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 June Marlowe

June Marlowe

Birth
Saint Cloud, Stearns County, Minnesota, USA
Death 10 Mar 1984 (aged 80)
Burbank, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Section B, Block 5, Lot 845
Memorial ID 2488 · View Source
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Actress. She left an indelible impression on generations of fans as the beloved schoolteacher Miss Crabtree in the "Our Gang" comedies of the early 1930s. Born Gisela Valeria Goetten to German parents in St. Cloud, Minnesota, she moved to Los Angeles with her family in 1920. While attending Hollywood High she was spotted in a school play by director Malcolm St. Clair, who got her an agent and eventually arranged for her movie debut in "Fighting Blood" (1923). In 1924 she was signed by Warner Bros., who billed her as "The Most Beautiful Girl On the Screen" and cast her in five adventure sagas opposite their canine superstar, Rin-Tin-Tin. She was named a "WAMPAS Baby Star" in 1925. Her most prestigious film was the John Barrymore starrer "Don Juan" (1926), but she left Warner Bros. over a salary dispute and her name was removed from the credits. With the advent of sound she was briefly sent to Berlin under contract to Universal's German branch. Described by those who knew her as a kind, gentle woman who didn't have the stomach for the Tinseltown rat race, Marlowe was on the verge of giving up show business when "Our Gang" director Robert McGowan invited her to play a teacher in the short "Teacher's Pet" (1930); the part was intended as a gag, with Miss Crabtree a vision of loveliness with an intimidating-sounding name. The brunette Marlowe donned a blonde wig to further soften her features and match series star Jackie Cooper's hair. Producer Hal Roach later said of her, "She wasn't a great actress; you just liked her, and that was enough". Audiences liked her enough to turn this one-shot appearance into a recurring character in the two-reelers "School's Out" (1930), "Love Business" (1931), "Little Daddy" (1931), "Shiver My Timbers" (1932), and "Readin' and Writin'" (1932). Firm when she had to be when dealing with the Little Rascals, but always sweet and understanding, Marlowe's Miss Crabtree was a perfect fantasy schoolmarm any red-blooded American boy could develop a crush on. This notion was pursued to outrageously funny lengths in "Love Business", with the teacher egging on a rivalry between Cooper and Chubby for her affections. During her stint with the Gang Marlowe also appeared (sans wig) in Laurel and Hardy's first feature, "Pardon Us" (1931). In 1933 she married businessman Rodney Sprigg and retired from the Hollywood scene, refusing several offers from Roach to reprise her role as Miss Crabtree. After the successful revival of the old "Our Gang" films on TV in the 1950s and 1960s, a publisher commissioned Marlowe to write a series of children's books; she completed two, "Beezy" and "Furry", before the effects of Parkinson's Disease forced her to abandon the project. She was delighted that people still remembered her as Miss Crabtree but made no further attempts to return to the limelight. Marlowe died at 80 in Burbank, California. Originally buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, she was later reinterred in the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown Los Angeles.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2488
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for June Marlowe (6 Nov 1903–10 Mar 1984), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2488, citing San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .