Mary Mayo

born: 05 July 1896
Baltimore, Maryland,
United States of America
died: 09 July 1988
Riverside County, California,
United States of America
(age 92)

Blonde American actress, who also worked under the name "Mary Rutledge." Her parents were Dr. John Francis Manger (d. 1923) and Mary E. (Orendorf/Ormdorff/etc.) Manger (d. 1926), who married circa 1885. She had three siblings: Wyclif Ormdorff Manger (1890-1969), Otto Francis Manger (1891-1974), and Helen (Manger) White (1894-1977). On 03 March 1917, Mary married Woodward Bruce Mayo (1891-1957), a physician like her father. They had a son, Woodward Bruce Mayo, Jr. (1918-1994), and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah by 1920. The Mayo family arrived in California in 1923, with Mary entering the film business that July. In 1923, twelve fledgling young actresses, with screen experience ranging from 13 months to none at all, were selected to represent "the twelve most beautiful girls on the Coast," to be showcased in the film "Maytime." One article (Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug 1923) listed the beauties, some information, and the cities they came from, including: "Baltimore, Md., Mary Mayo, one season with the Follies as dancer and singer; her second screen experience." She also had a small part in "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" (1924).
Around this time, the Mayos' marriage went on the rocks, and they separated on 05 January 1924. In May 1924, Dr. Mayo filed for divorce, accusing Mary of love affairs with several other men dating back to 1920, most notably a recent supposed dalliance with actor Lew Cody, whom Dr. Mayo named as co-respondent. Mary denied the accusations, as did Cody, and she ultimately filed her own cross-complaint charging her husband with extreme cruelty (including "that he beat and abused her, called her names and accused her of improper relations with other men and frequently came home drunk") and his own infatuations with other women (she claimed he was frequently at one woman's house and gave her a diamond ring, and that this other woman frequently called him at their home). She insisted that her relationship with Cody was nothing more than a friendly acquaintance to further her interest in the movies (as well as a correspondence with a Baltimore man, which she stated her husband knew and approved of), and argued that her husband hadn't given her any money for a year, thus leading to her entry into the motion picture business to support herself and their six-year old son. Things got ugly in June 1924, when a disagreement over their son's custody and schooling led to Mary physically attacking Dr. Mayo outside the courtroom before falling into a faint.
Three years later, in August 1927, the divorce was granted in Mary's favor, on grounds of desertion and "alleged cruelties," after Dr. Mayo defaulted. In April 1929, Mary dragged Dr. Mayo back into court and charged that he was $600 behind on his alimony payments; after Dr. Mayo explained that he wasn't making as much as he had been and had a new wife to support (he remarried the previous year), the judge lowered the monthly payments from $75 to $50, though he stated it still had to be on time or it was jail time. That time came in January 1931, when Dr. Mayo once more fell behind to the tune of $500-525; he was found guilty of contempt, but the judge gave him 24 hours to raise the money and when he was unable to, he was sentenced to jail for five days. Later that October, Dr. Mayo was still falling behind on his payments and was brought back into court again, having failed to pay Mary $1,155 in back alimony; this time, the judge "sent him to jail to stay there 'from now on,' or until he pays [Mary] what she is owed, and $75 a month." Just days before, Dr. Mayo had his license to practice in California revoked on a charge of performing an illegal operation. (On a positive note, Dr. Mayo's second marriage, to nurse Bernice Irene [Stoner] Gilliland on 21 Sept 1928, appeared to be more successful, lasting until his death from a heart attack on 10 Oct 1957.)
On 22 March 1933, Mary (now a resident of Pasadena, CA) remarried to broker Edwin Mortimer Barnes (1881-1955) in New York City. By 1940, they were living in Westbury, New York; in 1950, they were in Los Angeles but left for Long Island, NY that November. By 1954, they had settled in Rancho Mirage, California, and remained together for nearly 22 years until "Mort's" death on 15 February 1955.
Real name: Mary Cook Manger
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Double Whoopee
Hotel guest

Laurel And Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies (3rd Edition) by Randy Skretvedt (book) (christening) (1900 Census) (1910 Census) (1917 marriage) (1920 Census)
Mary Mayo and Edwin M Barnes, "New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937" (
Mary Mayo and Edwin M Barnes, "New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018" ( (1940 Census) (CA Death Index) (Social Security Death Index)
Mary Barnes, "U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007" ( (Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug 1923) (Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan 1924) (Los Angeles Times, 22 May 1924) (Los Angeles Times, 22 May 1924) (Oakland Tribune, 22 May 1924) (Oakland Tribune, 24 May 1924) (Los Angeles Times, 24 Jun 1924) (Variety, 25 Jun 1924) (Sacramento Bee, 23 May 1925) (Sacramento Bee, 23 May 1925) (Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug 1927) (Press Democrat [Santa Rosa, CA], 26 Aug 1927) (Oakland Tribune, 27 Aug 1927) (Variety, 07 Sep 1927) (Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr 1929) (Los Angeles Times, 29 Jan 1931) (Los Angeles Times, 30 Jan 1931) (Sacramento Bee, 21 Oct 1931) (Los Angeles Evening Express, 22 Oct 1931) (Pasadena Post, 23 Oct 1931) (Los Angeles Times, 24 Oct 1931) (Evening Star [Washington, D.C.], 23 Mar 1933) (Baltimore Sun, 09 Apr 1933) (Los Angeles Times, 05 Nov 1950) (Desert Sun [Palm Springs, CA], 21 Feb 1955) (son's World War II draft reg. card, 1940) (image)
Jim Jarvis (information)
Jesse Brission (biography notes)

This page was last updated on: 24 March 2023