Elaine Devry, an actress who appeared in films as The Atomic Child And A guide for the married man and in dozens of TV shows, after becoming the fourth of Mickey Rooney’s eight wives, has died. She was 93.
Devry died on September 20 at her home in Grants Pass, Oregon, according to a notification posted on a local funeral home’s website.
Devry married Rooney in Las Vegas in November 1952 and made her first on-screen acting appearances the following year in the comedy film starring Rooney. A minor case of theft and in an episode of the Ronald Reagan-hosted CBS anthology series General Electric Theater.
In the sci-fi comedy from Republic Pictures The Atomic Child (1954), directed by Leslie H. Martinson, she was introduced as “Elaine Davis (Mrs. Mickey Rooney)”, and her character, a nurse, marries her husband’s Barnaby “Blix” Waterberry at the end of the film .
In A guide for the married man (1967), directed by Gene Kelly, she portrayed a seductive divorcee whose rendezvous in a motel room with Walter Matthau’s Paul Manning does not go as she had hoped.
Over the years, Devry appeared as a guest star in everything from Bourbon Street Beat, Single father, Perry Mason, Death Valley days, Sunset strip 77 And Hawaiian eye Unpleasant Bonanza, I dream of Jeannie, My three sons, Family matter, Marcus Welby, MDAnd Cannon before retiring from acting in the late 1970s.
Thelma Elaine Mahnken was born on January 10, 1930 in Compton, California. She did some modeling while attending Compton High School and Compton Community College, then moved to Butte, Montana, where in 1948 she married high school sweetheart Dan Ducich, a standout basketball player.
A year later, Ducich was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to probation, and the couple divorced in 1952. In June 1954, he died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a room at the Sahara in Vegas. He was 28.
Devry returned to California and met Rooney at a driving range in Woodland Hills, and they tied the knot when she was 22 and he was 32. He was already married to actress Ava Gardner, singer Betty Jane Phillips and actress Martha Vickers.
In 1956, Edward R. Murrow interviewed the couple from their home on CBS’ Person to person.
While separated from Devry, Rooney met actress Barbara Ann Thomason and began a romance with her. He divorced Devry in Mexico in December 1958 – the end of their marriage was not made public for months – and their breakup would prove to be quite controversial.
Rooney subsequently married Thomason, who was murdered in 1966 by her lover, Milos Milos, at the Rooneys’ home in Brentwood. After her death, he married writer Marge Lane, secretary Carolyn Hockett and actress-singer Jan Chamberlin before he died. April 2014.
Devry also appeared in films like Chinese doll (1958), Man trap (1961), The last time I saw Archie (1961), Diary of a madman (1963), Six gets you a spring roll (1968), The Cheyenne Social Club (1970), Bless the beasts and children (1971), The boy who cried werewolf (1973) and Herbie is driving again (1974).
In 1975, she married actor Will J. White. They first met in 1961 on NBC’s The Dick Powell Theater; their episode, starring Powell as millionaire investigator Amos Burke, served as the pilot for the ABC series Burke’s law. (Rooney was also in the episode.)
White died in 1992. His sister, actress Suzanne Alexander, died of apparent suicide in 1975 at the age of 44.