Nancy Carroll was a red-haired, wide-eyed movie queen of the 1920s and early 1930s.
Carroll was born Ann La Hiff on Nov. 19, 1906, on New York's West Side, and was kicking up her heels in the chorus of a New York musical in 1924 (along with Joan Crawford) when Jack Kirkland, a New York newspaperman, wooed and married her.
Kirkland, later to become a famous playwright, had taken a job as press agent for Tom Mix and he and Carroll accompanied Mix on a tour of Europe.
When they returned, Kirkland began beating the publicity drums for his wife and got her a start in Hollywood. She had several bit parts but her big break came when Paramount signed her to star with Buddy Rogers in "Abie's Irish Rose."
In the pictures that followed, her leading men included Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Fredric March, Richard Arlen, Jack Holt and Paul Lukas.
"I suppose I made about 25 films," she later recalled. "Never had an agent. Friends would say I should make more money, so I'd go to the producer and say, 'I want more money.' I didn't really care about money; all I wanted was to be famous and get fans' letters.
"Once when I put my more-money demand to a producer, he asked what I was making and I didn't know. He told me to go to the teller on Saturday and get paid off in cash. I never saw so much money in my life — and I stopped asking for a raise."
Carroll obtained a Mexican divorce from Kirkland in 1931 after falling in love with Bolton Mallary, magazine editor and former professor of English at Princeton University, during a cruise to Havana.
She was married for a third time in 1953 to C.H.J. Groen, a Dutch businessman with interests in Indonesia. The couple lived there for nearly 10 years.
Carroll returned to the stage in 1963, appearing with William Bendix in a road company production of "Never Too Late."
She died Aug. 6, 1965, apparently of natural causes, and was found in her New York apartment by her daughter after she failed to appear at a Nyack, N.Y., playhouse where she was scheduled to appear in a summer stock performance of "Never Too Late."
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