Devil’s Holiday, The: Oscar Nominee, Starring Nancy Carroll

In The Devil’s Holiday, Nancy Carroll plays a gold digger who marries a young man for his money, but finds that she really loves him and wants to keep him despite his family’s disapproval.

The movie is adapted by melodrama expert Edmund Goulding from his story, and released by Paramount.

It also stars Phillips Holmes, ZaSu Pitts, James Kirkwood, Sr., Hobart Bosworth, and Ned Sparks.

Oscar Context:

Nancy Carroll received her first and only Best Actress nomination, but she did not win.

Nancy Carroll (born Ann Veronica Lahiff; November 19, 1903 – August 6, 1965) was an American actress.

Of Irish parentage, she was the daughter of Thomas and Ann Lahiff, Carroll was born in New York City.

Her education came at Holy Trinity School in New York, but she left there at age 16 to work as a stenographer in an office of a lace manufacturer.

Carroll and her sister Elsie once performed a dancing act in a local contest of amateur talent. This led her to a stage career and then on to screen stardom. She began her acting career in Broadway musicals. She became a successful actress in sound films because her musical background enabled her to play in movie musicals of the 1930s. Her film debut was in Ladies Must Dress in 1927.

In 1928 she made 8 films.

One of them, Easy Come, Easy Go, co-starring Richard Dix, made her a movie star. In 1929 she starred in The Dance of Life with Hal Skelly, and The Wolf of Wall Street along with George Bancroft and Olga Baclanova. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1930 for The Devil’s Holiday.[3] Among her other films are Laughter (1930), Paramount on Parade (1930), Hot Saturday (1932) with Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933) directed by James Whale, and Broken Lullaby aka The Man I Killed (1932) directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

Under contract to Paramount, Carroll often balked at the roles the studio offered her, and she earned a reputation as a recalcitrant and uncooperative actress. In spite of her ability to successfully tackle light comedies, tearful melodramas, and even musicals, and as well as garnering considerable praise by the critics and public – she received the most fan mail of any star in the early 1930s – she was released from her contract by the studio. In the mid-1930s under a four-film contract with Columbia Pictures, she made four rather insignificant films and was no longer an A-list actress.

Carroll retired from films in 1938, returned to the stage, and starred as the mother in the early TV series, The Aldrich Family, in 1950.

In the following year, she guest-starred in the TV version of The Egg and I, starring her daughter, Patricia Kirkland.

On August 6, 1965, Carroll was found dead after failing to arrive at the theater for a performance. The cause of her death was  aneurysm. She was 61 years old.


Year Film Role Notes

1927 Ladies Must Dress, Mazie


Abie’s Irish Rose Rosemary Murphy Incomplete

Easy Come, Easy Go Barbara Quayle; Lost film

Chicken a La King Maisie Devoe; Lost film

The Water Hole Judith Endicott; Lost film

Manhattan Cocktail Babs Clark Lost film except for 1-minute sequence by Slavko Vorkapich

The Shopworn Angel, Daisy Heath (*incomplete; Library of Congress)


The Wolf of Wall Street, Gert

Sin Sister Pearl; Lost film

Close Harmony Marjorie Merwin

The Dance of Life Bonny Lee King

Illusion Claire Jernigan

Sweetie Barbara Pell

1930 Dangerous Paradise Alma (aka: Two Against Death
Honey), Olivia Dangerfield

Devil’s Holiday, Hallie Hobart, Best Actress Nominee)

Laughter Peggy Gibson
Paramount on Parade Herself cameo appearance
Follow Thru Lora Moore
1931 Stolen Heaven Mary
The Night Angel Yula Martini
Personal Maid Nora Ryan


Broken Lullaby Fraulein Elsa Alternate title: The Man I Killed
Wayward Daisy Frost
Hot Saturday Ruth Brock
Scarlet Dawn Tanyusha Krasnoff
Under-Cover Man Lora Madigan
1933 Child of Manhattan Madeleine McGonegle
The Woman Accused Glenda O’Brien
The Kiss Before the Mirror Maria Held
I Love That Man Grace Clark


Springtime for Henry, Julia Jelliwell

Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round, Sally Marsh (aka: Keep ‘Em Laughing)

Jealousy, Josephine “Jo” Douglas O’Roarke


I’ll Love You Always, Nora Clegg

After the Dance, Anne Taylor

Atlantic Adventure, Helen Murdock


That Certain Age, Grace Bristow

There Goes My Heart, Dorothy Moore


1950–1951 The Aldrich Family Alice Aldrich #2 Unknown episodes
1951 Faith Baldwin Romance Theatre 1 episode
The Egg and I Betty’s mother Unknown episodes
1959 The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen Fanny Wilson 1 episode
1961 Naked City Bernice Hacker 1 episode
1962 The United States Steel Hour 2 episodes
1963 Rockabye the Infantry Hortense Tyler Television movie
1963 Going My Way Nora Callahan “Cornelius Come Home” (her final screen role on ABC-TV)