Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marjorie Main (born Mary Tomlinson, February 24, 1890 – April 10, 1975) was an American actress, best known as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player and for her role as Ma Kettle in a series of ten Ma and Pa Kettle movies.

Main worked in vaudeville on the Orpheum circuit and in Chautauqua presentations, and debuted on Broadway in 1916. Her first film was A House Divided in 1931.

Main began playing upper class dowagers, but ultimately was typecast in abrasive, domineering, salty roles, for which her distinctive voice was well suited. She repeated her stage role in Dead End in the 1937 film version, and was subsequently cast repeatedly as the mother of gangsters. She again transferred a strong stage performance, as a dude-ranch operator in The Women, to film in 1939. At this time, she guest-starred on radio programs such as Columbia Presents Corwin and The Goldbergs.

Main was signed to a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract in 1940 and stayed with the studio until the mid-1950s. She made six films with Wallace Beery in the 1940s, including Barnacle Bill (1941), Jackass Mail (1942), and Bad Bascomb (1946). She played Sonora Cassidy, the chief cook, in The Harvey Girls (1946). The director George Sidney remarked in the commentary for the film that Miss Main was a "great lady" as well as a great actress who donated most of her paychecks over the years to the support of a school.

Perhaps her most famous role is that of Ma Kettle, which she first played in The Egg and I in 1947 opposite Percy Kilbride as Pa Kettle. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the part and portrayed the character in nine more Ma and Pa Kettle films.

By the early 1950s, she had appeared in several MGM musicals, including, Meet Me in St. Louis and The Belle of New York. She played Mrs. Wrenley in the studio's all-star film It's a Big Country (1951). In 1954, Marjorie Main played her last roles for the studio: Mrs. Hittaway in The Long, Long Trailer and Jane Dunstock in Rose Marie. In 1956, Main's performance as the widow Hudspeth in the hit film Friendly Persuasion was well-received, earning her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1958, Main appeared twice as rugged frontierswoman Cassie Tanner in the episodes "The Cassie Tanner Story" and "The Sacramento Story" on NBC's television series Wagon Train. In the first segment, she joins the wagon train, casts her romantic interest on Ward Bond as Major Adams, and helps the train locate needed horses despite a Paiute threat.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marjorie Main (born Mary Tomlinson, February 24, 1890 – April 10, 1975) was an American actress, best known as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player and for her role as Ma Kettle in a series of ten Ma and Pa Kettle movies.

Main worked in vaudeville on the Orpheum circuit and in Chautauqua presentations, and debuted on Broadway in 1916. Her first film was A House Divided in 1931.

Main began playing upper class dowagers, but ultimately was typecast in abrasive, domineering, salty roles, for which her distinctive voice was well suited. She repeated her stage role in Dead End in the 1937 film version, and was subsequently cast repeatedly as the mother of gangsters. She again transferred a strong stage performance, as a dude-ranch operator in The Women, to film in 1939. At this time, she guest-starred on radio programs such as Columbia Presents Corwin and The Goldbergs.

Main was signed to a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract in 1940 and stayed with the studio until the mid-1950s. She made six films with Wallace Beery in the 1940s, including Barnacle Bill (1941), Jackass Mail (1942), and Bad Bascomb (1946). She played Sonora Cassidy, the chief cook, in The Harvey Girls (1946). The director George Sidney remarked in the commentary for the film that Miss Main was a "great lady" as well as a great actress who donated most of her paychecks over the years to the support of a school.

Perhaps her most famous role is that of Ma Kettle, which she first played in The Egg and I in 1947 opposite Percy Kilbride as Pa Kettle. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the part and portrayed the character in nine more Ma and Pa Kettle films.

By the early 1950s, she had appeared in several MGM musicals, including, Meet Me in St. Louis and The Belle of New York. She played Mrs. Wrenley in the studio's all-star film It's a Big Country (1951). In 1954, Marjorie Main played her last roles for the studio: Mrs. Hittaway in The Long, Long Trailer and Jane Dunstock in Rose Marie. In 1956, Main's performance as the widow Hudspeth in the hit film Friendly Persuasion was well-received, earning her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1958, Main appeared twice as rugged frontierswoman Cassie Tanner in the episodes "The Cassie Tanner Story" and "The Sacramento Story" on NBC's television series Wagon Train. In the first segment, she joins the wagon train, casts her romantic interest on Ward Bond as Major Adams, and helps the train locate needed horses despite a Paiute threat.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 84

Birthday 1890-02-24

Day of Death 1975-04-10

Place of Birth Acton, Indiana, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Mary Tomlinson

