Joan Leslie, American actress, Died at 90

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Joan Agnes Theresa Sadie Brodel, born on January 26, 1925, and passed away October 12, 2015.

Known by her stage name Joan Leslie, was an American actress who appeared in such films as High Sierra, Sergeant York and Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Joan was born on January 26, 1925 in Highland Park, Michigan, she was the youngest child of John and Agnes Brodel. John was a bank clerk and Agnes was a pianist.

Joan’s two older sisters, Betty and Mary Brodel, shared their mother’s musical interest and started to learn how to play instruments at an early age, such as the saxophone and the banjo.

They began performing in front of audiences in acts that included singing and dancing.

Joan joined the duo at two-and-a-half years old. She was soon able to play the accordion.

The Great Depression caused financial difficulties for the family in the mid-1930s, with her father losing his job.

As a result, the three sisters entered show business as vaudeville performers to support the family.

They began touring in Canada and the United States. Collectively, they were known as The Three Brodels.

As an attempt to bypass child labor laws at the time, both Mary and Joan pretended to be older than they were.

When Joan was nine, she told child labor investigators that she was 16 years old.

Of the three sisters, Joan proved to be a scene-stealer because of her impersonations of figures such as Katharine Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier, and Jimmy Durante.

Coming from a family of Irish ancestry, Joan was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended Catholic schools in Detroit, Toronto and Montreal.

Joan Leslie died at age 90 in October 2015.


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