Barbara Kent

Barbara Kent (born Barbara Cloutman; December 16, 1907 – October 13, 2011) was an American film actress, prominent from the silent film era to the early talkies of the 1920s and 1930s, and a former (1925) Miss Hollywood.

Barbara Kent
Barbara Kent
Kent as Rose Maylie in the 1933 film Oliver Twist
Barbara Cloutman

December 16, 1907
DiedOctober 13, 2011 (aged 103)
OccupationFilm actress
Years active1925–1941
Harry E. Edington
(m. 1932; died 1949)

Marc Monroe
(m. 1954; died 1998)


Kent was born Barbara Cloutman on December 16, 1907 in Gadsby, Alberta, to Lily Louise (née Kent) and Jullion Curtis Cloutman[1] In 1925, the same year she graduated from Hollywood High School, she won the Miss Hollywood Pageant.[2] That year she also began her Hollywood career in a small role for Universal Studios, which signed her to a contract.[2] A petite brunette, who stood less than five feet tall, Kent became popular as a comedian opposite such stars as Reginald Denny. She made a strong impression as the heroine pitted against Greta Garbo's femme fatale in Flesh and the Devil in 1926 after Universal had loaned Kent to MGM to make the film.[2] She then attracted the attention of audiences and censors the following year in No Man's Law by appearing to swim nude. She actually wore a flesh-colored moleskin bathing suit in scenes that were considered very daring at the time.[3] The popularity of that film led to her selection as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars for 1927. She made a smooth transition into talking pictures opposite Harold Lloyd in the 1929 comedy Welcome Danger.[3] Kent was also featured with Lloyd in his iconic Feet First.[2] Over the next few years, she remained popular and received critical praise in 1933 for her role in the film version of Oliver Twist.[3]

Kent married talent agent Harry Edington in Yuma, Arizona, on December 16, 1932—her 25th birthday.[4] During a one-year hiatus, Edington groomed Kent for what he intended to be a high-profile career. By the time she returned to films, however, her popularity had waned and she was unable to reestablish herself. She made her last appearance on screen with Columbia's Under Age in 1941.[5] This final screen credit is attributed to Barbara on IMDb, but it and two other credits, Blondie Meets the Boss and The Fleet's In, belong to another younger actress also called Barbara Kent, born in England in 1921.

Later years

Following the death of her husband in 1949, Kent retreated from public life. She married Jack Monroe, an engineer, in 1954.[3] They lived in Sun Valley, Idaho, later settling in Palm Desert, California. She died in 2011 at 103 years of age.


Kent had a great love for the outdoors. Always active, she enjoyed golf, fly-fishing, hunting, and gardening. She was a longtime member of Marakkesh, Sunland, and Thunderbird Country Clubs. She was known as a talented cook and loved entertaining friends and family. Kent continued to fly light aircraft until her 85th birthday and was still playing golf well into her mid-90s.[6]



  1. ^ "From the Bigknife to the Battle: Gadsby and area". Our Roots. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  2. ^ a b c d "Barbara Kent: Silent film star was also in talkies". Los Angeles Times: AA5. October 20, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Weber, Bruce (October 19, 2011). "Barbara Kent, Star of Silent Movies, Dies at 103". New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "Barbara Kent, Actress, Wed". New York Times: 22. December 17, 1932.
  5. ^ "Barbara Kent". London: Telegraph. October 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  6. ^ "Barbara Kent Interview". Western Clippings. Retrieved 2014-02-08.

Further reading

  • Michael G. Ankerich (2011) [1998]. The Sound of Silence. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-6383-1.

External links

Beauty Parlor

Beauty Parlor is a 1932 American pre-Code drama film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Barbara Kent, Joyce Compton and John Harron.

Blondie Meets the Boss

Blondie Meets the Boss is a 1939 American film directed by Frank R. Strayer.

Based on the Chic Young's comic strip of the same name, the film is the second in the Blondie series, which eventually grew to 28 films.

Dumbbells in Ermine

Dumbbells in Ermine is a 1930 American early talkie pre-Code comedy film based on the 1925 play Weak Sisters by Lynn Starling. The film stars Robert Armstrong and Barbara Kent, and features Beryl Mercer, James Gleason, and Claude Gillingwater.

Feet First

Feet First is a 1930 American pre-Code comedy film starring Harold Lloyd, a very popular daredevil comedian during the 1920s and early 1930s. It was Lloyd's second and most popular sound ('talkie') feature. It is also one of his 'thrill' comedies, involving him climbing up a tall building. Harold Lloyd was one of very few silent film actors who successfully adapted to sound.

Flesh and the Devil

Flesh and the Devil (1926) is a romantic drama silent film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and stars Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lars Hanson, and Barbara Kent, directed by Clarence Brown, and based on the novel The Undying Past by Hermann Sudermann.

In 2006, Flesh and the Devil was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Grief Street

Grief Street is a 1931 American pre-Code mystery crime film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Barbara Kent and John Holland. It was produced and distributed by the Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corporation.

Night Ride (1930 film)

Night Ride is a 1930 American pre-Code crime film directed by John S. Robertson and written by Charles Logue, Edward T. Lowe, Jr. and Tom Reed. The film stars Joseph Schildkraut, Barbara Kent, Edward G. Robinson, Harry Stubbs, DeWitt Jennings and Ralph Welles. The film was released on January 12, 1930, by Universal Pictures.

