Mary Howard de Liagre, actress and wife of Broadway producer and director Alfred de Liagre, died June 6 in Manhattan. She was 94.
Born in Independence, Kansas, she performed with her twin sisters in the Ziegfeld Follies and was featured in the Broadway revue “Life Begins at 8:40” with Bert Lahr.
She then made her way to Hollywood where Louis B. Mayer put her under contract at MGM. Her feature roles included “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” opposite Raymond Massey; “Billy the Kid” with Robert Taylor; “Swamp Water” opposite Walter Huston, directed by Jean Renoir; “Loves of Edgar Allen Poe”; “Riders of the Purple Sage” opposite George Montgomery; and “Wild Man of Borneo” with Dan Dailey.
She also appeared in “The Great Ziegfeld,” as well as “Four Girls in White,” “Nurse Edith Cavell,” “Marie Antoinette” and “Fast Company.”
During WWII she toured service camps, helped organize the USO in Los Angeles and toured hospitals and camps Stateside for servicemen returning from war.
In 1945, she moved to New York and married Alfred de Liagre Jr., a prominent producer who died in 1987.
After retiring from show business to raise her children, she became a founding member of Recording for the Blind and served on the board of The American Academy of Dramatic Art and The Princess Grace Foundation.
She is survived by a son, a daughter and a grandson.