Biography

Bright, vivacious Marjorie Reynolds (née Marjorie Goodspeed) was born in Idaho on August 12, 1917 to a doctor and homemaker, and raised in Los Angeles. Making her film debut at age 6, she "retired" after only a few years in favor of a normal education. She returned in the mid-30s, as a teenager this time, and began the typical assembly-line route of extra and bit roles for various mega studios, this time billed as Marjorie Moore. Her first speaking role was in Columbia Studio's programmer Murder in Greenwich Village (1937), this time billed as Marjorie Reynolds (her first husband's last name), a moniker she kept for the duration of her career. The blonde (originally brunette) actress then went through a rather unchallenging prairie flower phase opposite Hollywood's top western stars such as Tex Ritter, Buck Jones, Roy Rogers and Tim Holt. It all paid off, however, when she won the top female role opposite Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the seasonal film classic Holiday Inn (1942), a role originally designed for Mary Martin. It remains Marjorie's most popular and cherished role on film, but it did not help her make a permanent transition into 'A' quality fare. She continued as a dependable "B" co-lead in such films as Up in Mabel's Room (1944), Meet Me on Broadway (1946), and Heaven Only Knows (1947), with an exciting movie offer such as Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear (1944) coming her way on a rare occasion. Along with maturity and a new entertainment medium (television) in the 50s came a return to her natural hair color. As William Bendix's patient, resourceful brunette wife on the comedy TV series The Life of Riley (1953), Marjorie became a semi-household name. Her career took a steep decline following its demise five years later and she was only sporadically seen in films, commercials and TV guest spots after that. Married twice, her first husband was Jack Reynolds, who was an Assistant Casting Director for Samuel Goldwyn. They had one daughter, Linda, before divorcing in 1952 after 16 years. Second husband, film editor John Whitney, worked for a time in the 40s as an actor. They were married for 32 years until his death in 1985. Long retired, Marjorie died in 1997 of congestive heart failure after collapsing while walking her dog. Though she didn't fully live up to her potential as a serious, formidable actress, her gentle charm and obvious beauty certainly spruced up the 60+ films in which she appeared.

Bright, vivacious Marjorie Reynolds (née Marjorie Goodspeed) was born in Idaho on August 12, 1917 to a doctor and homemaker, and raised in Los Angeles. Making her film debut at age 6, she "retired" after only a few years in favor of a normal education. She returned in the mid-30s, as a teenager this time, and began the typical assembly-line route of extra and bit roles for various mega studios, this time billed as Marjorie Moore. Her first speaking role was in Columbia Studio's programmer Murder in Greenwich Village (1937), this time billed as Marjorie Reynolds (her first husband's last name), a moniker she kept for the duration of her career. The blonde (originally brunette) actress then went through a rather unchallenging prairie flower phase opposite Hollywood's top western stars such as Tex Ritter, Buck Jones, Roy Rogers and Tim Holt. It all paid off, however, when she won the top female role opposite Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the seasonal film classic Holiday Inn (1942), a role originally designed for Mary Martin. It remains Marjorie's most popular and cherished role on film, but it did not help her make a permanent transition into 'A' quality fare. She continued as a dependable "B" co-lead in such films as Up in Mabel's Room (1944), Meet Me on Broadway (1946), and Heaven Only Knows (1947), with an exciting movie offer such as Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear (1944) coming her way on a rare occasion. Along with maturity and a new entertainment medium (television) in the 50s came a return to her natural hair color. As William Bendix's patient, resourceful brunette wife on the comedy TV series The Life of Riley (1953), Marjorie became a semi-household name. Her career took a steep decline following its demise five years later and she was only sporadically seen in films, commercials and TV guest spots after that. Married twice, her first husband was Jack Reynolds, who was an Assistant Casting Director for Samuel Goldwyn. They had one daughter, Linda, before divorcing in 1952 after 16 years. Second husband, film editor John Whitney, worked for a time in the 40s as an actor. They were married for 32 years until his death in 1985. Long retired, Marjorie died in 1997 of congestive heart failure after collapsing while walking her dog. Though she didn't fully live up to her potential as a serious, formidable actress, her gentle charm and obvious beauty certainly spruced up the 60+ films in which she appeared.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 63

Birthday 1917-08-12

Day of Death 1997-02-01

Place of Birth Buhl, Idaho, U.S.

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Marjorie Goodspeed

Acting TV ShowsMovies

The Life Of Riley (0 episodes) as Peg Riley
1968 The Good Guys (1 episode)
1960 Surfside 6 (1 episode)
1959 Juke Box Rhythm as Martha Manton
1957 Leave It to Beaver (3 episodes)
1955 The Millionaire (2 episodes)
1952 No Holds Barred as Rhonda Nelson
1952 Models Inc. as Peggy Howard
1951 His Kind of Woman as Helen Cardigan
1951 Racket Squad (1 episode)
1951 Home Town Story as Janice Hunt
1950 The Great Jewel Robber as Martha Rollins
1950 Customs Agent as Lucille Gerrard
1949 That Midnight Kiss as Mary
1949 Bad Men of Tombstone as Julie
1947 Heaven Only Knows as Ginger 'The Copper Queen'
1946 Monsieur Beaucaire as Princess Maria of Spain
1946 The Time of Their Lives as Melody Allen
1946 Meet Me on Broadway as Ann Stallings
1945 Duffy's Tavern as Peggy O'Malley
1945 Bring on the Girls as Sue Thomas
1944 Three Is a Family as Kitty Mitchell
1944 Ministry of Fear as Carla Hilfe
1944 Up in Mabel's Room as Geraldine Ainsworth
1943 Dixie as Jean Mason
1942 Holiday Inn as Linda Mason
1942 Star Spangled Rhythm as Marjorie Reynolds - Swing Shift Skit
1942 Blondie Goes to College as Martha Kingston
1941 Law of the Timber as 'Perry' Lorimer
1941 Dude Cowboy as Barbara Adams
1941 Top Sergeant Mulligan as Gail Nash
1941 Cyclone on Horseback as Mary Corbin
1941 Secret Evidence as Linda Wilson
1941 Robin Hood of the Pecos as Ambrose Ballard
1940 Up in the Air as Anne Mason
1940 Doomed to Die as Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan
1940 Enemy Agent as Peggy O'Reilly
1940 Midnight Limited as Joan Marshall
1940 Chasing Trouble as Susie Carey
1940 The Fatal Hour as Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan
1939 Gone with the Wind as Guest at Twelve Oaks (uncredited)
1939 Danger Flight as Betty Lou
1939 Sky Patrol as Betty Lou Barnes
1939 Mr. Wong in Chinatown as Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan
1939 Stunt Pilot as Betty Lou Barnes
1939 Timber Stampede
1939 Streets of New York as Anne Carroll
1939 Mystery Plane as Betty Lou Barnes
1939 The Phantom Stage as Mary Ellen
1938 Delinquent Parents as Edith Ellis, as a youth
1938 Man's Country as Madge Crane
1938 Rebellious Daughters as Claire Elliott
1938 Western Trails
1938 Six Shootin' Sheriff as Molly Morgan
1937 Tex Rides with the Boy Scouts as Norma Willis
1937 Murder in Greenwich Village as Molly Murphy
1937 Broadway Melody of 1938 as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
1937 Top of the Town as Dancer
1936 College Holiday as Dancer
1936 The Big Broadcast of 1937 as Dancer (uncredited)
1933 College Humor as Student
1923 The Broken Wing as Child (uncredited)
1923 Scaramouche as Child (uncredited)

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