Yes, you’ve seen her in dozens of films, some programmers, a few classics.

Joyce Compton was one of those actresses who appeared in every type of film Hollywood had to offer in the 1930s and 1940s.

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After all, this Kentucky-born actress started making movies during the silent era — she was briefly engaged to actor Joel McCrea during this period — and continued working for some 35 years until 1961. Her usual role in many silent two-reelers was that of the brain-challenged ingenue, the foils of various comics. And, she was a good friend of Clara Bow — “The It Girl”of the silent era..

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As you can divine from above photos, Compton herself was no slouch in the sexiness department.  A former beauty contest winner, her acting specialties were ditsy blondes, night club singers, waitresses and chorines.

She claimed that 20th Century Fox cancelled her contract after the studio futilely tried to impart Compton a more “sophisticated” look complete with cutting and coloring her hair.

I thought they took me away from my natural appearance and comedy flair. Isn’t that the way it goes. Sign you for what you have to offer, mess around and ruin it all, then give up and toss you out.

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Compton can be viewed in a wide range of interesting titles including 1937’s The Awful Truth, with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Watch for her in one of our all-time favorites,  1945’s Mildred Pierce (she plays a waitress). She turns up in 1946’s The Best Years of Our Lives as a hat-check girl. And she has an amusing pairing with Robert Benchley in 1941’s Bedtime Story. She even turned up in Charley Chan movies.

The Awful Truthlived

In all Compton rolled up nearly 160 movie and tv credits in all manner of parts. Interestingly, she was religious and conservative in her private life. She married just once, and lived for long periods with her parents. She died at age 90 in 1997.

 

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