Phyllis Brooks: American actress and model (1915 - 1995)
peoplepill id: phyllis-brooks
3 views today
3 views this week
Phyllis Brooks
American actress and model

Phyllis Brooks

Phyllis Brooks
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress and model
A.K.A. Macdonald, Torbert H.
Was Actor Model
From United States of America
Field Fashion Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 18 July 1915, Boise
Death 1 August 1995, Cape Neddick (aged 80 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


Phyllis Brooks (July 18, 1915 – August 1, 1995) was an American actress and model. She was born in Boise, Idaho. Some sources have also inaccurately cited 1914 as her year of birth, but 1915 is the correct year according to Social Security records.


She was a model for two years before progressing to a career in film. She stated, "I started posing for photographers as a lark, and it was a lot of fun."

She had been known as the "Ipana Toothpaste Girl", due to her work for that product.


Initially known as Mary Brooks, she began her career in films in 1934 at age 20, in I've Been Around. Brooks, who had about 30 performances in films, was a B-movie leading lady during the 1930s and 1940s, with roles in such films as In Old Chicago (1937), Little Miss Broadway (1938) and The Shanghai Gesture (1941).

She appeared in Sidney Toler's Charlie Chan series and the Shirley Temple films Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Little Miss Broadway".


On Broadway, Brooks appeared in Stage Door (1936–37), Panama Hattie (1940–42), The Night Before Christmas (1941), and Round Trip (1945).

Wartime activities

Phyllis Brooks (middle) with Gary Cooper and Una Merkel at a Brisbane press conference on their way to entertain the troops (1943)

Brooks was reported (UK Sunday Telegraph December 1942) as being president of Parties Unlimited Inc. in an article about Hollywood at war. Along with actress Una Merkel, and accompanied by film star Gary Cooper, Brooks was the first civilian woman to travel to the Pacific theater of war during World War II, on a USO tour.

Personal life

Brooks married Torbert Macdonald on June 23, 1945, in Tarrytown, New York. He went on to become an 11-term Massachusetts Congressman, who had been John F. Kennedy's roommate at Harvard University.

Brooks moved East to Cambridge, Massachusetts with her new husband in 1945 so that he could complete his studies at Harvard Law School. He had been a Harvard football captain and a decorated PT boat captain in World War II. He died in office in 1976.

Brooks continued performing in summer stock theater after her marriage, and hosted the first television interview program in Boston in the early 1950s (on WBZ-TV). She retired from public performances after that, concentrating on raising her family. The couple had four children, the eldest of whom was President Kennedy's godson.


Brooks died on August 1, 1995, in Cape Neddick, Maine, aged 80. She was survived by sons, Torbert Jr. and Brian, daughters Laurie and Robin, and eight grandchildren. She was also survived by her brother, playwright Norman Allen Brooks (died 2000).

Partial filmography

  • One Exciting Adventure (1934)
  • Another Face (1935)
  • In Old Chicago (1937)
  • Dangerously Yours (1937)
  • City Girl (1938)
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)
  • Little Miss Broadway (1938)
  • Up the River (1938)
  • Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)
  • Charlie Chan in Reno (1939)
  • Lucky to Me (1939)
  • Slightly Honorable (1939)
  • The Flying Squad (1940)
  • The Shanghai Gesture (1941)
  • No Place for a Lady (1943)
  • Silver Spurs (1943)
  • Lady in the Dark (1944)
  • Dangerous Passage (1944)
  • High Powered (1945)
  • The Unseen (1945)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Search trend
comments so far.
From our partners
Sections Phyllis Brooks

arrow-left arrow-right instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube pandora tunein iheart itunes