Laura Devon

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Laura Devon
Laura Devon - Publicity Photograph - The Lieutenant, Season 1 - Episode 5, A Very Private Affair (1964).jpg
Devon in The Lieutenant (1963)
Mary Louise Briley

(1931-05-23)May 23, 1931
DiedJuly 19, 2007(2007-07-19) (aged 76)
Resting placePierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary
Peter Kosiba
(m. 1950; div. 1951)
  • Cleland Clark
    (m. 1950; div. 19??)
(m. 1962; div. 1966)
(m. 1967; div. 1984)
ChildrenKevin Jarre

Laura Devon (born Mary Louise Briley; May 23, 1931 – July 19, 2007) was an American actress, singer, and model.

Early life[edit]

Laura Devon was born May 23, 1931 in Chicago. Her birth name has been given as either Mary Lou Briley[1] or Mary Laura Briley. Her father was identified in the press as Merrill Devon, an automotive engineer, and her mother as Velma Prather.[2]

She attended school in Chicago and Grosse Pointe.[2] She entered Wayne State University, majoring in journalism and political science, where she learned how to act in school theater productions.[3]

In 1954, she gave birth to her only child, Kevin, who became a noted screenwriter.[4] After performing in amateur theatricals and light opera,[5] her first professional part was a lead in a production of The Boy Friend at the Vanguard Playhouse in Detroit.[1]

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.[1]

Screen career and filmography[edit]

Devon and Dean Martin in Rawhide (1964)

In 1961, Laura Devon was discovered by Bob Goldstein of 20th Century Fox while she was singing at the London Chop House in Detroit.[1] She tells the story of her coming to Hollywood in this way:

There was talk about testing me for "High Heels" at the time. I had an agent at MCA who told me UI 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.[2]

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.[2] 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.[6]

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 Hart 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.[7] Devon and Jarre divorced in 1984.[1]

Singing career[edit]

Laura Devon released only one professional recording, a single: "I Like the Look" (A side)/"Dreamsville" (B side).[8] 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.[9]

Later life and death[edit]

Laura Devon died of heart failure in Beverly Hills on July 19, 2007, aged 76.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Private Life and Times of Laura Devon". Beauty Lies in the Eyes of the Beholder. Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Hopper, Hedda (August 9, 1964). "Laura Devon, Born With a Silver Spoon, Strikes Gold in Motion Picture Debut". Los Angeles Times: B4-5, 35. Retrieved July 9, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Laura Devon Wins 5-Picture Contract". Calgary Herald. June 15, 1966. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  4. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (April 22, 2011). "Kevin Jarre dies at 56; screenwriter of 'Glory' and 'Tombstone'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  5. ^ Heffernan, Harold (July 29, 1966). "Don't Call Laura Devon 'Pretty'". Toledo Blade. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  6. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d ed. Jefferson NC: McFarland. p. 893. ISBN 978-0786464777. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  7. ^ "Marriage Announcement 3 – No Title". Chicago Tribune. January 13, 1968.
  8. ^ "I Like the Look/Dreamsville". Rate Your Music. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  9. ^ Harris, Steve (1988). Film, television, and stage music on phonograph records: a discography. Jefferson NC: McFarland. p. 151. ISBN 0899502512.
  10. ^ "Passings; Laura Devon, 76; had a brief TV and film acting career in the 1960s". Los Angeles Times. July 27, 2007.
  11. ^ "Laura Devon". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 9, 2012.

External links[edit]