In 1931, Crane co-starred in three Educational Picture comedy shorts as one of “The Hollywood Girls,” directed by Roscoe Arbuckle under the alias William Goodrich. She also freelanced for Columbia, MGM, Tiffany, and RKO.
Crane primarily worked as an extra/bit player at Columbia. While there, she appeared in a handful of Three Stooges comedy shorts, including Men in Black (1934), Three Little Pigskins (1934), Pop Goes the Easel (1935), Uncivil Warriors (1935) and Hoi Polloi (1935). Crane also co-starred in several comedy shorts opposite Andy Clyde.
However, Crane struggled to gain a foothold in feature films. After appearing in three films in 1937, her film career was over.
On January 14, 1937, the Los Angeles Times‘ columnist Read Kendall wrote:
“That long trip Phyllis Crane is making to England with the idea of marrying Lord Harry Clifton will all be for naught. For yesterday Clifton sent word to some friends that he doesn’t want to get married and will not claim her as his bride.
“As set forth in this department, Miss Crane departed from Hollywood with the announcement that she would wed Clifton when she arrived in London. She was introduced to him last summer when he was visiting at the Ambassador [Hotel], and more recently she said, she journeyed to New York to see him when he came across from Europe.
“Word from Clifton to his friends here is that he had no idea that Miss Crane considered marriage and he cannot understand why she is sailing for England to see him at this time.”