Joan Leslie is a former American actress. Born Joan Agnes Theresa Sadie Brodel in Detroit, Michigan, and is Roman Catholic. Leslie began performing at the age of three as part of a vaudeville act with her two sisters. She began her Hollywood acting career while still a teenager, performing under her real name in several movies, beginning with her debut in the MGM movie Camille with Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor.
Leslie got her first major role in High Sierra with Humphrey Bogart, playing a crippled girl under her new billing as “Joan Leslie”. She also starred in Sergeant York and The Wagons Roll at Night in the same year. She later appeared as James Cagney’s wife in Yankee Doodle Dandy, and at age 18 she starred in The Sky’s the Limit with Fred Astaire.
She starred in many more movies until 1950, when she married Dr. William Caldwell. Her last movie role was in The Revolt of Mamie Stover, and she eventually retired from acting altogether to look after her identical twin daughters Patrice and Ellen. She has appeared in several television commercials since then, and also made guest appearances in the TV shows Murder, She Wrote and Charlie’s Angels. She also provided commentary as extras on the Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sergeant York, and High Sierra DVDs.
Joan was a regular volunteer at the Hollywood Canteen where she danced with the servicemen and granted hundreds of autographs. In 1944, she starred with Robert Hutton in Warner Bros. film, Hollywood Canteen.