Biography

Noel Francis was born in Temple, Texas in 1906. By age 20 she was appearing in the Ziegfeld Follies, working opposite the comedy team of Wheeler and Woolsey. Eventually Fox scouts noticed her and in 1929 she was signed to a Hollywood contract. Because of her Follies background, Fox intended to develop Noel as a musical and dance star. Unfortunately, musicals were on the wane at the time (they did rebound) and her contract was dropped. Luckily, she was picked up by Warner Brothers, and featured in a number of films that had her portraying the tough talking, sassy female connected to gangsters, convicts, and other underworld types, so popular with the movie going public then and now.

Noel was rarely given the lead female role, though she worked near the top with some of the era's best actors in films that included Smart Money (1931), in which she is a scheming blonde helping Edward G. Robinson lose his money, and Blonde Crazy (1931), where her target is James Cagney. Her most noted performance was in I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932), working with Paul Muni in one of his strongest performances. However, perhaps because of being typecast, she found herself in "B" productions after 1932, though one was as the lead female, in Mayfair Picture Corporation's 1934 What's Your Racket?, opposite Regis Toomey.

Needing work, Noel returned to Broadway, but couldn't resume her career there, and returned to Hollywood to make three final films with Buck Jones, including Stone of Silver Creek (1935), in which she used her Broadway musical expertise to play a saloon singer. Between 1929 and 1937 Noel made 47 films.

She died October 30, 1959 in Los Angeles, California.

Noel Francis was born in Temple, Texas in 1906. By age 20 she was appearing in the Ziegfeld Follies, working opposite the comedy team of Wheeler and Woolsey. Eventually Fox scouts noticed her and in 1929 she was signed to a Hollywood contract. Because of her Follies background, Fox intended to develop Noel as a musical and dance star. Unfortunately, musicals were on the wane at the time (they did rebound) and her contract was dropped. Luckily, she was picked up by Warner Brothers, and featured in a number of films that had her portraying the tough talking, sassy female connected to gangsters, convicts, and other underworld types, so popular with the movie going public then and now.

Noel was rarely given the lead female role, though she worked near the top with some of the era's best actors in films that included Smart Money (1931), in which she is a scheming blonde helping Edward G. Robinson lose his money, and Blonde Crazy (1931), where her target is James Cagney. Her most noted performance was in I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932), working with Paul Muni in one of his strongest performances. However, perhaps because of being typecast, she found herself in "B" productions after 1932, though one was as the lead female, in Mayfair Picture Corporation's 1934 What's Your Racket?, opposite Regis Toomey.

Needing work, Noel returned to Broadway, but couldn't resume her career there, and returned to Hollywood to make three final films with Buck Jones, including Stone of Silver Creek (1935), in which she used her Broadway musical expertise to play a saloon singer. Between 1929 and 1937 Noel made 47 films.

She died October 30, 1959 in Los Angeles, California.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 29

Birthday 1906-08-31

Day of Death 1959-10-30

Place of Birth Temple, Texas, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Noel Frances Sweeney
  • Noel Frances

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1937 Left-Handed Law as Betty Golden
1935 Stone of Silver Creek as Lola
1935 Mutiny Ahead as Mimi
1935 The White Cockatoo as Elise
1934 Fifteen Wives as Ruby Cotton
1934 The Loudspeaker as Dolly
1934 Good Dame as Puff Warner
1933 Son of a Sailor as Queenie
1933 Havana Widows as Gladys Gable (uncredited)
1933 Blood Money as Red's Girlfriend (uncredited)
1933 Only Yesterday as Letitia
1933 Bureau of Missing Persons as Alice Crane
1933 The Important Witness as Ellen Kelly
1932 Under-Cover Man as Connie
1932 Manhattan Tower as Marge Lyon
1932 I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang as Linda
1932 Guilty as Hell as Julia Reed
1932 Night Court as Lil Baker
1932 The Mouthpiece as Miss DeVere
1932 So Big! as Mabel, a 'Fancy Woman'
1932 My Pal, the King as Princess Elsa
1932 The Expert as Daisy
1931 Ladies of the Big House as Thelma
1931 Blonde Crazy as Helen Wilson
1931 Smart Woman as Peggy Preston
1931 Smart Money as Marie
1931 Bachelor Apartment as Janet
1930 Rough Romance as Flossie
1930 New Movietone Follies of 1930 as Gloria de Witt

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