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Irene Rich

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Irene Rich (October 13, 1891 - April 22, 1988) was an American actress who worked in both silent films and talkies.


Born Irene Luther in Buffalo, New York, Rich worked for Will Rogers, who used her in eight pictures, including Water Water Everywhere (1920), The Strange Boarder (1920), Jes' Call Me Jim (1920), Boys Will Be Boys (1921) and The Ropin' Fool (1921). She often portrayed society women, such as in the 1925 adaptation of Lady Windermere's Fan and also in Queen of the Yukon (1940).

In two of her last films she played a frontier wife and mother. She was the mother of Gail Russell's character 'Penelope Worth', in John Wayne's Angel and the Badman as well as in John Ford's cavalry story Fort Apache in which she portrayed Mrs. O'Rourke, the wife of Sergeant O'Rourke (Ward Bond).

The Irene Rich Show

In the 1930s, Rich did much work in radio. From 1933 to 1944, she hosted a nationwide anthology program of serialized mini-dramas, Dear John (aka The Irene Rich Show). Her leading man was actor Gale Gordon, who later played Lucille Ball's apoplectic boss "Mr. Mooney" on TV. Rich also appeared in stage productions, including Seven Keys to Baldpate (1935) which starred George M. Cohan and As the Girls Go in 1948.

Rich was married four times. She had two daughters—one of whom, Frances Rich, was a stage and film actress in the 1930s before becoming a sculptor.

On April 22, 1988, Rich died at age 96 of heart failure in Hope Ranch, California.

Rich has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for her contribution to the motion picture industry at 6225 Hollywood Boulevard and one for her contributions to the radio industry at 6150 Hollywood Boulevard.

Selected filmography


Year Film Role Notes

1918 A Law Unto Herself Stephanie

1919 The Spite Bride Eileen Moore

1920 Stop Thief Madge Carr

1921 Sunset Jones Marion Rand

1922 The Yosemite Trail Eve Marsham

1923 Rosita The Queen

1924 Beau Brummel Charlotte, Duchess of York

Behold This Woman Louise Maurel

Cytherea Fanny Randon

1925 The Man Without a Conscience Shirley Graves

1926 Silken Shackles Denise Lake

1927 Dearie Sylvia Darling/aka "Dearie"

The Desired Woman Diana Maxwell

1928 Ned McCobb's Daughter Carol

1929 The Exalted Flapper Queen Charlotte of Capra

They Had to See Paris Idy Peters

1930 Check and Double Check Mrs. Blair

So This Is London Mrs. Draper

1931 Five and Ten Jenny Rarick

The Champ Linda

1932 Manhattan Tower Ann Burns

1934 Spitfire Woman Uncredited

1938 That Certain Age Dorothy Fullerton

1939 Everybody's Hobby Mrs. Myra Leslie

1940 The Mortal Storm Amelie Roth

1941 Three Sons o' Guns Mrs. Margaret Patterson

1942 This Time for Keeps Mrs. Bryant Alternative title: Over the Waves

1947 Calendar Girl Lulu Varden Alternative title: Star Dust and Sweet Music

1948 Joan of Arc Catherine le Royer


Year Title Role Notes

1949 The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre 1 episode





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