Mary Boland

Mary Boland


Birth Place
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
January 28, 1880
June 23, 1965


Playing both star parts and choice supporting roles, Mary Boland was one of the most engaging and popular character actresses of the 1930s and '40s. She often played addle-pated matrons and is probably best remembered for her roles as the snobbish Effie Floud in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), the bawdy Countess De Lave in The Women (1939) and the anxious Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (...

Photos & Videos

Pride and Prejudice - Scene Stills
Ruggles of Red Gap - Movie Poster
The Women - Behind-the-Scenes Photos


Playing both star parts and choice supporting roles, Mary Boland was one of the most engaging and popular character actresses of the 1930s and '40s. She often played addle-pated matrons and is probably best remembered for her roles as the snobbish Effie Floud in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), the bawdy Countess De Lave in The Women (1939) and the anxious Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (1940). Another memorable -- and typical -- role came in Three-Cornered Moon (1933), in which Boland plays the pixilated Mrs. Rimplegar, who gives away the family fortune to a swindler because he seemed "such a nice young man."

Born Marie Anne Boland in Philadelphia, Boland (1880-1965) was the daughter of an actor and began her career onstage at the age of 15. After appearing on Broadway in roughly a dozen productions, she made her debut in silent films in 1915. Five years later she returned to Broadway and made her mark as a comedienne. After an 11-year absence from films, she returned to Hollywood in 1931 under a contract with Paramount Pictures. For the next quarter of a century she continued working onstage, in such movies as Julia Misbehaves (1948), and on television.

By Roger Fristoe



Cast (Feature Film)

Guilty Bystander (1950)
Julia Misbehaves (1948)
Ma Ghenocio
Forever Yours (1945)
Aunt Mary
Nothing But Trouble (1945)
Mrs. [Elvira] Hawkley
In Our Time (1944)
Mrs. Bromley
One Night in the Tropics (1940)
Aunt Kitty
Pride and Prejudice (1940)
Mrs. Bennet
New Moon (1940)
Valerie de Rossac
Hit Parade of 1941 (1940)
Emily Potter
He Married His Wife (1940)
Ethel [Hilary]
Boy Trouble (1939)
Sybil Fitch
Night Work (1939)
Sybil Fitch, the mother
The Magnificent Fraud (1939)
Mme. Geraldine "Jerry" Genet
The Women (1939)
The Countess De Lave, Flora
Little Tough Guys in Society (1938)
Mrs. Gussie Berry
Mama Runs Wild (1938)
Alice Summers
Artists and Models Abroad (1938)
Mrs. Isabel Channing
Marry the Girl (1937)
Ollie Radway
There Goes the Groom (1937)
Mrs. [Genevieve Pearson] Russell
Danger - Love at Work (1937)
Mrs. Alice Pemberton
Wives Never Know (1936)
Marcia Bigelow
Early to Bed (1936)
Tessie Weeks
A Son Comes Home (1936)
Mary Grady
College Holiday (1936)
Carola Gaye
People Will Talk (1935)
Ella Wilton
Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
Effie Floud
Two for Tonight (1935)
Mrs. J. S. K. Smythe
The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935)
Six of a Kind (1934)
Flora Whinney
Here Comes the Groom (1934)
Mrs. [Annabelle] Whidden
Down to Their Last Yacht (1934)
Queen of Malakamokolu
Four Frightened People (1934)
Mrs. Fifi Mardick
Stingaree (1934)
Mrs. Clarkson
Melody in Spring (1934)
Mrs. Mary Blodgett
The Pursuit of Happiness (1934)
Comfort Kirkland
The Solitaire Man (1933)
Mrs. Hopkins
Mama Loves Papa (1933)
Jessie Todd
Three Cornered Moon (1933)
Mrs. [Nellie] Rimplegar
If I Had a Million (1932)
Mrs. Peabody
The Night of June 13 (1932)
Mazie Strawn
Evenings for Sale (1932)
Jenny Kent
Secrets of a Secretary (1931)
Mrs. Merritt
Personal Maid (1931)
Mrs. Otis Gary
His Temporary Wife (1920)
Verna Devore
A Woman's Experience (1919)
Agnes Roydant
The Perfect Lover (1919)
Mrs. Whitney
The Prodigal Wife (1918)
Marion Farnham
Mountain Dew (1917)
Lily Bud Raines
The Stepping Stone (1916)
Mary Beresford
The Price of Happiness (1916)
Bertha Miller
The Edge of the Abyss (1915)
Alma Clayton

Cast (Special)

The Guardsman (1955)

Life Events


First role on Broadway

Photo Collections

Pride and Prejudice - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from MGM's Pride and Prejudice (1940), starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier.
Ruggles of Red Gap - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Paramount's Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), starring Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, and Charlie Ruggles. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Women - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Women (1939), directed by George Cukor and featuring an all-star, all-female cast.
The Women - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release and re-issue American movie posters for MGM's The Women (1939).
The Women - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from MGM's The Women (1939), starring Norman Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard, and Joan Fontaine.