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1957 The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm as Ma Kettle
1956 Friendly Persuasion as The Widow Hudspeth
1956 The Kettles In The Ozarks as Ma Kettle
1955 Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki as Ma' Kettle
1954 Ricochet Romance as Pansy Jones
1954 December Bride (1 episode)
1954 Ma and Pa Kettle at Home as Ma Kettle
1954 Rose Marie as Lady Jane Dunstock
1954 The Long, Long Trailer as Mrs. Hittaway
1953 Fast Company as Ma Parkson
1953 Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation as Ma Kettle
1952 The Belle of New York as Mrs Phineas Hill
1952 Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair as Ma Kettle
1951 It's a Big Country as Mrs. Wrenley
1951 The Law and the Lady as Julia Wortin
1951 Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm as Ma Kettle
1951 Mr. Imperium as Mrs. Cabot
1950 Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. Malone as Harriet 'Hattie' O'Malley
1950 Summer Stock as Esme
1950 Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town as Ma Kettle
1949 Big Jack as Flapjack Kate
1949 Ma and Pa Kettle as Phoebe 'Ma' Kettle
1948 Feudin', Fussin' and A-Fightin' as Maribel Mathews
1947 The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap as Widow Hawkins
1947 The Egg and I as Phoebe 'Ma' Kettle
1946 The Show-Off as Mrs. Fisher
1946 Undercurrent as Lucy
1946 Bad Bascomb as Abbey Hanks
1946 The Harvey Girls as Sonora Cassidy
1945 Murder, He Says as Mamie Fleagle Smithers Johnson
1944 Gentle Annie as Annie Goss
1944 Meet Me in St. Louis as Katie
1944 Rationing as Iris Tuttle
1943 Johnny Come Lately as 'Gashouse' Mary
1943 Heaven Can Wait as Mrs. Strabel
1942 Tennessee Johnson as Mrs. Maude Fisher
1942 Tish as Miss Letitia 'Tish' Carberry
1942 Jackass Mail as Clementine 'Tina' Tucker
1942 The Affairs of Martha as Mrs. McKissick
1942 We Were Dancing as Judge Hawkes
1942 The Bugle Sounds as Susie 'Suz'
1941 Honky Tonk as Mrs. Varner
1941 The Shepherd of the Hills as Granny Becky
1941 A Woman's Face as Emma Kristiansdotter
1941 Barnacle Bill as Marge Cavendish
1941 The Trial of Mary Dugan as Mrs. Collins
1941 Wild Man of Borneo as Irma, the Cook
1940 Wyoming as Mehitabel
1940 The Captain Is a Lady as Sarah May Willett
1940 Susan and God as Mary
1940 Turnabout as Nora
1940 Dark Command as Mrs. Cantrell / Mrs. Adams
1940 Women Without Names as Mrs. Lowery
1940 I Take This Woman as Gertie
1939 Two Thoroughbreds as Hildegarde 'Hildy' Carey
1939 Angels Wash Their Faces as Mrs. Arkelian
1939 They Shall Have Music as Mrs. Miller
1939 Lucky Night as Mrs. Briggs
1939 The Women as Lucy
1939 Another Thin Man as Mrs. Dolley
1938 There Goes My Heart as Fireless Cooker Customer (uncredited)
1938 Girls' School as Miss Armstrong
1938 Too Hot to Handle as Miss Wayne
1938 Under the Big Top as Sara Post
1938 Little Tough Guy as Mrs. Boylan
1938 Prison Farm as Matron Brand
1938 Romance of the Limberlost as Nora
1938 Test Pilot as Landlady
1938 King of the Newsboys as Mrs. Stephens (uncredited)
1937 The Shadow as Hannah Gillespie
1937 Boy of the Streets as Mrs. Mary Brennan
1937 The Wrong Road as Martha Foster
1937 The Man Who Cried Wolf as Amelia Bradley
1937 Dead End as Mrs. Martin
1937 Stella Dallas as Mrs. Martin
1936 Screen Snapshots (Series 16, No. 1)
1934 Music in the Air as Anna (Uncredited)
1934 Crime Without Passion as Backstage Wardrobe Woman (uncredited)
1934 Art Trouble as Woman Who Sits on Painting
1933 Close Relations as Woman in Depot (uncredited)
1933 New Deal Rhythm as Arizona Representative
1932 The Broken Lullaby as Frau Schmidt - Townswoman (uncredited)
1931 A House Divided as Townswoman at Wedding
1929 Harry Fox and His Six American Beauties as Statler Hotel Beauty

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