Search

Elaine Devry Profile

Elaine Devry
Elaine Devry
Photo of Elaine Devry
Photo gallery
(Thelma Elaine Mahnken)
10 January 30 is born in Compton, California, to Fred P. and Hortense Mahnken, nee Davis. Her brother Jack is three years her senior.
? attends Compton Junior College, where she meets her first husband, Dan Ducich
? is a Compton Community College beauty queen
? starts modeling at age 15
January 48 Ducich is named “player of the year” of Los Angeles high schools
? Ducich takes her to Butte, Montana, where he opens an aluminum siding business
12 September 48 marries her high school sweetheart Ducich in Butte, Montana. He’s about 21; she’s 18. Ducich’s a returning serviceman and a Compton and Utah State University basketball star.
April 49 Ducich is convicted of armed robbery in Los Angeles and placed on five years probation. He pleads guilty to stealing almost $6000 in a series of robberies. The probation is granted on the intercession of leading Montana citizens.
? does some nude modeling for respected photographer Theda Emerson Hall
24 September 52 divorces Ducich in Butte, Montana, after four years of marriage
? returns to Hollywood and moves in with her divorced mother, an animator at Walt Disney Studios
? lives with her mother in Woodland Hills and works as a carhop at Dolores Drive-In restaurant at night
? meets actor Mickey Rooney, the ex of actresses Ava Gardner and Martha Vickers, at the Woodland Hills driving range. It’s his first day back from a 21-day trip to Korea to entertain servicemen.
? spends every night with Rooney for about a month
c. 12 November 52 Rooney proposes to her at dinner at Don the Beachcomber’s, and she says yes! He charters a plane, and with some friends, they are off to Las Vegas.
13 November 52 as Elaine Mahnken, she marries Mickey Rooney in the morning at the Wee Kirk of the Heather in Las Vegas. Rooney claims his whirlwind courtship has produced "a marriage for keeps." He’s 32; she’s 22. It’s his fourth marriage and her second. She gives her occupation as model. The ceremony is performed by Reverend Thomas Daly. They decided suddenly to get married while dining in Los Angeles and hurried to to the El Rancho Las Vegas Hotel, registering as Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Yule, where they will honeymoon.
20 November 52 is photographed being carried by Rooney from the chartered plane that returned them to Burbank, California
Late November 52 Rooney tells his pals that he will honeymoon with her in Europe after he finishes A Slight Case of Larceny for MGM. “I’m such an extrovert, and she’s just the opposite,” he claims.
December 52 Rooney names a new ditty, “Elaine,” in honor of her. “She’ll do a gag walk-on in his new A Slight Case of Larceny, but she doesn’t want to become a movie emoter...”
? makes home with Mickey at his house in Woodland Hills. Her father Fred lives with them as a handyman and gardener.
11 February 53 the photographer is on hand when Rooney smilingly shows her a news bulletin from Hollywood quoting an attorney in the New York vice trial of Minot “Mickey” Jelke, III, that playgirl Pat Ward had testified she had dated Rooney. Rooney said he met her five years ago but that they never were alone together.
July 53 debuts under the name Elaine Davis on television in Sovereign Theater's "My Wife, Poor Wretch"
August 53 flies to Chicago and will stay with Rooney until the end of his tour
September 53 as Elaine Davis, she makes her telefilm debut in Sovereign Theater’s “My Wife, Poor Wretch.” Ten-percenter Ed Lynn, who guides her career, thinks he has another Ava Gardner.
June 54 as the keeper of his purse strings, she’s reported giving her acting debut opposite him in The Atomic Kid. About $950 weekly goes to his former wives and children. “Despite the hefty outlay, the present Mrs. Rooney said she and Mickey may be able to start saving...”
? her ex, Dan, contacts her and asks her for money as he has run into gambling trouble in Las Vegas, and the mob is after him. She asks Rooney for some money to help him, and he refuses.
June 55 the press reports that she turned Rooney into a real homebody
21 June 54 her ex, Ducich, is found dead at age 26 in a room at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Police say the 6-foot, 3-inch, 230-pound athlete apparently shot himself to death with a .22 caliber automatic pistol as early as June 18. They say he left a note telling he was heavily in debt. His body is slated to be shipped to Butte, Montana, for burial.
May 55 columnist Erskine Johnson tells: “Mickey Rooney’s gorgeous red-haired wife, Elaine Mahnken, nixed the role opposite the Mick in Twinkle in God’s Eye at Republic. ‘I decided not to take it,’ she explains, ‘because we just did The Atomic Kid together. It’s too soon to work with him again. It’s best that I make my career on my own...”
