Marion Martin was an American movie and stage actress.
Martin was born, Marion Suplee in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a Bethlehem Steel executive. She became an actress after her family fortune was lost in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and appeared in the Broadway productions Lombardi Ltd. and Sweet Adeline. She made her film debut in She’s My Lillie, I’m Her Willie and subsequently played minor roles, often as showgirls. Several of her early roles were in musicals and she achieved some success as a singer.
By the end of the decade she had played leading female roles in several “B” pictures, playing one of her most notable roles in James Whale’s Sinners in Paradise. Despite her success she was often cast in minor roles in more widely seen films such as His Girl Friday. The majority of her roles were in comedies but she also appeared in dramas such as Boomtown in which she played a dance hall singer who is briefly romanced by Clark Gable. She played secondary roles in a three Lupe Velez “Mexican Spitfire” films in the early 1940s, and was the comic foil for the Marx Brothers in The Big Store, where the back of her skirt is cut away by Harpo. She played a ghost in Gildersleeves Ghost, and was the subject of a legendary fistfight between Gildersleeve star Harold Peary and Warner Bros studio mogul Bud Stevens at the Mocambo nightclub in 1943. Her more substantial roles included Alice Angel, a dizzy showgirl, in the murder mystery Lady of Burlesque with Barbara Stanwyck and Angel on My Shoulder. She also appeared in The Big Street with Lucille Ball.
By the late 1940s, her roles were often minor. Three Stooges fans will remember her as western cowgirl Gladys in Merry Mavericks. Shortly afterward, she made her final film appearance in 1952. Married to a physicist, Martin retired, and although she expressed the desire to return to show business, suitable roles were not offered to her.