Saturday, December 19, 2015

Born Today December 19: Mabel Paige


Born Mabel Paige Roberts in New York City in the borough of Manhattan, she started on the stage at just the age of four.  She went on to be an extremely successful Broadway actress, and founded her own touring company in her own name:  The Mabel Paige Theatrical Company after 1918.   She made her film debut in 1912 in Comedic short entitled No Trespassing  ironically playing a character named "Mable Long."  This began her tenure had the Lubin Manufacturing Company, which quit production of motion pictures in 1916 when it was forced into bankrupcy by court rulings on motion picture patenting.  During this period of time, she starred in a number or romantic comedies opposite Oliver Hardy.  After Lubin's bankruptcy, it was a full two years before she appeared in another motion picture; that would be Eight Bells (1918).  This was the last silent motion picture she was ever in. This is when she founded her stage company.  The company toured in the southern United States extensively and for a protracted period of time. This came during a period time after she retired from the motion picture industry, during the silent era.  Ever a creature of the stage, silent acting was just not for her.  This earned her the nickname "Idol of the South." She did not appear again in a film until 1942.  In all she appeared in over 50 films, many of them silent shorts between 1912 through 1916.  She also worked in television.  Her appearance on I Love Lucy, is probably her most famous T.V. appearance.  She died of a heart attack on 9 February in Van Nuys at the age of 73.  She is buried in Pearce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, under her married name of Mary Paige Ritchie.

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