No Man's Law

No Man's Law is a 1927 American silent comedy film starring Rex the Wonder Horse and featuring Oliver Hardy as a lustful villain.

Old Man Rhythm

Old Man Rhythm is a 1935 American musical film directed by Edward Ludwig from a screenplay by Sig Herzig and Ernest Pagano, based on a story by Herzig, Lewis Gensler, and Don Hartman. The musical director was Roy Webb, with music composed by Lewis Gensler and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The film stars Charles "Buddy" Rogers, George Barbier, Barbara Kent, and Grace Bradley.

Prowlers of the Night

Prowlers of the Night is a 1926 American silent western film directed by Ernst Laemmle and starring Fred Humes, Barbara Kent and Slim Cole.

Rex (horse)

Rex, also known as Rex the Wonder Horse and King of the Wild Horses, was a 16 hands (64 inches, 163 cm) Morgan stallion who starred in films and film serials in the 1920s and 1930s.

His trainer was Jack "Swede" Lindell, who found him in a boys' school in Golden, Colorado. He found that Rex had the unusual behaviour of trying to bite a whip when it was cracked. Lindell encouraged this and would often stand behind the camera to get a dramatic shot on film. Lindell never left Rex alone on set unless he was locked in his own trailer.During filming of The Law of the Wild Rex made a commotion on set. When he charged the camera (with Lindell behind it) as intended he did not stop when Lindell gave the signal to do so (by holding his whip in both hands). He reared, knocking over several reflectors and causing the cast and crew to scatter for cover. Rex chased one actor, Ernie Adams, who attempted to hide under a car. Rex dropped to his knees and attempted to bite Adams with his head thrust sideways underneath the car. Lindell managed to call Rex off by simply cracking the whip, after which the horse calmly walked over to him. When William Witney, working as an assistant director on the serial, made Stranger at My Door (1956 film) he described the event to trainer Glen Randall and the scene was recreated for that movie.In one scene from No Man's Law, Rex saves the modesty of a young woman (Barbara Kent) swimming in the nude from a pair of rowdy villains. Chasing one around in circles, rearing up and bucking like a wild mustang, until he finally runs him off of a cliff, he sneaks up behind the other and nudges him with his nose over the ledge and into the watering hole. He then nose prods the now-clothed young woman back to her father.

Rose Maylie

Rose Fleming Maylie is a character in Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, who is eventually discovered to be Oliver's maternal aunt. Though she plays a significant role in the novel, she is often omitted from dramatisations of the story.

Stop That Man!

Stop That Man! is a 1928 American silent comedy film directed by Nat Ross and starring Arthur Lake, Barbara Kent and Eddie Gribbon. The screenplay concerns a man who accidentally assists a group of criminals.

That's My Daddy

That's My Daddy is a 1928 American silent comedy starring Reginald Denny and Barbara Kent. The film's story is credited to Denny; though the direction is credited to Fred C. Newmeyer, Denny claimed to have directed most of the film himself. The film survives and has been preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

The Fleet's In

The Fleet's In is a 1942 movie musical produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Victor Schertzinger, and starring Dorothy Lamour and William Holden. Although sharing the title of the 1928 Paramount film starring Clara Bow and Jack Oakie, it was not a remake. It was actually the second film version of the 1933 Kenyon Nicholson–Charles Robinson stage play Sailor, Beware!, enlivened with songs by Schertzinger and lyricist Johnny Mercer. The score includes the popular hits "Tangerine", and "I Remember You".

Jimmy Dorsey and his band are prominently featured in the movie. Supporting cast members include Eddie Bracken, singers Betty Jane Rhodes and Cass Daley, and Betty Hutton in her film debut.

The former silent film actress Barbara Kent is uncredited by name in this film, but the uncredit-credit belongs to another younger English actress called Barbara Kent, born 1921.This was the final film of Schertzinger's long directorial career. He died in October 1941, before this production's release.

The Lone Eagle

The Lone Eagle is a 1927 American silent war drama film directed by Emory Johnson and starring Raymond Keane, Barbara Kent and Nigel Barrie.

The Shakedown (1929 film)

The Shakedown is a 1929 action/comedy/sports drama film, directed by William Wyler and starring James Murray, Barbara Kent, and Jack Hanlon.

Considered a part-talkie, the film was released in parallel silent and sound versions. Once believed lost, The Shakedown was discovered and restored by the staff of the George Eastman House in 1998. Director William Wyler made the move up to talking pictures with this blend of action and comedy.

The Small Bachelor (film)

The Small Bachelor is a 1927 American comedy film directed by William A. Seiter and written by John B. Clymer, Rex Taylor and Walter Anthony. It is based on the 1927 novel The Small Bachelor by P. G. Wodehouse. The film stars Barbara Kent, George Beranger, Lucien Littlefield, Gertrude Astor, Ned Sparks and Carmelita Geraghty. The film was released on November 6, 1927, by Universal Pictures.

What Men Want (1930 film)

What Men Want is a 1930 American pre-Code drama film directed by Ernst Laemmle and written by John B. Clymer and Dorothy Yost. The film stars Pauline Starke, Ben Lyon, Hallam Cooley, Barbara Kent, Robert Ellis and Carmelita Geraghty. The film was released on July 13, 1930, by Universal Pictures.

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