Job Actress
Years active 1916-1959
Known for Haranguing harridans, abrasive women
Top Roles Granny Becky, The Widow Hudspeth, Mrs. Cantrell, aka Mrs. Adams, 'Gashouse' Mary, Mrs. Varner
Top GenresComedy, Drama, Romance, Crime, Western, Musical
Top TopicsBook-Based, Sisters, Screwball Comedy
Top Collaborators , (Director), (Producer), (Producer)
Shares birthday with Victor Moore, Barbara Lawrence, Douglass Watson  see more..

Marjorie Main Overview:

Legendary character actress, Marjorie Main, was born Mary Tomlinson on Feb 24, 1890 in Acton, IN. Main appeared in over 85 film roles. Her best known films include Meet Me in St. Louis, The Women, The Egg and I, and the Ma and Pa Kettle films. Main died at the age of 85 on Apr 10, 1975 in Los Angeles, CA .

MINI BIO:

Unique, crow-voiced Marjorie Main had a bundled-up nest of dark hair and a sack-of-Potatoes figure. She became a film regular after the early death of her husband and delighted audiences with a great series of haranguing harridans both comic and tragic; most memorably in partnership with Wallace Beery and later on, in the Ma and Pa Kettle series. She was Oscar nominated for The Egg and I. Died from cancer.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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Although Main was nominated for one Oscar, she never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1947Best Supporting ActressThe Egg and I (1947)Ma KettleNominated
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BlogHub Articles:

Know Your Character Actor –

By smumcountry on Feb 24, 2016 From Smum County

February 24, 2016 by smumcounty was born Mary Tomlinson on February 24th, 1890 in Acton Indiana. Marjorie caught the acting bug at an early age. She attended Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana for a year but then convinced her father to allow her to attend the Hamilton School of Dra... Read full article


Know Your Character Actor –

By smumcountry on Feb 24, 2016 From Smum County

February 24, 2016 by smumcounty was born Mary Tomlinson on February 24th, 1890 in Acton Indiana. Marjorie caught the acting bug at an early age. She attended Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana for a year but then convinced her father to allow her to attend the Hamilton School of Dra... Read full article


, Happy Birthday! Born February 24th; 1890-1975 (2)

By C. S. Williams on Feb 24, 2014 From Classic Film Aficionados

Funny lady, , born?Mary Tomlinson, in?Acton, Indiana, on Monday, February 24th, 1890, made her feature film debut in 1931 with ?A House Divided; she had 88 film credits and?was nominated for 1 Academy Award for?Best Actress in a Supporting Role,?as?Phoebe ‘Ma’ Kettle in The ... Read full article


, Happy Birthday! Born February 24th; 1890-1975

By C. S. Williams on Feb 24, 2014 From Classic Film Aficionados

Funny lady, , born?Mary Tomlinson, in?Acton, Indiana, on Monday, February 24th, 1890, made her feature film debut in 1931 with ?A House Divided; she had 88 film credits and?was nominated for 1 Academy Award for?Best Actress in a Supporting Role,?as?Phoebe ‘Ma’ Kettle in The ... Read full article


, Happy Birthday! Born February 24th; 1890-1975

By C. S. Williams on Feb 24, 2014 From Classic Film Aficionados

Funny lady, , born?Mary Tomlinson, in?Acton, Indiana, on Monday, February 24th, 1890, made her feature film debut in 1931 with ?A House Divided; she had 88 film credits and?was nominated for 1 Academy Award for?Best Actress in a Supporting Role,?as?Phoebe ‘Ma’ Kettle in The ... Read full article


See all articles

Marjorie Main Quotes:

Lucy: Roses don't show respect. Roses show intentions.


Mrs. Cantrell: You're no good, Will.
William Cantrell: I've killed men for saying less than that!
Mrs. Cantrell: You've killed a lot of men for saying nothing at all!


[she holds a rifle on her son, William, to prevent him from going upstairs after his wife]
William Cantrell: Say, what's the matter with you? What's that gun for?
Mrs. Cantrell: It's for you, Will. I thought I'd borned a man-child when I first hear'd you squallin'. But I didn't. I borned a dirty murderin' snake that's broke my heart to see it crawlin' along. You're no good, Will.
William Cantrell: I've killed a lot of men for saying less than that.
Mrs. Cantrell: You've killed a lot of men for sayin' nuthin' at all! Kansas is red with their bleedin'. I curse the day I ever had you.


read more quotes from Marjorie Main...



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Marjorie Main Facts
There were a total of 10 movies in which Main played the character of Ma Kettle. She also co-starred with Kettle co-star Percy Kilbride in Feudin', Fussin' and A-Fightin' (1948) though it isn't a Kettle film.

Her husband Stanley died in 1935, but until her death, she often had "conversations" with her late husband, occasionally interrupting a scene in a movie. She would then let the director know it was okay to continue the scene, which she did as if nothing happened.

Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman. [1999]

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