Verree Teasdale: The Constant Wife

Verree Teasdale (1903-1987) appeared in RKO’s very first release Syncopation (1929); as well as The Sap from Syracuse (1930) with Jack Oakie; They Had to Get Married (1932) and Love Honor and Oh Baby (1933) both with Slim Summerville and ZaSu Pitts; Roman Scandals with Eddie Cantor; The Firebird (1934); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935); The Milky Way (1936) with Harold Lloyd; and screwball outings like First Lady (1937); Topper Takes a Trip (1938); 5th Ave Girl (1939); Turnabout (1940); Love Thy Neighbor (1940) with Jack Benny and Fred Allen; and Come Live with Me (1941), her last, among others. In her 29 films, she often played society dames and snooty, conniving “other women”.

Raised in Brooklyn, Teasdale attended the posh New York School of Expression and appeared in over a dozen Broadway plays from 1924 through 1932, the best remembered of which was Somerset Maugham’s The Constant Wife opposite Ethel Barrymore. 

Teasdale’s marriage to Adolphe Menjou in 1935 seems to have resulted in the sacrifice of her film career in preference to his, although they later co-hosted a radio program together. Menjou died in 1963 but Teadale remained in retirement for her remaining 24 years,

For more on classic film comedy please read Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.