Marjorie Main was a wonderful character actress. She made you laugh, she made you cry, you felt her despair and pain. Whether playing the care-worn distraught mother of a killer gangster in Dead End or the grief stricken mother that watches her crippled son burn to death in a deliberately set tenement house fire in The Angels Wash their Faces Marjorie’s performances are always riveting and sympathetic.
Marjorie’s most memorable role though was a boondoggle for Universal International Studio.
The Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray movie: The Egg and I was based on a book written by Betty MacDonald and was the worlds introduction to the characters Ma & Pa Kettle. Marjorie played Ma Kettle to perfection garnering an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1947. And a character to play till her last Kettle film The Kettles on Old MacDonald’s Farm in 1957. Ma & Pa Kettle had 15 children but Marjorie’s one disappointment in life was that she had none. The mothers she played were always a little off kilter but hey isn’t that something that we all love about our own mothers. Thanks Marjorie for sharing all of those eccentricities.