Symona Boniface

Active - 1927 - 1951  |   Born - Mar 1, 1894   |   Died - Sep 1, 1950   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama

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Her pompous Grande Dame ego constantly deflated by having a pie hurled in her face, brunette American comedy actress Symona Boniface became for the Three Stooges what Margaret Dumont was for the Marx Brothers. Surprisingly, Boniface had been a noted stage actress and playwright before the 1929 stock market crash wiped her out financially. Moving to Hollywood, she toiled in anonymity doing bit parts and extra work until signing a stock contract with Columbia Pictures in 1935. A major addition to the studio's thriving short subject department, Boniface popped up in two-reelers all over the place but is today mostly associated with the Stooges, who regularly flattened her haughty demeanor. The quintessential Boniface characters were the snobbish Mrs. Van Bustle of Crash Goes the Hash (1944) and the conceited dowager Mrs. Smythe-Smythe in 1947's Half-Wits Holiday, the latter featuring her being furiously pelted with pies dropped from the ceiling. A talented but much overlooked part of the Stooges legacy, Symona Boniface died less than three years later at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA, but continued, eerily, to figure prominently in Stooges shorts through the middle of the decade due to the generous doses of stock footage added to keep mounting costs down.

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