Hickory Grove, Kentucky, USA
Place of Death
Hollywood, California, USA
Cause of Death
Profile Bio Text
Blonde and utterly beautiful, film actress Mary Nolan had the requisite figure and prettiness to rise up fast in the Hollywood ranks. Her downfall, however, would be just as fast and not at all pretty. She was born Mary Imogene Robertson in 1905 and began as a teenage model. Showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. took a gander at her and her gorgeous gams and signed the young beauty up for his Follies shows. A Jazz-Age baby and party girl by nature, Mary (who was using the moniker Imogene Wilson) had already earned the somewhat dubious nickname of "Bubbles" while working in New York, but then she made the fatal mistake of involving herself with a married Ziegfeld comedian and stirring up a major sex scandal. Frank Tinney was a top headliner married to musical comedy star Edna Davenport at the time. Mary`s relationship with Tinney was quite abusive and the tabloids broke the affair after Mary was seriously hospitalized during one of their many arguments. As a third-party husband-stealer, Mary received no comfort at all despite her injuries and was summarily fired by Ziegfeld. Forced to flee to Germany to avoid the negative attention, Mary starred in a few films there under the new moniker Imogene Robertson. She weathered the storm for almost two years in Europe before returning unobtrusively to Hollywood films in 1927 under another new stage name of Mary Nolan. Mary proved a capable if not exceptional leading lady, pacing herself well in such films as West of Zanzibar (1928) with Lon Chaney, Desert Nights (1929), one of John Gilbert`s last vehicles, and Outside the Law (1930), a gangster flick opposite Edward G. Robinson. She even appeared top-billed in a few minor efforts, including Shanghai Lady (1929) and Young Desire (1930), but Docks of San Francisco (1932) would prove to be her last movie shoot. Troubled over her sudden and inexplicable reversal of fortune, Mary`s self-destructive tendencies kicked in again. Broke and despondent, she suffered severe nervous breakdowns and her health declined due to acute malnutrition and various physical ailments. When she turned to heroin, it spelled the end. Little was heard from her until 1948, when she died of cardiac arrest and liver problems at age 42. Mary became just one more Hollywood tragedy -- an incredible beauty whose life turned absolutely beastly.
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Full Name at Birth
Mary Imogene Robertson
Has Detailed Data (New)
Mary Nolan (December 18, 1902 – October 31, 1948) was an American film actress. Nolan began her career as a Ziegfeld girl in the 1920s performing under the stage name Imogene "Bubbles" Wilson. She was fired from the Ziegfeld Follies in 1924 for her involvement in a tumultuous and highly publicized affair with comedian Frank Tinney. She left the United States shortly thereafter and began making films in Germany. She appeared in seventeen German films from 1925 to 1927 with a new stage name, "Imogene Robertson".
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