D.O.B.: September 9, 1871 (Coburg, Ontario, Canada)
D.O.D.: July 28, 1934 (Santa Barbara, CA)
Cause of Death: Cancer
Location: Forest Lawn Glendale; Great Mausoleum
Once you saw her, you would not forget her. Despite her age and weight, she became one of the top box office draws of the sound era.
She was 14 when she joined a theater group and she went on to work on stage and in light opera. By 1892, she was on Broadway and she later became a star comedienne on the vaudeville circuit.
In 1910, she had a hit with "Tillie's Nightmare" which Mack Sennett adapted to film in 1914 as "Tillie's Punctured Romance" with Charles Chaplin. Marie took top billing over a young Chaplin, but her film career never took off and by 1918, she was out of films and out of work.
Her role in the chorus girls' strike of 1917 had her blacklisted from the theaters. In 1927, MGM screenwriter Frances Marion got her a small part in "The Joy Girl" and then a co-starring lead with Polly Moran in "The Callahans and the Murphys". It was a slow return in films but her popularity continued to grow.
But it would be sound that made her a star again. "Anna Christie" (1930) was the movie where Garbo talks, but everyone noticed Marie as "Marthy". In another film from the same year, "Min and Bill" (1930) she would receive an Academy Award for her dramatic performance.
She would receive another Academy Award nomination for "Emma" (1932).
In 1933, she would be the top
box office star of one poll who could easily switch between drama and
"Dinner at Eight" (1933) Movie
"Min and Bill" (1930) Movie
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