Jump to content

Marguerite Clark


Recommended Posts

Marguerite Clark (February 22, 1883 – September 25, 1940) was an American stage and silent film actress.

Early life and theater

Born to a farming family in Avondale, Cincinnati, Ohio, Clark was educated at a Roman Catholic boarding school in Cincinnati. She finished school at age sixteen and having decided to pursue a career in the theatre she quickly showed herself to be a gifted actress.

After performing for only a short time, she made her Broadway debut in 1900. The seventeen-year-old went on to star at various venues. In 1903 she was seen on Broadway opposite that hulking comedian DeWolf Hopper in Mr. Pickwick. The 6'6" Hopper dwarfed the nearly five foot tall Clark in their scenes together. Several adventure-fantasy roles followed. In 1909 Clark starred in the whimsical costume play The Beauty Spot keeping in line with the kind fantasy stories she would soon do in films and which would become her hallmark. In 1910 Clark appeared in The Wishing Ring, a play directed by Cecil DeMille and later made into a motion picture by Maurice Tourneur. That same 1910 season had Clark appearing in Baby Mine, a popular play produced by William A. Brady. In 1912 Clark performed in a starring role with John Barrymore, Doris Keane & Gail Kane in the play The Affairs of Anatol later made into a motion picture by Clark's future movie studio Famous Players-Lasky(Paramount) and directed by Cecil DeMille. Also in 1912 Clark starred in a memorable production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This role was a definition of Clark's persona and she would make an influential film version of the story in 1916. Clark's popularity led to her signing a contract in 1914 to make motion pictures with Famous Players-Lasky Corporation.

Late starting film career

At age thirty-one it was relatively late in life for a film actress to begin a career with starring roles but the diminutive Clark, who stood 4 ft 10 in (1.47 m) tall, had a little-girl look, like Mary Pickford, that belied her years. She made her first appearance on screen in the short film Wildflower directed by Allan Dwan.

In 1915 she starred as "Gretchen" in a feature-length production of The Goose Girl based on a 1909 best-selling novel by Harold MacGrath. In 1915 she also performed in the feature-length production The Seven Sisters directed by Sidney Olcott and in 1916 she reprised a Broadway role, starring in the first feature-length film version of Snow White.

Clark was directed in this by J. Searle Dawley as well as in a number of films, notably when she played the characters of both "Little Eva St. Clair" and "Topsy" in the 1918 feature, Uncle Tom's Cabin. That year Marguerite Clark married New Orleans, Louisiana plantation owner Harry Palmerston Williams (1880-1936) with whom she would remain until his death. In 1919 she starred in "Come out of the Kitchen" which was filmed in Pass Christian Mississippi at Ossian Hall. (Their former mansion on St. Charles Avenue in Uptown New Orleans now houses the Latter branch of the New Orleans Public Library.) The same year, she enrolled a yeowoman in the naval reserves.

Marguerite Clark made all but one of her forty films with Famous Players-Lasky, her last with them in 1920 titled Easy to Get in which she starred opposite Harrison Ford.

Her next film in 1921 was made by her own production company for First National Pictures distribution. As one of the most popular actresses going into the 1920s, and one of the industry's best paid, her name alone was enough to ensure reasonable box office success. As such, Scrambled Wives was made "her" way following which she retired at age thirty-eight to be with her husband at their country estate in New Orleans.

After the death of her husband in 1936, Marguerite Clark spent time in New York City where she died from pneumonia in 1940 at the age of fifty-seven. She was buried with her husband in Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Marguerite Clark has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6304 Hollywood Boulevard.









Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...