Movie Clip

New Moon (1940) -- (Movie Clip) Stranger In Paris Opening scene on board a packet from Revolution-era France, introducing Jeanette MacDonald as Marianne (Mary Boland her associate), the ship’s captain (George Irving) requesting a song, with new lyrics from Sigmund Romberg’s 1928 operetta, in New Moon, 1940, MacDonald’s MGM reunion with Nelson Eddy.
Ruggles Of Red Gap (1935) -- (Movie Clip) One Of Those Indian Places Beginning with nouveau-riche Americans Egbert (Charlie Ruggles) and Effie (Mary Boland), discussing Charles Laughton (title character,) a valet, about to be informed by his employer the Earl (Roland Young) that he's been lost in a card game, early in Leo McCarey's Ruggles Of Red Gap< 1935.
College Holiday (1936) -- (Movie Clip) Call Me By My Greek Name! Blowsy Mary Boland and her buffoon spouse (Etienne Girardot) are trying to explain their daffy Eugenics plan to promoter Jack Benny, when we cut to her daughter, who is Gracie Allen, believing she has found the perfect man, in George Burns, in Paramount's College Holiday, 1936.
Women, The (1939) -- (Movie Clip) That's French For Love On the ladies' train to Reno seeking divorces, the Countess (Mary Boland) introduces herself to Mary (Norma Shearer) and recruits Miriam (Paulette Goddard), in George Cukor's The Women, 1939.
Stingaree (1934) -- (Movie Clip) Australia's All Right In 1874 Australia, Henry Stephenson is sheep baron Clarkson, chatting with lawman Radford (George Barraud) until the ebullient Mrs. Clarkson (Mary Boland) appears, followed by de facto servant Hilda (Irene Dunne), opening RKO's Stingaree, 1934, starring Richard Dix, restored by TCM.
Three Cornered Moon (1933) -- (Movie Clip) The Depression's Over The Brooklyn Rimplegar family has just learned that mother (Mary Boland) lost all their money in the stock market, so it falls to sister Elizabeth (Claudette Colbert) to squeeze the rent out of the tenant, Dr. Stevens (Richard Arlen), in the Depression comedy Three Cornered Moon, 1933.
Three Cornered Moon (1933) -- (Movie Clip) He Was Smart To Die Opening in modern Brooklyn, laundry man Sam Godfrey delivers to Mary Boland, as nutty Mrs. Rimplegar, with maid Jenny (Lyda Roberti), sons Kenneth (Wallace Ford) and Douglas (William Bakewell), money trouble emerging, Claudette Colbert coming soon, in Paramount's Three Cornered Moon, 1935.
Julia Misbehaves (1948) -- (Movie Clip) So Incredibly Stupid Walter Pidgeon as Englishman Packett is backstage in Paris, searching as he often did for Greer Garson, who plays his ex-wife, instead finding tipsy Mary Boland (as "Ma Genocchio"), whom she replaced in an acrobatic show, early in Julia Misbehaves, 1948.
Stingaree (1934) -- (Movie Clip) Compassion For The Outlaw In colonial Australia, hostess Mrs. Clarkson (Mary Boland) is dominating visiting Sir Julian (Conway Tearle), her husband (Henry Stephenson), and proceedings in general until suave bandit Richard Dix (title character) intervenes, in RKO's Stingaree, 1934, also starring Irene Dunne.
In Our Time (1944) -- (Movie Clip) Nasty Looking Things From a prologue establishing a trip to Poland in March, 1939, we meet English antique hunter Mrs. Bromley (Mary Boland) and her sharp assistant Jennifer (Ida Lupino, also narrating), opening In Our Time, 1944, from director Vincent Sherman, starring Paul Henreid.
Ruggles Of Red Gap (1935) -- (Movie Clip) The Gentleman's Present Condition His first day with his new American employers shopping in Paris, Charles Laughton (title character) mediates between Egbert (Charlie Ruggles) and Effie (Mary Boland) Floud, and a snooty salesman (Armand Kaliz), in Leo McCarey's Ruggles Of Red Gap, 1935.
Pride And Prejudice (1940) -- (Movie Clip) Exquisite Young Men Opening, Lizzie (Greer Garson) and Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan), with mum (Mary Boland) shopping, arrival of Bingley (Bruce Lester) and Darcy (Laurence Olivier), Aunt Phillips, Lady Lucas and Charlotte (May Beatty, Marjorie Wood, Karen Morley) joining, MGM's 1940 version of Pride And Prejudice.