Ellis, Mary Magdalene Dellie

Mary Magdalene Dellie Ellis
Mary Magdalene Dellie Ellis

Mary Magdalene Dellie Ellis

Screen name: Joan Lorring or Joan Loring

Born as Mary Magdalene Ellis in Hong Kong on April 17, 1926, this Anglo-Russian actress took the stage name of Joan Lorring (sometimes spelled Loring) after arriving in the United States in 1939 after the outbreak of World War II. Hal Erickson writes in All Movie Guide that Joan “became a busy LA-based radio actress, roller-skating from one job to another because she wasn’t yet old enough to drive. Though she made her first film in 1943, her big break didn’t occur until she was cast opposite Bette Davis as the sluttish Bessie Watty in The Corn is Green, for which she won an Academy Award nomination. Signed to a Warner Bros. contract, Lorring went on to appear opposite Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre in a brace of noirish dramas, Three Strangers (1946) and The Verdict (1946). When her film career went into decline, Joan Lorring returned to radio and the stage; she also co-starred in the 1955 TV sitcom Norby.”

Biographer Gary Brumburgh, writing for the Internet Movie Database, adds: “Her film career went into rapid decline by the end of the decade and she continued working on stage, radio and TV. In the 70s, she made a small comeback in the Burt Lancaster movie The Midnight Man (1974) as Cameron Mitchell’s wife. She also performed on radio soap operas and appeared for a season on the TV soap Ryan’s Hope (1975) before phasing out her career once again.”

From the September 27, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
Frosh: Dellie Ellis has donated to the school a paper which she received from Hong Kong, China.

From the October 11, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
Dellie Ellis danced and delivered a monologue as part of the entertainment at the Mar-Ken Get Acquainted Party given by the school faculty on the evening of September 27.

From the 1940 Mar-Ken primary and Junior High Yearbook:
Dellie Ellis is in the Yearbook as President of her Junior High School class. She also wrote a poem to Mrs. Bessire and an article on weekly grades and the junior high newspaper.

From 1941 Mar-Ken Yearbook, as a 9th grade Freshman:
Dellie Ellis comes to us from Hong Kong, China. She came to Hollywood in 1939 and began her schoolwork at Mar-Ken in the Fall of that year. She has worked in pictures; has many friends; has a lovely personality, and is an active member of her class.

From 1942 Mar-Ken Yearbook, as a Sophomore:
Her first starring part needed no rehearsal. It was her birth; opening night was April 17th, in Hong Kong, China. Ending a long run, she left China for the U.S., Hollywood to be exact, where she was to follow her ambition of being an actress. Her spare time is taken up with reading, listening to the radio, and homework. Her favorite book and classical piece of music are “Jane Eyre” and the “Concerto Number I” by Tachaikovsky.

Dellie Ellis was Sophomore Class Secretary in 1942

From the September 28, 1942 Mar-Ken Journal:
•SUMMING UP THE SUMMER: Dellie Ellis was very busy. She was working on the radio in “A Date With Judy.” She was also writing a column for the AGRA magazine on the young radio players.
•ON THE SETS: Dix Davis, Dellie Ellis and Louise Erickson who were on the “Date With Judy” show this summer are scheduled for more air shows in the very near future.

From 1943 Mar-Ken Yearbook, as a Junior:
“Caught off Their Guard:” DELLIE ELLIS – dramatizing her French, so she will sound like Michele Morgan.

From 1943 Mar-Ken Yearbook; Junior Crossword Puzzle:
Across from the Orient sailed this young lady whose chief ambition is to become a great actress.

Links to other resources about Delli Ellis (Joan Lorring):

Internet Movie Database listing:

Biography on Yahoo! Movies:

A wonderful anecdote: