Marie Wilson (American actress)

Marie Wilson (American actress)
Marie Wilson

Wilson in 1954.
Born Katherine Elisabeth Wilson
August 19, 1916(1916-08-19)
Anaheim, California, United States
Died November 23, 1972(1972-11-23) (aged 56)
Hollywood, California, United States
Years active 1934–1972
Spouse Robert Fallon (1951-1972) (her death)
Allan Nixon (1942-1950) (divorced)
Nick Grinde (? - ?) (divorced)

Katherine Elisabeth Wilson (August 19, 1916 – November 23, 1972), better known by her stage name, Marie Wilson, was an American radio, film, and television actress. She may be best remembered as the title character in My Friend Irma.


Born in Anaheim, California, Wilson began her career in New York City as a dancer on the Broadway stage. She gained national prominence with My Friend Irma on radio, television and film. The show made her a star but typecast her almost interminably as the quintessential dumb blonde, which she played in numerous comedies and in Ken Murray's famous Hollywood "Blackouts". During World War II, she was a volunteer performer at the Hollywood Canteen. She was also a popular wartime pin-up.


Wilson's performance in Satan Met a Lady, the second film adaptation of the detective novel The Maltese Falcon, is a virtual template for Marilyn Monroe's later onscreen persona. Wilson appeared in more than 40 films and was a guest on The Ed Sullivan Show on four occasions. She was a television performer during the 1960s, working until her untimely death.

Wilson's talents have been recognized with three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: for radio at 6301 Hollywood Boulevard, for television at 6765 Hollywood Boulevard and for movies at 6601 Hollywood Boulevard.

Personal life

Wilson married four times: Nick Grinde (early 1930s), LA golf pro Bob Stevens (1938–39), Allan Nixon (1942–50) and Robert Fallon (1951–72).

She died of cancer in 1972 at age 56 and was interred in the Columbarium of Remembrance at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.



Short subjects:

  • My Gal Sally (1935)
  • Swingtime in the Movies (1938)
  • For Auld Lang Syne #3 (1938)
  • Vitaphone Pictorial Revue No. 12 (1938)
  • Screen Snapshots: The Great Showman (1950)
  • Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Stars on Parade (1954)

Television credits

Further reading

  • Tranberg, Charles. Not So Dumb: The Life and Career of Marie Wilson. Albany: BearManor Media, 2007. ISBN 1-59393-049-6

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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