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Mae Marsh

Mae Marsh would have probably been greatly amused to be characterized as a diva. A plain, almost mousy girl wearing the most unattractive clothes imaginable, she seemed to go from adolescence to middle age with nothing in between. Yet in the right role she was an actress of rare power. Her work with Griffith is exceptional, for whom she specialized in innocent girls terrorized or devastated by events beyond their control. Her surviving later films are little known and little seen. She largely retired from films to devote herself to her family, appearing in bit parts when she felt like it, most notably for her friend John Ford. Her peers hadn't forgotten her, however, when they voted her one of the top five actresses of the pre-1925 period in an Eastman House Poll in 1955.

On the Web

The Internet Movie Database filmography

The Silent Ladies photo gallery

A Louella Parsons interview with Mae Marsh in Taylorology 63

Glen Pringle's silent star of the month

Marsh's entry in Stars of the Photoplay (1916)

Judith of Bethulia, feature of the month in Silents are Golden

Review of The White Rose on Silents are Golden

Silent Films Available on Video

The Battle at Elderbrush Gulch (1913) and The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1913)
in "The Musketeers of Pig Alley and Selected Biograph Shorts," available from Movies Unlimited
Judith of Bethulia (1914)
Available from Movies Unlimited
Home Sweet Home (1914)
Available from Movies Unlimited
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Available from Image Entertainment (DVD)
Intolerance (1916)
Available from Image Entertainment (DVD)
Hoodoo Ann (1916)
Available from Unknown Video
The White Rose (1923)
Available from Facets
Daddies (1924)
Available from Facets

Further Reading

Marsh, Mae. Screen Acting. New York : F. A. Stokes Co., c1921. Available from Google Books

Lahue, Kalton C. Ladies in Distress. South Brunswick and New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1971. p. 179-185.

Franklin, Joe [and William K. Everson].Classics of the Silent Screen. New York : Citadel Press, 5th ed., 1971 (originally published 1959): p. 199-201.

Unsung Divas

©2001, by Greta de Groat . All Rights Reserved

Last revised November 27, 2008