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November 8, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada Died: Ambitious for success, however, she gradually turned to dramatic roles, feeling them a surer road to fame.
Papers Past | Page 3 Advertisements Column 2 (Evening Post, 1919-10-18)
Her real name is Marie Bickford Dunn. She was born in Sarnia, Canada, November 8, , and educated at Denver. She is 5 feet, 4 inches tall, has dark hair, blue eyes, and weighs pounds.
She divorced her second husband, Kenneth Harlan, in Still a very young child, her father was killed in an accident at work.
Marie, her mother, step-father and half-sister Marjorie moved from city to city, with Frank Prevost working various jobs including prospecting and some illegal activities with included burglary. While working as a secretary for a law firm that represented the Keystone Film Company in that Marie got her break into films.
The next day, Marie became a Mack Sennett bathing beauty. Most of the bathing beauties were to provide a back drop of pretty girls for the comic action on the screen. Sennett obviously liked the final product as Marie was given a raise the next day. She continued to improve her comedic skills and in she received her first screen credit for Her Natures Dance. It was a quick wedding which neither of them paid much attention to. They both continued to live separate lives and occasionally dated, which eventually ended.
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In , Randolph Hearst tried to convince Marie to move to Cosmopolitan Pictures, but Marie stayed with Sennett with a substantial raise. In , she finally parted with Sennett. Some say she left on her own accord and other say she was fired. Her new studio was Universal. At Universal Marie was a star with star billing. Marie made a total of eight films that year which ended with another flapper role in The Married Flapper.
It was during this film that Marie fell in love with actor Kenneth Harlan. Marie continued to act at Warner Bros. It was just as The Marriage Circle started filming that her marriage to Sonny Gerke came to light, when Gerke filed for divorce. The Marriage Circle was a big success for Marie and she was given much praise from her director Ernst Lubitsch. Marie made two more films for Lubitsch: Three Woman and Kiss Me Again Marie followed with a long vacation that included marrying her long-time love Kenneth Harlan.
The two finished up their contract with Warner Bros. After the film, both stars were notified that Jack Warner would not be renewing their contracts with Warner Bros. Marie ushered into talking films with quite a few changes to her career. She ordered by Cecil B. DeMille to bleach her hair blonde for her role in The Golden Girl Marie successfully transitioned from silent films, but she no longer the star. She was older, having weight issues and dependent more and more on alcohol.
Her new film persona became to be the wise-cracking supporting character. As her weight climbed her number of film roles declined. Her last film was Ten Laps to Go In January , Marie was found dead in her apartment with her dog Maxie at her side. It has been rumored that Marie was eaten by her dog, which is completely untrue. Her death was attributed to her alcohol abuse. Many were shocked at her death and were saddened that Marie had not reached out to them for help.
Marie was forty years old at her death. Ankerich is an excellent biography of Marie Prevost and thirteen other silent film starlets. Click the image of the book to order your copy!