Marjorie Main

Marjorie Main

Original Name Marybelle Tomlinson
Acton, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Death 10 Apr 1975 (aged 85)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Enduring Faith, Lot 2083
Memorial ID 662 · View Source
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Actress. She was born Marybelle Tomlinson on a farm near the town of Acton, Indiana. Mary's father was Rev Samuel Joseph Tomlinson a minister in the Church of Christ who did not approve of dramatics as a form of entertainment. She briefly attended Franklin college in Indiana but left to attend Hamilton School of Dramatic Expression in Lexington, Kentucky, telling her stern father she was preparing to become a teacher. Upon graduation, she taught dramatics for a year but eventually went into vaudeville in the 1910s, taking the stage name of Marjorie Main. When she married Dr. Stanley Krebs in 1921, she more or less gave up performing for several years. Krebs, a former minister and doctor of psychology, spent his time writing and lecturing. They had met eight years before when both were working on the Chautauqua Circuit. He was much older than she. For the next several years, she spent most of their time traveling with her husband and helping him with his work. Since his activities kept him mostly in New York City, she returned to the stage with his approval. Marjorie appeared in several W.C. Fields productions on Broadway. But with the death of her husband in 1935, she began working in earnest. Her film career began with small roles in the early 1930s. The scratchy-voiced Marjorie appeared in close to 100 films during her 20 year career in both 'A' and 'B' movies. She took on a variety of supporting roles in big-budget films and she was often a star attraction in the B's. Her first appearance was in 'A House Divided' in 1931 but her breakthrough role was that of the impoverished mother of gangster Humphrey Bogart in 'Dead End' in 1937. A few of the many: 'Stella Dallas, Test Pilot, Too Hot to Handle, The Women, Heaven Can Wait, Meet Me in St. Louis, Friendly Persuasion (Nominated Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress) and The Egg and I' which earned her an Oscar nomination leading to the 1950's series consisting of ten films 'Ma and Pa Kettle.' She became a starring performer along with Percy Kilbride. However, when Percy decided to retire, Universal tried to continue the Kettle films but were not successful. When Marjorie's contract with MGM ended in 1954, she decided to work less. Her last movie was in 'The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm in 1957. She made a few appearances on television guesting as herself on an episode of 'December Bride.' Her last acting job was in an episode of 'Wagon Train' with Ward Bond in 1958. Marjorie made a few public appearances from time to time such as riding in the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. In a press interview in 1969, she stated she never remarried and was living alone keeping busy doing regular everyday people things, shopping, cooking and house cleaning. She was one of the many stars who attended the world premiere in 1974 of 'That's Entertainment' to celebrate the 50th anniversary of MGM. Less then a year later, she was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles where she died of lung cancer at the age of 85. She was interred next to her husband's remains at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, who she had moved from a cemetery in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, several years before.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 662
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marjorie Main (24 Feb 1890–10 Apr 1975), Find a Grave Memorial no. 662, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .