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Blanche Mehaffey / Mahaffey
sometimes billed as "Janet Morgan"


1903 - 1968

A 1924 WAMPAS Baby Star, red-haired Blanche Mehaffey had a movie career that lasted from about 1923 - 1938.

Her early movie work included Glenn Tryon and Charley Chase comedy shorts for Hal Roach and several Hoot Gibson silents for Universal. Most of her sound roles were B grade films for Poverty Row production companies.

In the 1930s, her western heroine duties amounted to about a dozen adventures with Bob Steele, Bob Custer, Bill Cody, Lane Chandler, Rex Lease, Jack Perrin, and Kane Richmond. Mehaffey also had the lead in the early sound serial, THE MYSTERY TROOPER (Syndicate, 1931).

She was born July 28, 1903 in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, and her parents were dentist Edward Alexander Mehaffey and opera soprano Blanche Berndt Mehaffey.

The "Theater Notes" section in the February 11, 1922 New York Herald newspaper had a blurb on her:

"Miss Blanche Mehaffey, one of the pretty girls of the Ziegfeld 'Midnight Frolic', has won first prize in the contest held by a Cincinnati paper to decide the three most beautiful girls in Ohio. She is 16 years old and a graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and is a daughter of Blanche Mehaffey, opera soprano, known to New Yorkers of fifteen years ago."

Les Adams adds more on Blanche:

Born Blanche Berndt Mehaffey on July 28, 1906? in Cincinnati. Appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies, 1921-23 and in 1922 performed in 'Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic' on the New Amsterdan Roof in NYC. Divorced big-game hunter George P. Hausen in L. A. on April 6, 1928, following a whirlwind courtship and a ten-week marriage. Married producer Ralph M. Like in July, 1932 and divorced on November 2, 1938. In 1948, sued Paramount Pictures for $100,000 for showing MYSTERY TROOPER over its TV station KTLA without her permission or any payment to her, contending that a network sale would be more lucrative. Her earliest film work was in Hal Roach-Pathe shorts with Charley Chase and Snub Pollard, and her first film was the Charley Chase short AT FIRST SIGHT in 1923.

In addition to husbands George P. Hausen and Ralph M. Like, there was a third marriage. Blanche Mehaffey Collins passed away on March 31, 1968 at St. Vincents Hospital, Los Angeles, California.

There's confusion on her birth info and some biographies have her born in 1906 or 1907 or 1908. Family Search has birth records, census and the California Death Index:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave site has a photo of the marker for Blanche and her brother Edward A. Mehaffey (1900 - 1951) who are interred together at Forest Lawn - Glendale. The marker has her birth year as 1908: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=18353

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Blanche Mehaffey: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0576373/

The Internet Broadway Database has Blanche in the "Ziegfeld Follies of 1922": https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/blanche-mehaffey-395828

The Santa Clarita Valley History website has a photo of Blanche Mehaffey and Bob Steele in SUNRISE TRAIL (Trem Carr Productions / Tiffany, 1931): https://scvhistory.com/scvhistory/lw2277.htm

The Library of Congress has a 1907 color lithograph of Blanche's mother, opera soprano Blanche Berndt Mehaffey, which was produced by the Courier Company, Buffalo, New York: https://www.loc.gov/item/2014635533/


(Courtesy of Les Adams)



Blanche - with her last name spelled Mahaffey - was on the cover of the February 27, 1932 issue of Hollywood Filmograph. In 1931 - 1932, she appeared in a half dozen non-western features churned out by Ralph M. Like's production company. She and Like married on July 27, 1932 in Agua Caliente, Mexico and divorced in 1938.




(Courtesy of Rae Malneritch)

Above - behind the scenes photo on an unidentified film - director Noel Mason Smith is on the left with the megaphone.

Below is a blowup from the above image and it shows several familiar faces - kneeling is big, burly Richard "Dick" Alexander and the gal is silent and sound heroine Blanche Mehaffey. Based on Alexander and Mahaffey being in the cast, this still is probably from MARLIE THE KILLER (Pathe, 1928) and the pooch is Klondike.



(Courtesy of Rae Malneritch)




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are Lane Chandler and Blanche Mehaffey (billed as 'Janet Morgan') in a scene from Chandler's THE OUTLAW TAMER (Empire, 1935).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from THE COWBOY AND THE BANDIT (Superior, 1935).  Bobby Nelson is shown on the left with the chaps. Star Rex Lease (green shirt) is all tied up and on horseback. Blanche Mehaffey is billed in this film as 'Janet Morgan'.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Benny Corbett, Blanche Mehaffey (as 'Janet Morgan'), and Rex Lease as the star of THE COWBOY AND THE BANDIT (Weiss/Superior, 1935).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

In the mid 1930s, Tom Tyler was the main cowboy hero for Bernard B. Ray and Harry S. Webb at Reliable Pictures. Prior to Tyler, they used Jack Perrin in features and Bub 'n' Ben shorts. Above is a scene from Perrin's NORTH OF ARIZONA (Reliable, 1935), a disappointing and disjointed mess. From left to right are Perrin, Jack Hendricks (background), Barney Beasley (background), Lane Chandler, unidentified older man, Blackie Whiteford (white hat), Blanche Mehaffey, and Murdock MacQuarrie.



(Pressbook ad courtesy of Les Adams)
HELD FOR RANSOM (Grand National, 1938) was one of Blanche's final film appearances.

She was the heroine and the male lead was Grant Withers.



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