Laura Devon (Mary Lou Briley)

Laura Devon

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. She attended school in Chicago and Grosse Pointe. She entered Wayne State University, majoring in journalism and political science, where she learned how to act in school theater productions. 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. In 1961, Laura Devon was discovered by Bob Goldstein of 20th Century Fox while she was singing at the London Chop Shop in Detroit. During a seven-year period (1960-1967), Laura 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 1967, she married film composer Maurice Jarre and retired from acting. The couple had one child. 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. Laura Devon died of heart failure in Beverly Hills on July 19, 2007, aged 76.

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Born

  • May, 23, 1931
  • USA
  • Chicago, Illinois

Died

  • July, 19, 2007
  • USA
  • Beverly Hills, California

Cause of Death

  • heart failure

Cemetery

  • Westwood Memorial Park
  • Los Angeles, California
  • USA

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