Marjorie Rambeau Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (4)

Overview (3)

Born in San Francisco, California, USA
Died in Palm Springs, California, USA
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born July 15, 1889 in San Francisco, unappreciated character player Marjorie Rambeau worked on the stage from the age of 12. In the 1910s and 1920s, she became a prominent Broadway lead, noted for her serene beauty, elegant poise and touching theatrics. Around the same time she made a few silent films that went nowhere. Leaving the Broadway scene in the late 20s she focused on Hollywood but, by this time, her looks had hardened enough that she would only be considered for character, not romantic leads.

Marjorie surprised everybody and turned in sterling, flashy support work as blowsy, aging floozies and other pathetic, hard-luck dames. She played an alcoholic mom in Min and Bill (1930) opposite Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler, then succeeded Dressler herself as the salty waterfront title character in Tugboat Annie Sails Again (1940). Nominated twice for Oscars as the prostitute mother of Ginger Rogers in Primrose Path (1940) and the mother at odds with daughter/star Joan Crawford in Torch Song (1953), Marjorie was never given the acclaim she deserved. Her versatility was for all to see in such roles as the backwoods Bessie Lester in Tobacco Road (1941), and she continued to own her own scenes in such films as _A Man Called Peter (1955)_ , The View from Pompey's Head (1955) and as Steve Cochran's alcoholic mom in Slander (1957).

Offscreen, her private life proved as stormy and difficult as those of her characters. She married three times, her first husband being actor/writer/director Willard Mack. Moreover, alcohol played a strong, sad part in her personal life as well. A number of serious car accidents left her in disabled health for much of her later life. Sadly, she is little remembered except by the most devoted fans of film trivia. In all fairness, her films are definitely worth a look, if but for her scenes alone. Marjorie passed away in 1970 at age 80.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (3)

Francis Gudger (1931 - 1967) (widowed)
Hugh Dillman (1919 - 1923) (divorced)
Willard Mack (1913 - 1917) (divorced)

Trivia (4)

Her last public appearance was in 1968 at a party given in her honor along with Jackie Coogan, at the El Miradore Hotel.
In 1945 the actress nearly lost her life in a crash foggy weather while completing her role in "Salome, Where She Danced." Her injuries were so severe, she didn't appear in another film until "The Walls of Jericho" in 1948.
Periods of temperament and alcoholism caused Rambeau to take a hiatus in her career in the mid-20s, but she was given a second chance by friend Franklin Pangborn, who gave her a chance as guest star in revivals of "Merely Mary Ann" and "What a Woman Wants" at the Vine Street Playhouse in Hollywood.
Is one of 26 actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination for their performance in a musical; hers being Torch Song (1953). The others, in chronological order, are: Bessie Love (The Broadway Melody (1929)), Grace Moore (One Night of Love (1934)), Jean Hagen (Singin' in the Rain (1952)), Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen Jones (1954)), Deborah Kerr (The King and I (1956)), Rita Moreno (West Side Story (1961)), Gladys Cooper (My Fair Lady (1964)), Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965) and Victor Victoria (1982)), Debbie Reynolds (The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)), Peggy Wood (The Sound of Music (1965)), Carol Channing (Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)), Kay Medford (Funny Girl (1968)), Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl (1968)), Liza Minnelli (Cabaret (1972)), Ronee Blakley (Nashville (1975)), Lily Tomlin (Nashville (1975)), Ann-Margret (Tommy (1975)), Lesley Ann Warren (Victor Victoria (1982)), Amy Irving (Yentl (1983)), Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge! (2001)), Queen Latifah (Chicago (2002)), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago (2002)), Renée Zellweger (Chicago (2002)), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls (2006)), Penélope Cruz (Nine (2009)), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables (2012)), and Meryl Streep (Into the Woods (2014)).

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