Marie Dressler

Actor
Measuring 5'8" and sporting a hefty frame, Marie Dressler was an imposing lady, but her remarkably expressive face and superb comedic timing made her a beloved figure during Hollywood's Golden Age. Playing equally ... Read more »
Born: 11/08/1869 in Coburg, Ontario, CA

Filmography

Actor (16)

That's Entertainment! III 1994 (Movie)

Song Performer (Actor)

Dinner at Eight 1932 (Movie)

Carlotta Vance (Actor)

Anna Christie 1929 (Movie)

Marthy (Actor)

Hollywood Revue of 1929 1929 (Movie)

(Actor)

Tillie's Punctured Romance 1913 (Movie)

(Actor)

Bringing Up Father (Movie)

Annie Moore (Actor)

Caught Short (Movie)

Marie Jones (Actor)

Christopher Bean (Movie)

Abby (Actor)

Let Us Be Gay (Movie)

Mrs. Boucicault (Actor)

Min and Bill (Movie)

Min Divot (Actor)

One Romantic Night (Movie)

Princess Beatrice (Actor)

Politics (Movie)

Hattie (Actor)

The Divine Lady (Movie)

Mrs. Hart (Actor)

The Patsy (Movie)

Ma Harrington (Actor)

The Vagabond Lover (Movie)

Mrs. Whitehall (Actor)

Tugboat Annie (Movie)

Annie Brennan (Actor)

Biography

Measuring 5'8" and sporting a hefty frame, Marie Dressler was an imposing lady, but her remarkably expressive face and superb comedic timing made her a beloved figure during Hollywood's Golden Age. Playing equally larger-than-life women, Dressler's rise started with years of acting in repertory theatre before moving to Broadway in her twenties and biding her time in vaudeville. She finally achieved recognition in "Tillie's Nightmare" (1910-11). The popularity of that humorous musical presentation led to an invitation to take her Tillie to the silver screen in "Tillie's Punctured Romance" (1914), where she starred with a young Charlie Chaplin. Motion picture roles continued through the teens and twenties, but it was at the beginning of the sound era where this veteran character player finally found herself a star, thanks to her supporting work in Greta Garbo's "Anna Christie" (1930) and her own Academy Award-winning turn in the tragicomedy "Min and Bill" (1930). Perfectly paired in the latter with the similarly craggy and uncouth Wallace Beery, Dressler joined him again in "Tugboat Annie" (1933) and she enjoyed much attention for her performance as a faded stage actress in "Dinner at Eight" (1933) who delivered one of Hollywood's most memorable lines. Sadly, right at the height of her fame, she discovered she had cancer and died within a year. Proof that movie stars need not be picture-perfect, Dressler's determination was as immense as her skills and the status she earned made for a most unique success story.

Relationships

Claire Dubrey

Companion
worked as Dressler's secretary

Milestones

1934

Last film, "Christopher Bean/The Late Christopher Bean"

1930

Achieved star status with supporting role in Greta Garbo film, "Anna Christie"

1914

Screen acting debut in "Tillie's Punctured Romance"

1892

Broadway acting debut

Bonus Trivia

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"You're only as good as your last picture." --famous quotation widely attributed to Dressler

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Dressler was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1933, reportedly the first film actress to be so honored.

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