Classic Movie Travels: Marjorie White

Marjorie White

Marjorie White
Marjorie White

Marjorie Ann Guthrie was born on July 22, 1904, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to Robert and Nettie Guthrie. Her father worked as a grain merchant.

Guthrie entered into the entertainment industry as a child performer, working as one of the dancing and singing Winnipeg Kiddies. Once she became a teenager, she relocated to San Francisco, California, and performed alongside actress Thelma Wolpa in vaudeville. They performed as a duo act titled “Wolpa and Guthrie, Little Bits of Everything.” By the time they took the act to New York, they were renamed as “The White Sisters,” with both actresses keeping the surname White after the dissolution of their partnership.

In 1924, White married producer Edwin Tierney. She performed in various Broadway musicals in the late 1920s before she and her husband relocated to Hollywood. Once there, the year of her birth was modified by four years to make her marketable to studios as a younger star. She was also required to drop four pounds by Fox Film studios, though she was already 103 pounds and stood just under five feet tall. A specific role called for “a woman who weighed less than 100 pounds.”

White’s early film roles included Happy Days (1929) and Sunny Side Up (1929). She transitioned between Broadway and Hollywood once again for the musical Hot-Cha before returning to films and appearing in Charlie Chan films. One of her more noticeable roles in this period was in The Black Camel, performing as one of the suspects in the film. She also appeared in the Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey film Diplomaniacs (1933) as a femme fatale.

Marjorie White, Woman Haters
Woman Haters

White worked alongside numerous stars of her day, including an appearance with Joan Crawford in Possessed (1931). However, her best-known appearance is her co-starring role in Woman Haters (1934), the first Three Stooges short for Columbia Pictures. Sadly, this would be her final film role.

On August 20, 1935, White was involved in a car accident in Santa Monica, California. Driver Marlow M. Lovell and White were in the open car. At the last minute, White traded cars with Gloria Gould, who had forgotten to wear her wrap that evening. As a result, Gould rode with White’s husband and followed Lovell’s car. Lovell’s car sideswiped the car of a couple who had just been married. The car overturned and White was the only one who suffered serious injuries. She died from internal hemorrhaging the following day on August 21, 1935, and a coroner’s jury ruled that Lovell’s reckless driving was the cause of her death. She was 31 years old.

White was buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

In 1911, White and her family resided at 350 Pacific Avenue in Manitoba. In 1921, White lived with her mother and father, as well as four siblings, at 414 William Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This home no longer stands.

In 1929, White and her husband lived at 1919 Argyle Ave., Los Angeles, California. This home stands.

1919 Argyle Ave., Los Angeles, California.
1919 Argyle Ave., Los Angeles

By 1930, White and her husband resided at 5934 Manola Way, Los Angeles, California. At this point, he was working as a producer and she was employed as an actress. The home also stands.

5934 Manola Way, Los Angeles

–Annette Bochenek for Classic Movie Hub

Annette Bochenek pens our monthly Classic Movie Travels column. You can read all of Annette’s Classic Movie Travel articles here.

Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is a PhD student at Dominican University and an independent scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for Classic Movie Hub, she also writes for Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco SocietyMagazine.

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