shadow of the Desert||Lolaire||Lost film|
|1924||Arizona Express||Lola Nichols|
|1924||The Plunderer||The Lily||Lost film|
|1924||The Lone Chance||Margaret West||Lost film|
|1924||The Desert Outlaw||May Halloway|
|1924||The Cyclone Rider||Weeping Wanda|
|1924||The Dangerous Flirt||Sheila Fairfax||Lost film|
|1924||My Husband's Wives||Marie Wynn||Lost film|
|1924||Silk Stocking Sal||'Stormy' Martin||Lost film|
|1925||Midnight Molly||Margaret Warren / Midnight Molly|
|1925||Forbidden Cargo||Polly O'Day||Lost film|
|1925||Alias Mary Flynn||Mary Flynn||Lost film|
|1925||Smooth as Satin||Gertie Jones||Lost film|
|1925||Lady Robinhood||Señorita Catalina / La Ortiga||Lost film|
|1925||Three Wise Crooks||Molly||Lost film|
|1925||Broadway Lady||Rosalie Ryan|
|1926||Queen o'Diamonds||Jeanette Durant / Jerry Lyon||Lost film|
|1926||Secret Orders||Janet Graaham||Lost film|
|1926||The Impostor||Judith Gilbert||Lost film|
|1926||The Jade Cup||Peggy Allen||Lost film|
|1926||Flame of the Argentine||Inez Remírez||Lost film|
|1926||Love 'Em and Leave 'Em||Mame Walsh|
|1927||Love's Greatest Mistake||Jane||Lost film|
|1927||Blind Alleys||Sally Ray||Lost film|
|1927||Women's Wares||Dolly Morton|
|1928||Beau Sabreur||Mary Vanbrugh||Lost film|
|1928||The Last Command||Natalie Dabrova|
|1928||The Showdown||Sibyl Shelton|
|1928||A Night of Mystery||Gilberte Boismartel|
|1928||His Tiger Lady||Tiger Lady||Lost film|
|1928||The Drag Net||The Magpie||Lost film|
|1928||The Mating Call||Rose Henderson|