Marie Wilson ~ Hollywood's Dumb Blonde

Marie Wilson

Marie Wilson was a popular film and television actress who was known for playing dumb blondes.

She was born Katherine Elisabeth White on August 19, 1916, in Anaheim, California. Her parents divorced and sadly her father died when she was five years old. After graduating from high school she worked as a sales girl in a department store. She made her film debut as an extra in the 1934 film Down To Their Last Yacht. Marie started dating director Nick Grinde who helped her get a contract at Warner Brothers. She appeared in the hit films Satan Met A Lady, Fools For Scandal, and The Cowboy Quarterback. With her baby doll voice and voluptuous figure she found herself typecast as a dumb blonde. On April 27, 1942 she married actor Allan Nixon. They had a turbulent marriage and Allan was arrested several times for drunk and disorderly conduct. Marie costarred with James Cagney in Boy Meets Girl and with Groucho Marx in A Girl In Every Port. She also spent seven years working with Ken Murray in his Black Out stage show. The highlight of the show was her sexy mock striptease number. Her greatest success came in 1947 when she starred in the radio program My Friend Irma. The show became so popular that she made the 1949 movie My Friend Irma and the sequel My Friend Irma Goes West.

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Then from 1952 until 1954 she played the role of Irma again in the television series. Marie desperately wanted to star in the film Born Yesterday but she lost the part to Judy Holliday. She divorced Allan and married producer Robert Fallon in 1951. The couple adopted a son named Gregson. As she got older she got frustrated with her dumb blonde persona. She said "Show business has been very good to me and I'm not complaining, but some day I just wish someone would offer me a different kind of role." When Marilyn Monroe became a star some critics said she stole image from Marie. During the 1950s she toured the country with her nightclub act and released an album. She also guest starred on numerous television shows including Burke's Law and The Ed Sullivan Show. Her final film was the 1962 comedy Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation. Sadly she was diagnosed with cancer in 1967. She passed away on November 23, 1972 at the age of fifty-six. Marie is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood, California. She has been awarded three stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame for her work in movies, television, and radio.

 

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Marie Wilson Dead