Marie Blake (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸
When Marie Blake was eight years old, and making her first appearance in vaudeville, she saw a nice-looking little red-haired boy in the first row. Rolling her eyes at him she sang, You’re Just the Boy for Me.
The little boy stuck out his tongue at her and walked out of the theater, Marie recalls. It was then that she decided to become a dancer.
Marie was born in Philadelphia on August 21. She was the daughter of Daniel and Anna MacDonald. Her real name is Edith Blossom MacDonald. Her father was an accountant.
As long as she can remember, Marie has been interested in the stage. When she was attending Hoffman grade school she played in small vaudeville theaters on Friday nights and Saturdays. After graduation she attended a girls’ high school and a business training school, still intending to go to New York to try to get a stage job.
When she was 17 she left home for New York and began making the rounds of the theatrical agencies looking for work. Failing to get employment on the stage, she took whatever looked like a job, working in restaurants, as an entertainer in a military camp in New Jersey, and posing for commercial artists.
Finally, after eight weeks in which she thinks she must have walked at least 10,000 miles up and down Broadway, Marie happened to meet a chorus girl who told her that Ned Wayburn was hiring dancing girls for a stage shew at the Capitol theater.
Marie hurried to the boarding house where she had been living, got a long black dress, and wore it to the try-out at the Capitol. She decided to put everything she had into the routines she was doing for Wayburn, but, in an ambitious cartwheel, ripped the dress.
She began to cry, thinking that the accident had ruined her chances for the job, but Wayburn calmed her by telling her she danced very well, and placing her in the ensemble. She celebrated her good luck by going out and eating the “biggest and thickest steak I could find,” she recalls.
After dancing at the theater for several months she was offered a dancing role in a successful musical comedy called Dearie. From that show she went into one called Vogues and Frolics. That was followed by vaudeville tours with another girl as a sister team, appearances with a band act, and touring with a comedian in an act called Green and Blossom.
Then Marie decided to try for a part as an actress in a stock company. Her first play was Skidding, followed by two years of touring in Grand Hotel in the role of telephone operator. That experience was followed by parts in Pursuit of Happiness, It’s a Wise Child, the Theatre Guild production of But for the Grace of God, and the Dorothy Parker sketches at the Bijou Theater.
It was Miss Blake’s appearance in plays at a summer stock theater in Dennis, Mass., that attracted the attention of an M-G-M talent scout, who placed her under contract.
Marie is fond of swimming and riding and finds recreation in dancing, going to moving picture shows once a week, and listening to the recorded music of George Gershwin, her favorite composer, and Paul Whiteman, her favorite orchestra.
Marie is five feet, six and one-half inches tall, weighs 130 pounds, has blue eyes and light blonde hair.
Collection: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1937)
[Transcriber's note: Marie Blake was the sister of Jeanette MacDonald, one of MGM's biggest stars at the time]