Image of Noel Francis

Noel Francis

Noel Francis was born in Temple, Texas in 1906. By age 20 she was appearing in the Ziegfeld Follies, working opposite the comedy team of Wheeler and Woolsey. Eventually Fox scouts noticed her and in 1929 she was signed to a Hollywood contract. Because of her Follies background, Fox intended to develop Noel as a musical and dance star. Unfortunately, musicals were on the wane at the time (they did rebound) and her contract was dropped. Luckily, she was picked up by Warner Brothers, and featured in a number of films that had her portraying the tough talking, sassy female connected to gangsters, convicts, and other underworld types, so popular with the movie going public then and now. Noel was rarely given the lead female role, though she worked near the top with some of the era's best actors in films that included Smart Money (1931), in which she is a scheming blonde helping Edward G. Robinson lose his money, and Blonde Crazy (1931), where her target is James Cagney. Her most noted performance was in I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932), working with Paul Muni in one of his strongest performances. However, perhaps because of being typecast, she found herself in "B" productions after 1932, though one was as the lead female, in Mayfair Picture Corporation's 1934 What's Your Racket?, opposite Regis Toomey. Needing work, Noel returned to Broadway, but couldn't resume her career there, and returned to Hollywood to make three final films with Buck Jones, including Stone of Silver Creek (1935), in which she used her Broadway musical expertise to play a saloon singer. Between 1929 and 1937 Noel made 47 films. She died October 30, 1959 in Los Angeles, California.

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Aug 31, 1906 In Temple, Texas, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie New Movietone Follies of 1930 1930-05-04
Latest Project:
Movie Left-Handed Law 1937-03-31
Known For
Poster of The Loudspeaker
Poster of Only Yesterday
Poster of Guilty as Hell
Poster of Smart Money
Movie Left-Handed Law Betty Golden 1937-03-31
Movie The White Cockatoo Elise 1935-01-29
Movie Mutiny Ahead Mimi 1935-03-01
Movie Stone of Silver Creek Lola 1935-04-14
Movie Good Dame Puff Warner 1934-03-16
Movie Strictly Dynamite Lady Waiting in Georgie's Lobby (uncredited) 1934-05-11
Movie Fifteen Wives Ruby Cotton 1934-07-15
Movie The Loudspeaker Dolly 1934-06-01
Movie Imitation of Life Mrs. Eden (uncredited) 1934-11-23
Movie The Important Witness Ellen Kelly 1933-07-15
Movie Reform Girl Lydia Johnson 1933-03-04
Movie Bureau of Missing Persons Alice Crane 1933-09-16
Movie Havana Widows Gladys Gable (uncredited) 1933-11-18
Movie Only Yesterday Letitia 1933-11-01
Movie Son of a Sailor Queenie 1933-11-29
Movie Blood Money Red's Girlfriend (uncredited) 1933-11-17
Movie So Big! Mabel 1932-04-30
Movie My Pal, the King Princess Elsa 1932-04-03
Movie The Expert Daisy 1932-03-05
Movie Flames Pat 1932-05-29
Movie The Mouthpiece Miss DeVere 1932-03-21
Movie Under-Cover Man Connie 1932-12-02
Movie Night Court Lil Baker 1932-06-04
Movie Manhattan Tower Marge Lyon 1932-12-01
Movie I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang Linda 1932-11-09
Movie Guilty as Hell Julia Reed 1932-08-05
Movie Bachelor Apartment Janet 1931-04-15
Movie Smart Money Marie 1931-07-11
Movie Blonde Crazy Helen Wilson 1931-12-03
Movie Smart Woman Peggy Preston 1931-09-12
Movie Ladies of the Big House Thelma 1931-12-26
Movie New Movietone Follies of 1930 Gloria de Witt 1930-05-04
Movie Up the River Sophie (uncredited) 1930-10-12
Movie Rough Romance Flossie 1930-06-15