18 June 1912
United States of America
05 March 1963|
North Las Vegas, Nevada,
United States of America
(acute myrocardial infarction, age 50)
John Clifford Boelzner (1886-1961) and Maude Ethel Woodie (1890-1961) were married in Athens, Ohio in 1909. Their only child, Mary Ellen "Pat" was born there in 1912. The Dad was a successful traveling salesman. The family moved to Mansfield, OH and became part of local "society circles". Just before Christmas in 1926, Maude, the Mom, went shopping in Elyria, about 60 miles away with one of her "society" friends. Using a clever ruse and with the busy Christmas rush, they successfully stole 2 diamond rings worth about $400 each. A few days later, the Mom, in Mansfield used her stolen diamond ring as partial down payment on a used car. The car dealer had a jeweler friend in Elyria and took the ring to him to have it re-set.
Of course, the jeweler recognized the stolen ring and the 2 "society" women were arrested and indicted for theft. They eventually confessed to their crime and paid restitution (one ring was never recovered). The trial judge paroled them. The "scandal" played out in Ohio newspapers for several months. Letters of support for the women from many prominent citizens played a part in the judge's decision. Possibly, the scandal played a part in the family's decision to move to Burbank, CA in October of 1927.
In the Feb. 21st 1930 issue of the Mansfield newspaper, "Mary Ellen Boelzner's" aunt reported that her niece plays "Susanna"
In the 1929 Fox film "Salute" playing at a local theater and further that Mary Ellen had been acting in films for 2 years. This places her as an actor in the "Double Whoopee" time frame.
The June 7th 1930, "Exhibitors Herald" has "Myrna Belzner" in "Big Hearted" (Pathe).
The February 1931, "L.A. Express" says "Patricia Farnum" got a swell part in "The Front Page". (United Artists).
Here's what the 1931 "Los Angeles City Directory" (pp 226 & 271) has for 1720 Taft Ave.:
J. C. "BELZNER"......(MAUDE)....."slsmn"....
J. C. "BOELZNER"...."slsmn Deluxe Laundry Co.".....
The August 1932 "NY Daily News" says (as Patricia Farnum) she was one of 72 dancers selected from 1800 to perform in "The Kid From Spain" (Goldwyn) and she said she wanted to become a character actress like Allison Skipworth.
July 29, 1933: "Pat Farnum" signs a 5 year contract with Warner Brothers. She does Busby Berkeley musicals.
April 15, 1933: Yuma, AZ: "Mary Ellen Boelzner" age 20 (b.OH) married "Edward V. Brown" (1905-1977): actor age 29 (b.CO).
Nov. 23, 1934: Yuma, AZ: "Mary Ellen Brown"...age 22...........married "Edward V. Brown".........age 30: Both reside N.Hollywood, CA.
Although she gained the legal name, Mary Ellen Brown, she never acted under that name. There was a contemporary dancer/actress using that name but she worked for Paramount and was born in Decatur, IL in 1917. She married musician, Jules Rubin, in 1938 and moved to NY.
In 1942, "Myrna" married Elliot Bennett (1904-1977), a construction engineer. By 1950 they were living in Las Vegas, NV where she continued working as an actress.
Real name: Mary Ellen Boelzner
||Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.|