Marie Dressler Topper

Marie Dressler – The Unlikely Queen

Marie Dressler was born three years shy of the end of the Civil War, and made her debut on Broadway in 1892. She came to film prominence in 1914 starring in the first full length silent comedy Millie’s Punctured Romance alongside Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand. Dressler remained a huge draw in vaudeville until she helped to organize an early actors union and found herself blacklisted for most of the early 20s.

Her friend, Frances Marion, helped get her back into motion pictures, and, after talkies came around, petitioned her for the role of Marthy in Anna Christie. The audience’s were taken with Dressler’s screen persona, and she quickly became the biggest box office attraction of the early 30s. She won Best Actress in 1931 for Min and Bill, and starred in a series of comedies with Polly Moran including Politics and Reducing. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1933 and passed away in 1934 at the age of 65, with her final role as Carlotta Vance in Dinner at Eight her memorable exit from the world of cinema.

Marie Dressler’s Pre-Code Filmography


Autobiographies and Biographies


My Own Story (1934)
by Marie Dressler

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The Life Story of An Ugly Duckling (1924)
by Marie Dressler

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Marie Dressler:
The Unlikeliest Star
by Betty Lee

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Marie Dressler:
A Biography, with a Listing of Major Stage Performances, a Filmography and a Discography
by Matthew Kennedy

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A Great Big Girl Like Me:
The Films of Marie Dressler
by Victoria Sturtevant

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Marie Dressler Sites and Links

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