Devon in The Lieutenant (1964)
|Born||(1931-05-23)May 23, 1931|
|Died||July 19, 2007(2007-07-19) (aged 76)|
|Occupation||Actress, singer, model|
(m. 1962; div. 1966)
(m. 1967; div. 1984)
Laura Devon was born May 23, 1931 in Chicago. Her birth name has been given as either Mary Lou Briley or Mary Laura Briley. Her father was identified in the press as Merrill Devon, an automotive engineer, and her mother as Velma Prather.
In 1954, she gave birth to her only child, Kevin, who became a noted screenwriter. After performing in amateur theatricals and light opera, her first professional part was a lead in a production of The Boy Friend at the Vanguard Playhouse in Detroit.
In 1962, she married Brian Kelly, son of Justice Harry F. Kelly, then a member of the Michigan Supreme Court and a former Michigan governor. Kelly was a fellow actor and, a month after their wedding, he and Devon appeared together on stage in Lillian Hellman‘s Toys in the Attic at the Laguna Beach Summer Theater. Two years later, he was to become well known for his role as Porter Ricks on the TV series Flipper. They divorced in January 1966.
Screen career and filmography
|“||There was talk about testing me for “High Heels” at the time. I had an agent at MCA who told me U.I. was also interested: he took me there first to test and they signed me to a contract straight off, so I never got to 20th. But for the full year at U.I. I was never put into a picture. I had voice, dancing and acting lessons: Louis Graveure coached me in singing, Charles Conrad in drama, and the studio paid the bills. It was like being totally subsidized and with nothing to do but study.||”|
During an eight-year period, from 1960 to 1967, Devon had featured roles in numerous popular TV shows. A 1962 appearance in Route 66 was her first significant part. Following that, she appeared in: Insight, The New Breed, The Twilight Zone, Stoney Burke, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Rawhide (an episode entitled “Canliss”, as Dean Martin‘s gunfighter character’s wife in 1964), Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Rogues, Bonanza, I Spy, The Fugitive, T.H.E. Cat, The Big Valley, Coronet Blue, and The Invaders. She had a recurring role on four episodes of Dr. Kildare and she was a member of the repertory cast that rotated major and supporting roles on the critically acclaimed series The Richard Boone Show.
In addition, Devon appeared in five feature-length commercial films, playing Rusty Sartori in Goodbye Charlie (1964), Julie Kazarian in Red Line 7000 (1965), Marie Champlain in Chamber of Horrors (1966), Rosemary in A Covenant with Death (1967) and Edie in Gunn (1967).
Devon was married and divorced four times. Her second marriage produced one child, Kevin, born in 1954. Her third husband was actor Brian Kelly, from 1962 to 1966, during which time he was starring in the television series Flipper. In 1967, she married film composer Maurice Jarre and retired from acting. Jarre adopted Devon’s then 13-year-old son, giving the future screenwriter and actor his better known name, Kevin Jarre. Devon and Jarre divorced in 1984.
Laura Devon released only one professional recording, a single: “I Like the Look” (A side)/”Dreamsville” (B side). Both songs were composed by Henry Mancini and were featured in the film Gunn, Devon’s last film. She can be heard on the soundtrack to the 1975 film Mr. Sycamore, performing the song “Time Goes By”, written by her then husband, Maurice Jarre, and lyricist Paul Francis Webster.
Later life and death