October 55 hailed a model from Butte, she is reported living quietly with Rooney in a small cottage in the San Fernando Valley
April 56 moves with Rooney into a new house near Fryman Road in the foothills above Studio City in the Valley
? at a party at their Fryman Road home she hits Rooney right across the mouth when she catches him trying to slip his phone number to an extra serving girl
? the Rooneys don’t have much privacy at home since Mickey’s cronies are always with him
? Rooney has to buy her a house at Lake Arrowhead, a Chris Craft speedboat, a Chrysler and two horses
? after the Rooneys become a two-house family, more and more she lives at Arrowhead, and he, in Hollywood
April 57 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reports “Mickey Rooney and his Elaine putting their shaky marriage back on No-Trouble street...”
June 57 billed as Elaine Curtis, she gets the leading part in Donald Barry's upcoming TV series for John Wayne's Batjac Productions, "Calamity Jane"
9 August 57 she and Rooney agree on a trial separation
c. early 58 the Rooneys reconcile
Spring 58 falls for a young man at Lake Arrowhead and tells her husband that she has a boyfriend now
? asks Rooney for a divorce
15 June 58 she and Rooney separate officially
August 58 columnist Harrison Carroll tells: “Along with the expected settlement from Mickey Rooney, Elaine Mahnken seems set for a TV series. On his trip to New York, Donald Barry sold his ‘Calamity Jane’ pilot, and tells me has been promised financing for the rest of the series. Mrs. Rooney, under the name of Elaine Curtis, plays the lead in the films...” The series will never materialize.
1 December 58 Rooney secretly divorces her in Mexico in order to marry his fifth wife, Barbara Thomason. This divorce will become public in early June 1959 when Barbara’s pregnancy is revealed to the press.
5 February 59 files for divorce from Rooney
26 March 59 her hearing is held in the Superior Court in Santa Monica
April 59 is seen at Jack Denison’s listening to comedian Larry Kent and Haitian singer Jean Durand. She’s with Evelyn Duke and Michael Hoffman.
Harrison Carroll tells that Rooney asked her to get a divorce in Juarez, Mexico, instead of in California. Her attorney, Max Gilford, tells Carroll: “The possibility of a Juarez divorce has been discussed but I have not committed my client. There is not even any assurance yet that an agreement can be reached on the property settlement...”
12 May 59 the press reports she and Rooney have agreed to a $300,000 property settlement. Her attorney, Max Gilford says she gets the family home and furnishings plus 121 monthly payments of $1,750. Rooney also agrees to take out $200,000 in life insurance with her as beneficiary.
18 May 59 divorces Rooney in Santa Monica, California. She claims her husband's odd hours and table-hopping antics made her nervous. “Our home was in constant uproar. I never knew when he was coming home. Sometimes he would call and say he would be home in half an hour, then he wouldn’t be home for at least three hours.” She says he also embarrassed and humiliated her with vile and abusive language, and sometimes left guests in the middle of the evening to go to bed. She wins a property settlement of $381,750.
21 May 59 an interlocutory decree on her divorce from Rooney is granted in Santa Monica. Mickey is ordered to give her the house on Fryman Road, the cabin at Arrowhead, a Century inboard motorboat, her Chrysler, the horses, assorted jewelry, $40,000 cash and $1,750 per month for ten years. Rooney will pay the alimony for only a year and a half.
Rooney agrees to a $381,750 settlement with her. She will get the family home and furnishings plus 121 monthly payments of $1,750. He's 38; she's 29.
June 59 Rooney divorces her in Mexico in order to marry 22-year-old blonde starlet Barbara Ann Thomason. Elaine says she knew about Rooney's Mexican adventure when she went to divorce court.
4 June 59 Judge Orlando H. Rhodes says he will investigate the circumstances in which Rooney quietly divorced her and married his fifth wife, 22-year-old blonde starlet Barbara Thomason, in Mexico five months before Elaine obtained a California divorce on May 18. Elaine says she knew about Rooney's Mexican marriage when she went to divorce court, but she declines to say why she kept mum about it before Judge Rhodes.
