Muriel Evans (July 20, 1910 – October 26, 2000) was an American film actress. She is best known for her many appearances in popular westerns of the 1930s for which she won a Golden Boot Award.
Early life and career
Muriel Adele Evanson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Norwegian immigrant parents. Her father died when she was only two months old, forcing her mother to move to California to find work, where Evans' mother took a job as a maid at First National Studios. She spent her afternoons on film sets and was soon noticed by a studio executive. The executive introduced her to the director Robert Z. Leonard, who gave her a small role opposite Corinne Griffith in the 1926 film, Mademoiselle Modiste. She continued attending classes at Hollywood High School and landing bit parts in stock theater productions and silent films.
In 1929, Evans co-starred in the silent, comedic short films, Good Night Nurse and Joyland, starring Lupino Lane. Shortly after completing Joyland, Evans put her acting career on hold to finish school. In July 1929, Evans announced her engagement to Michael J. P. Cudahy, the grandson of Michael Cudahy, one of the founders of the Cudahy Packing Company. They were married on July 7, 1929 in Riverside, California. Evans and Cudahy traveled the world and settled in Paris. In 1930, they returned to the United States and Evans filed for divorce. Their divorce was finalized in October 1930. Evans, who gave up her career upon her marriage, returned to Hollywood, signed a contract at MGM and began making films again.
In 1932, Evans starred in six films, most notably, Young Ironsides with Charley Chase and Pack Up Your Troubles with Laurel and Hardy. She would go on to star in eight more shorts with Chase before his death in 1940.
Evans' success was due in large part to her pleasant speaking voice. She made a smooth transition from silent pictures to talkies, and throughout the 1930s, Evans continued to work steadily. She appeared in Frank Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Manhattan Melodrama with Clark Gable and William Powell, and The Prizefighter and the Lady with Myrna Loy. By the mid-1930s, Evans also began co-starring in popular westerns alongside Tom Mix, John Wayne and Tex Ritter. She also starred in three Hopalong Cassidy films opposite William Boyd, and did seven westerns with Buck Jones.
In 1936, Evans married a theatrical agent, Marshall R. Worchester. By age 30, she retired from acting. One of her last film appearances came in 1946, in the Pete Smith short, Studio Visit. Soon after retiring, Evans and her husband settled in Washington, D.C. Over the next decade, she starred in four radio shows and in the television show Hollywood Reporter. In 1951, the couple moved back to Hollywood, although Evans never resumed her acting career. Eventually, the couple bought property in Tarzana, California, where Evans dabbled in real estate.
After the death of her husband in 1971, Evans began work as a volunteer nurse at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills not far from her home. After a stroke in 1994, she became a resident within the complex and often dined with fellow actors with whom she had once worked, including Anita Garvin. In 1999, Evans made her last film appearance in a 2000 documentary, I Used to Be in Pictures, in which she was one of many former actors who recalled their experiences in the film work.
On October 26, 2000, Muriel Evans died of colon cancer at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. She was 90 years old.
|1928||Wife Trouble||Short film|
|1929||Good Night Nurse||Short film|
|1932||Young Ironsides||Muriel Evans||Short film|
|1932||Pack Up Your Troubles||Wrong Eddie's bride|
|1932||Hot Spot||Short film|
|1932||Girl Grief||Short film|
|1932||Now We'll Tell One||Muriel Evans||Short film|
|1932||Mr. Bride||Short film|
|1933||Fallen Arches||Muriel Gilbert||Short film|
|1933||Nature In the Wrong||Muriel||Short film |
Alternative title: Tarzan In the Wrong
|1933||His Silent Racket||Muriel||Short film|
|1933||Arabian Tights||Miss Evans||Short film|
|1933||Thundering Taxis||Mrs. Blacker||Short film|
|1933||Broadway to Hollywood||Maid||Uncredited |
Alternative title: Ring Up the Curtain
|1933||The Prizefighter and the Lady||Linda||Alternative title: Every Woman's Man|
|1933||Dancing Lady||Chorus Girl||Uncredited|
|1933||The Women in His Life||Molly|
|1933||Queen Christina||Barmaid at Inn||Uncredited|
|1934||Heat Lightning||Blonde Cutie|
|1934||Manhattan Melodrama||Tootsie Malone|
|1934||The Big Idea||Honey, Ted's Fiancee||Short film|
|1934||Hollywood Party||Show Girl||Uncredited|
|1934||Attention Suckers||Demonstration Watcher||Short film|
|1934||Have a Heart||Helen, Schauber's Secretary|
|1935||The Roaring West||Mary Parker||film serial|
|1935||The Throwback||Muriel Fergus|
|1935||The New Frontier||Hanna Lewis|
|1935||Nurse to You!||Muriel Chase||Short film|
|1936||Silver Spurs||Janet Allison||Alternative title: Silverspurs|
|1936||Call of the Prairie||Linda McHenry|
|1936||King of the Pecos||Belle Jackson|
|1936||Mr. Deeds Goes to Town||Theresa||Uncredited|
|1936||Three on the Trail||Mary Stevens|
|1936||Two-Fisted Gentleman||June Prentice|
|1936||Missing Girls||Dorothy Benson||Alternative title: When Girls Leave Home|
|1936||House of Secrets||Julie Kenmore|
|1936||Under Your Spell||Governess||Uncredited|
|1936||The Boss Rider of Gun Creek||Starr Landerson|
|1936||Ten Laps to Go||Norma Corbett||Alternative title: King of the Speedway|
|1936||Don't Be Like That||The Faithful Wife||Short film|
|1937||Rich Relations||Trixie Lane|
|1937||Headline Crasher||Edith Arlen|
|1937||Smoke Tree Range||Nan Page|
|1937||Rustlers' Valley||Agnes Randall|
|1937||Law for Tombstone||Nellie Gray|
|1937||Boss of Lonely Valley||Retta Lowrey|
|1939||Dog-Gone||Miriam Jones||Short film|
|1939||Home Boner||Mrs. Errol||Short film|
|1939||The Rookie Cop||Fern, Joey's Girl||Alternative title: Swift Vengeance|
|1939||Chicken Feed||Girlfriend||Short film|
|1939||Westbound Stage||Joan Hale|
|1940||Roll, Wagons, Roll||Ruth Benson||Alternative title: Roll Covered Wagon|