Spouse Holmes Herbert
|Name Beryl Mercer|
Years active 1916–1939
Children Joan Mercer
|Born 13 July 1882 (1882-07-13) Seville, Spain|
Died July 28, 1939, Santa Monica, California, United States
Parents Beryl Montague, Edward Sheppard Mercer
Movies All Quiet on the Western, The Public Enemy, Cavalcade, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Outward Bound
Similar People Holmes Herbert, Frank Lloyd, Lewis Milestone, Sidney Lanfield, C Gardner Sullivan
Beryl Mercer (13 August 1882 – 28 July 1939) was an actress of stage and screen who was based in the United States.
Beryl Mercer was born to British parents in Seville on 13 August 1882. Her father was Edward Sheppard Mercer, said to be Spanish despite his name, and her mother was the actress Effie (neé Martin). She became a child actor, making her debut on 14 August 1886 at the Theatre Royal, Yarmouth, when she was four. She returned to the stage when she was ten. In London she appeared in The Darling of the Gods and the production by Oscar Asche of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 1906 she appeared as a Kaffir slave in the West End play The Shulamite. She traveled with this play to the USA, where she received good reviews.
Mercer was best known as a film actress for her motherly roles. She played Lew Ayres' mother in All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and Jimmy Cagney's mother in The Public Enemy (1930). She also regularly appeared as a grandmother or cook or maid in some high-profile films. She appeared in more than fifty films between 1916 and 1939 but her career was at a peak in the 1930s when she regularly appeared in between five and ten films a year. Mercer appeared in Cavalcade (1933) as a cook, and in Jane Eyre, The Little Minister, and The Richest Girl in the World (all 1934). She was in two talkie versions of Three Live Ghosts (1929 and 1935) and The Little Princess (1939) as Queen Victoria.
Mercer was married to one Maitland Paisley early in her life. Her only other marriage was much later in the late 1920s briefly to actor Holmes Herbert. She had one child, Joan Mercer, later Bitting, born on September 16, 1917.
Mercer died in Santa Monica, California in 1939 aged 56 following surgery for an undisclosed ailment.