Monday, November 15, 2010

RIP Marie Osborne

Marie Osborne Yeats, one of the first child stars of the silent screen, the celebrated “Baby Marie,” passed away, Thursday, November 11, 2010 in San Clemente, California. Born Helen Alice Myres, November 5, 1911, Marie was a native of Denver, Colorado. Her foster parents, Leon and Edyth Osborn(e), introduced their daughter to the movies when they left Colorado in 1914 to work at the Balboa Studios of Long Beach, California. Baby Marie appeared for the first time on screen in Maid of the Wild (1915), playing the part of a small boy. At Balboa, the famous director, Henry King, launched Marie’s stardom with Little Mary Sunshine (1916), and most of Marie’s ten movies at Balboa co-starred Henry King. From age three to eight, Baby Marie made 28 films and most of these movies were produced at her own studio called the Diando Studios, the former Kalem movie studio in Glendale.

By age 12, Marie had left the movie screen, only to return in her twenties with the help of Henry King for his film Caroline (1934). At Fox, Marie also did stand-in work for Ginger Rogers in Change of Heart (1934) and also appeared in the Gay Divorcée (1934); she later did stand-in work for Deanna Durbin. At Paramount, Marie did stand-in work for Betty Hutton. Marie would stop working before the camera altogether as she developed a new talent as a costumer, beginning with the Western Costume Company, then with Republic.

Her work as a costumer included these films: Guys and Dolls (1955) with Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons; This Earth is Mine (1959) with Rock Hudson and Jean Simmons; Spartacus (1960) with Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, and Jean Simmons; Circus World (1964) with John Wayne and Rita Hayworth; The Chase (1966) with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford; The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) with Kim Novak and Peter Finch; The Way We Were (1973) with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford; Mame (1974) with Lucille Ball and Bea Arthur, and many others, including The Godfather, Part II, as well as becoming special costumer for Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963).

Marie married twice, to Frank J. Dempsey on May 2, 1931, whom she divorced in 1937. Dempsey was the father of Marie’s only child, Joan, born May 13, 1932. In the 1940s, Marie married Murray F. Yeats on June 14, 1945, a fellow actor with whom she enjoyed a conjugal life till his death on January 27, 1975.

After her retirement, Marie moved to San Clemente in 1977 until her death with her daughter, Joan, and son-in-law Don Young.

Baby Marie always savored the moment, exhibiting a kind and responsible tenderness toward those around her: family, friends, and all living things, including her special appreciation of the animal world. In order of importance, Marie was most grateful for her Roman Catholicism, for her excellent health throughout her full and interesting life, for her cherished daughter, Joan, and for the beauty of nature.

Marie is survived by her loving daughter Joan and son-in-law, Don Young, and their five children, Mark, Gary, Brian, Joyce, and Karen.

OSBORNE, Marie (Helen Alice Myres)
Born: 11/5/1911, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Died: 11/11/2010, San Clemente, California, U.S.A.
Marie Osborne's western - actress:
A Daugher of the West - 1918

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