Thursday, January 12, 2012

Actress Dorothy Morris Has Passed On

I learned this week of the passing of lovely MGM actress Dorothy Morris at the age of 89.

Boot Hill reports Morris passed away on November 20, 2011.

Morris had roughly two dozen bit parts and small speaking roles in MGM films between 1941 and 1943.

In 1943 she received a more substantial role in Clarence Brown's THE HUMAN COMEDY, playing Mary Arena, the neighbor girl who is in love with Marcus (Van Johnson). She and Marcus's sister Bess (Donna Reed) also enjoy an innocent night on the town with three soldiers; one of the soldiers was played by a young Robert Mitchum.

Morris's best part may have been as the disturbed Ingeborg Jensen in OUR VINES HAVE TENDER GRAPES (1945). Like THE HUMAN COMEDY, it was a beautifully made piece of MGM wartime Americana. Both films are available from the Warner Archive and are highly recommended.

Morris retired from films in 1946, then returned to acting for a number of years beginning in the late '50s.

Morris's older sister, Caren Marsh, was also an actress, whose work included standing in for Judy Garland on THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) and ZIEGFELD GIRL (1941). She's pictured in the photo to the left.

Reports this week of the 92-year-old Marsh's death were, in her words, "greatly exaggerated." Visit Caren's Facebook page, which includes some lovely photos taken with her sister Dorothy.

Western Clippings also has a beautiful photo of the sisters taken back in 1997.

There's a wonderful chapter on Morris and Marsh in the book LADIES OF THE WESTERN by Michael G. Fitzgerald and Boyd Magers. This book, and its companion WESTERNS WOMEN, are must-haves for those who love movie Westerns.


Blogger Judy said...

I haven't seen her in many roles but thought she was excellent in 'Our Vines Have Tender Grapes'. Very interesting posting!

1:21 AM  

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