Hilda Vaughn
BornDecember 27, 1898
DiedDecember 28, 1957 (aged 59)
Baltimore, Maryland
Years active1929-1950
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)

Hilda Vaughn (December 27, 1898 – December 28, 1957) was an American actress of the stage, film, radio, and television.[1][2]

Early years

Hilda Weiller Strouse,[3] the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eli Strouse, Vaughn attended Vassar College[4][5] and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.[6]


Vaughn frequently played a "pleb", or a commoner, in the films she acted in (waitresses, maids, charwomen, governesses, and saleswomen). A fixture at MGM in the sound era of the early 1930s, she acted in more than 50 films. Her most notable films were 1933's Dinner at Eight where she was memorable as Jean Harlow's blackmailing maid, as well as Today We Live (1933), Chasing Yesterday (1935), and Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940).[7]

She appeared on Broadway, and in 1924 toured as the lead in Rain based on a story by W. Somerset Maugham. Her "smoldering quality" came back to Broadway two years later in The Seed of the Brute at the Little Theatre. She also appeared on Broadway in Glory Hallelujah.[8]

After making several films, Vaughn was part of the Hollywood blacklist. She returned to the stage in 1942 to play the lead in Only the Heart at the American Actors Company. In 1943 she appeared in William Saroyan's Get Away Old Man, followed by several other appearances, including playing the nurse to Judith Anderson's Medea and the mother in The Devil's Disciple by George Bernard Shaw. She was also known for her concert readings of plays.


On December 28, 1957, Vaughn died in Baltimore.[9][10]



  1. ^ Eckstein, Arthur. “The Hollywood Ten in History and in Memory”. Film History 16, no. 4 (December 2004): 424-436. Communication and Mass Media complete, EBSCOhost; accessed March 28, 2015.
  2. ^ "arthur-miller & mccarthyism". American Masters. pbs. Archived from the original on 2015-09-14. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  3. ^ "Vaughn, Hilda". The Broadcast 41. broadcast41.uoregon.edu.
  4. ^ "Catalogue". Vassar College Bulletin. 5 (4): 184. 1915. Host Bibliographic Record for Boundwith Item Barcode 30112114116525 and Others
  5. ^ https://ia903205.us.archive.org/34/items/vassarion00vass/vassarion00vass.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  6. ^ Leith, Elizabeth (November 10, 1943). "Miss Vaughn Again Acts For Theatergoers Here". The Evening Sun. Maryland, Baltimore. p. 26 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Wollstein, Hans J. "Biography by Hans J. Wollstein". www.allmovie.com. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "Hilda Vaughn, Actress, Is Dead at 60; Last Appeared Here in 'The River Line'". New York Times. 1957-12-30. Retrieved 2018-05-06. Hilda Vaughn of 315 East Sixty-eighth Street, New York, a character actress who appeared on the Broadway stage and in more than fifty motion pictures, died yesterday at a hospital here on her sixtieth birthday.
  9. ^ "Hilda Vaughn, Ex-Actress, Dies". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. Associated Press. December 30, 1957. p. 1. Retrieved 25 March 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ Wilson, Scott (19 August 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 773. ISBN 978-1-4766-2599-7. She died in Baltimore, listed as Hilda Strouse, the day after her 59th birthday. Oheb Shalom Cemetery, 6130 O'Donnell St., Baltimore, MD. 12999.
  11. ^ Hall, Mordaunt (30 September 1929). "THE SCREEN; The Shell-Shocked Kleptomaniac. In Amanullah's Country". The New York Times.