Place of Death
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
My Friend Irma
Profile Bio Text
Lovely, innocent-looking, well-endowed comedienne Marie Wilson was a featherbrained delight whose inane spoutings reminded one instantly of a Gracie Allen in the making. Unlike Allen, however, Marie was a knockout -- with high cheek bones, a wide slash of a mouth and a figure that wouldn`t quit. Born Katherine Elizabeth Wilson on August 19, 1916 in Anaheim, California, her family moved to Hollywood after her father`s death and Marie immediately began setting her sights on an entertainment career. Educated at Miss Page School and the Hollywood Cumnock School for Girls, she earned her first Hollywood contract at age 15 and played Mary Quite Contrary in the Laurel & Hardy film Babes in Toyland (1934).
A Broadway dancer in her early years ("Music Hath Charms" (1934)), she played in impresario Ken Murray`s consecutively popular "Blackout" shows of the early 1940s in Los Angeles doing a mock striptease. She became the quintessential giggly `dumb blonde` and adroitly moved to "B" level films, eventually scoring in a number of light, fizzy entertainment including Satan Met a Lady (1936), Boy Meets Girl (1938), Rookies on Parade (1941) She`s in the Army (1942), The Fabulous Joe (1947), A Girl in Every Port (1952), Never Wave at a WAC (1952), and Marry Me Again (1953). She capitalized well on this image and reached her zenith in the successful radio, TV and movie versions of My Friend Irma (1949). Most of her subsequent kooky characterizations from then on were patterned on her Irma persona.
An ambitious woman known to do crazy stunts for publicity, Marie took to the stage, nightclub and TV circuits once her film career bottomed out after the spectacular arrival of Marilyn Monroe. On the road in summer stock and dinner theater engagements, Marie appeared to fine advantage in such well-suited vehicles as "Bus Stop," "Born Yesterday and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." One of her last roles was in animated form as a voice in the cartoon "Where`s Huddles?" (1970). Married three times, she had an adopted son, Gregson, by her last marriage to TV producer Robert Fallon. Her first two unions, which ended in divorce, were to director Nick Grinde and actor Allan Nixon. Marie had undergone surgery several times for cancer by the time she died at age 56 in 1972.
Couple Profile Source
Hollywood Cumnock School for Girls
Full Name at Birth
Katherine Elizabeth Wilson
Dona Drake, Toby Wing, Faith Bacon, Laurette Luez
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Katherine Elisabeth White (August 19, 1916 – November 23, 1972), better known by her stage name, Marie Wilson, was an American radio, film, and television actress. She may be best remembered as the title character in My Friend Irma.
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