July 59 is seen at Dino's Lodge with Lee Hoffman
August 59 columnist Lee Mortimer reports “Elaine Mahnken, a Mickey Rooney ex, and Leo Hoffman, sitting it out...”
attends Cathi Hayes’ opening at Dino’s Lodge with Leo Hoffman
? her boyfriend is killed in a freak horseback riding accident
May 60 lands a role on the CBS television program "Tightrope"
columnist Harrison Carroll reveals: “There’s a story behind Mickey Rooney’s ex, Elaine Mahnken, lunching with Mike Garth at the Gourmet Beverly. Elaine is taking real estate examinations. When she passes, she’ll work for Mike between acting jobs... “
9 June 60 takes Rooney to court complaining he is $25,000 behind in alimony payments
January 61 Barbara Ann Thomason claims Rooney agreed to pay $1,750 per month to Elaine only after Elaine threatened to destroy Barbara's good name and Mickey's career
Carroll reports “More court trouble ahead for Mickey Rooney. His ex wife, Elaine Mahnken through her attorney, Simon Taub, will try to get a judge to appoint a receiver to collect Mickey’s salary. She wants the receiver to turn the cash over to her in payment of her back alimony.”
is counter-sued by Rooney, who asks her to show cause why his monthly payments should not be reduced to $150
March 61 as Elaine Devry, she’s reported the second actress to be put under contract by Jack Karp, production head of Paramount. The other girl is Stella Stevens.
64 her agent is Lou Irwin, Inc. Agency, Chloe Elrod, Associate
65 in his autobiography Rooney blames part of the problems in their marriage on her past
January 67 is on the cover of Parade magazine, released through the Arizona Daily Star, and hailed as the fourth Mrs. Mickey Rooney
confronted with Rooney's version of the settlement, claiming she got a $125,000 mansion, a summer home, all their furniture, a motorboat, a Chrysler, assorted jewelry and $21,000 a year alimony for ten years, she says: "Mickey's always in hot water, and I'm not going to downgrade him with a recitation of what marriage to him was really like. But I'll tell you this: After being married to him for eight years, I'm marriage-shy. I've had half a dozen proposals in the past few years, but I turn chicken, especially when the proposals come from actors. I'm sure some actors make good husbands, but after Mickey, I'm afraid to take the chance. As for my divorce settlement, Mickey let his imagination run riot on that. I got a $75,000 house in Studio City, with a $45,000 mortgage. The reason I have to work now, doing bits here, feature parts there, is that I still have to pay that mortgage off. I don't live in that house. I rent it to meet the payments. The summer home at Lake Arrowhead - the same thing. Mickey's business manager used to give each of us an allowance. I put mine into a piece of mountain property. He put his into horses. The Chrysler I got was eight years old. All the jewelry consisted of my wedding ring, my engagement ring and a watch. The $21,000 a year for ten years -that's a joke, too. I got it for one year. Then it was cut back to $500 a month. It's been more than a year now since I've gotten a single payment. I don't know who ghosted Mickey's autobiography. Whoever did, tried to make me look like a heavy. But I entered my marriage to Mickey in all honesty. I told him I didn't love him, that I was still in love with my first husband. He said he didn't care. I was lonely at the time. I was on the rebound. I liked Mickey very much. We had first met at a golf driving range where I was taking lessons. He aroused the maternal instinct in me. I was young and foolish. I thought I could learn to love him. I gave the marriage everything I had. I tried everything Mickey suggested. After years and years I'd had enough. Living with Mickey is no bed of roses. Six wives can't all be wrong."
August 68 is quoted saying about her marriage to Rooney: “You can’t win them all.”
February 75 sues Rooney for $14,350 in back alimony in Los Angeles. She alleges he stopped paying her $500 monthly alimony in 1969.
05 is married and lives on a ranch in Oregon / Washington
Sources:
Kirk Crivello, The Nine Lives of Mickey Rooney by Artur Marx, The Monessen Daily Independent, The Daily Independent, The Odessa American, The Herald-Press, Nevada State Journal, Oswego Palladium-Times, Mansfield News-Journal, The Daily Gleaner, Indiana Evening Gazette, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star, Long Beach Independent, Parade, The Billings Gazette, Oakland Tribune, The Coshocton Tribune, Chronicle-Telegram, The Dixon Evening Telegraph, The Lethbridge Herald, Daily Review Sports, Council Bluffs Iowa Nonpareil, Daily Review Sports, The Anderson Herald, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, The Herald-Press, The Zanesville Signal, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, The Vidette-Messenger, Van Nuys News, Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star, www.Ancestry.com
Recommended Books:
Links:
Filmography