Joyce Compton: Comedienne from Kentucky

A brief nod for Kentucky-born actress Joyce Compton (1907-1997), often cast in films as “dumb blondes”. She was elected to the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1926, after only having been in movies for a year. Prior to that, she participated in beauty pageants. When talkies hit she was mostly a bit player in features, with larger roles in shorts. But even in the silent days she never got top billing.

Her comedy shorts include The Wrestler’s Bride (1933) with Eddie Gribbon; Caliente Love, Dream Stuff, Roadhouse Queen, Daddy Knows Best and The Big Fibber (all 1933) with Walter Catlett; The Plumber and the Lady (1933) with Frank Albertson and Marjorie Beebee (1933); Knockout Kisses (1933) with Charles Delany; Everything’s Ducky (1934) with Clark and McCullough; Manhattan Monkey Business, Life Hesitates at 40, and Public Ghost #1 (all 1935) with Charley Chase.

Features included Syncopating Sue (1926) with Corinne Griffith; Ankles Preferred (1927) and Soft Living (1928) both with Madge Bellamy; The Wild Party (1929) with Clara Bow; Lightnin’ (1930) with Will Rogers; Wild Company (1930); High Society Blues (1930); If I Had a Million (1932); King Kelly of the U.S.A. (1934); The Awful Truth (1937); Rose of Washington Square (1939); The Villain Still Pursued Her (1940); Ziegfeld Girl (1941); Scattergood Meets Broadway (1941); Bedtime Story (1941); Christmas in Connecticut (1945), Scared to Death (1947), A Southern Yankee (1948) with Red Skelton; Mighty Joe Young (1949); and The Abbott and Costello Show (1953) among scores of other credits. Her last performance was in a 1961 episode of Pete and Gladys.

To find out about the history of show business, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on classic film comedy, read Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.