Mae Marsh

Mae Marsh
Fox Films


Mae Marsh
Film: East side of the 1600 block of Vine Street
Born Nov. 9, 1895 in Madrid, NM
Died Feb. 13, 1968 of heart attack in Hermosa Beach, CA

Mae Marsh was famed for her role as Flora, the little sister in D.W. Griffith's silent film epic "The Birth of a Nation."

Marsh was 19 when she was cast in "The Birth of a Nation," several years after Griffith discovered her watching a Mack Sennett comedy being filmed on an old Biography Studios' lot. He was captivated, he said later, by her "frail, wispy look."

The petite, auburn-haired, blue-eyed actress appeared in several films before being cast as Flora. Her famous portrayal of the tragic events in the life of a girl swept into the reconstruction period made her one of the silent film era's most popular actresses.

Two years after appearing in "The Birth of a Nation," she starred in another Griffith classic, "Intolerance," and then left Griffith to become Samuel Goldwyn's original "Goldwyn Girl."

In 1918 she married Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer press agent Louis Lee Arms, moved to Hermosa Beach and retired from active movie-making.

She won the George Eastman Award in 1957, naming her one of the five leading actresses of the silent film era, along with Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Norma Talmadge and Lillian Gish.

Marsh came out of retirement in 1931 to appear in a speaking role in "Over the Hill," and continued making movies, including several in Europe, into the 1950s.

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