Aleta Freel was born Aleta Freile on June 17, 1907 in Jersey City, New Jersey. After graduating from Smith College in 1928 she began acting in stock companies. In 1931 Aleta appeared in the Broadway shows Louder, Please and Three Times the Hour. She married actor Ross Alexander in 1934 and moved to Hollywood. The couple bought a modest home and filled it with a menagerie of pets. Aleta made several screen tests at but she never got any film roles. Her marriage to Ross was rocky and she suspected he was having affair. There were also rumors that Ross was gay. Aleta became very depressed over her failing career and unhappy marriage.
With Ross Alexander
She wanted to return to New York but Ross refused to leave Hollywood. On December 7, 1935 Aleta committed suicide by shooting herself in the temple. She was only twenty-eight years old. Ross found her body in the front yard of their Hollywood home. He told police that they had a "small spat" that evening. Aleta's father, Dr. William Friele, did not believe she had taken her own life. After a brief inquest the coroner ruled that her death was a suicide. Aleta was buried at Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery in Jersey City, New Jersey. Thirteen months after her death Ross Alexander committed suicide with the same gun she used.