Friday, April 17, 2009

Canadian Actress

Today we feature a picture from 1909 of a Canadian-born, Academy award winning actress, whose name was Leila Koerber. She was a vaudeville star, and was in silent movies alongside Charlie Chaplin. I am not sure what type of hat that is that the is wearing. Also, it looks like she might be wearing a robe of some sort.


  1. I think she was a comedian and her stage name was Marie Dressler.

    She looks like a funny person in the photo!!!

  2. SmartGirl you should get a prize for knowing her stage name was "Marie".

    Does PJM have a thing for Maries?

    my middle name is Marie.... :-)

  3. Heather:

    My first childhood friend was named Marie. She lived down the street from me and we met on the first day of kindergarten.

    We were the only two kids in the class who cried when we were left there.

    My mother knew her aunt (who raised her), and after that first day we walked to school together every day until we moved when I was 12.

    She now lives in Colorado, and I still talk to her every couple of weeks or so. It gives me a nice connection to my past.

  4. The hat is a typical Edwardian era hat with lots of frou frou. The robe look is probably more likely the neckline of her dress. Some dresses popular at the time closed like a robe, but with fastenings of course to keep them from opening at inopportune times. :-)

  5. LOVE the hat!! And another nod to Marie! What fun!

    Ms. Koerber/Dressler was a true Patriot, selling millions of dollars worth of war bonds during WWI while crossing the country at her own expense.

    Prior to vaudeville, she was a successful musical comedic star on stage. Charlie Chaplin was an unknown when she handpicked him for the cast of her first and hugely successful movie,Tillie's Punctured Romance, as a character she played with rave reviews on stage years earlier. Five more Tillie movies followed.

    I really like the reports of Ms. Koerber/Dressler. She reminds me of my grandmother(1901-1974)in form and humor. I'm sure Grandma Mae probably saw the Tillie movies. I know she had a hat like that!

  6. Her expression is so funny and lively!

  7. And the trend continues. Too bad I woke up "late". It is 6 am here!

    This is Marie Dressler. And the photo is the one on her entry in Wikipedia.

    I recommend that you folks rent and watch "Min and Bill", for which she recieved the Academy Award for Best Actress (1930). It's a very dated film, but watch the interaction between her and Wallace Beery who plays Bill.

    BTW, she did the best doubletake I have ever seen anywhere in a movie in "Dinner at Eight" with Jeane Harlow.

  8. Dinner at Eight is on TCM tonight and May 13 where Dressler plays a faded stage star. Anna Christie is on TCM on May 14 - Dressler plays a pathetic drunk. She was a versatile actress.
    Under contract for MGM, Marie Dressler was the top box office draw in the early 30's until her death. She was also known for her kindness and generosity to other performers; encouraging and helping them. A very entertaining lady and by all accounts a great personality.