Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Marion Byron

Marion Byron's first role was as Buster Keaton's leading lady in STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.

 She was also teamed with Anita Garvin in what was Roach's first attempt at a "female version of Laurel and Hardy".

Marion Byron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Marion Byron
BornMiriam Bilenkin
(1911-03-16)March 16, 1911
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
DiedJuly 5, 1985(1985-07-05) (aged 74)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Other namesPeanuts
OccupationFilm actress, comedienne
Spouse(s)Lou Breslow
Marion "Peanuts" Byron (pseudonym; née Miriam Bilenkin; Dayton, Ohio; 16 March 1911 — 5 July 1985 Santa Monica, California)[1] was a petite (4'11" in high heels),[2] plucky American movie comedienne.
She was born in Dayton, Ohio. After following her sister into a short stage career as a singer/dancer, she was given her first movie role as Buster Keaton's leading lady in the film Steamboat Bill Jr. in 1928. From there she was hired by Hal Roach to co-star in short subjects with Max Davidson, Edgar Kennedy, and Charley Chase, but most significantly with Anita Garvin, where tiny (5') Marion was teamed with 6' Anita for a brief (3 film) series as a "female Laurel & Hardy" in 1928–1929.
She left Roach before they made talkies, but she went on working, now in musical features, like the Vitaphone film Broadway Babies (1929) with Alice White, and the early Technicolor feature, Golden Dawn (1930). She never made a big splash, with her parts slowly getting smaller and smaller until they were unbilled walk-ons in films like Meet the Baron (1933) starring Jack Pearl and Hips Hips Hooray (1934) with Wheeler & Woolsey. Her final screen appearance was as a baby nurse to the Dionne Quintuplets in their film, Six of a Kind (1938).


She married screenwriter Lou Breslow in 1932 and they had two sons, Laurence Samuel Breslow (born 1939) and Daniel Robert Breslow (1944–1998). Marion Byron Breslow is buried at Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California.

External links


  1. ^ Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins,, fifth edition, by Adrian Richard West Room (born 1933), McFarland & Company (2010) OCLC 663110495
  2. ^ Tiny for Stage, But Just Right for Film Role, San Diego Union, October 13, 1929, pg. 71

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Roach's first attempt to make a "female Laurel and Hardy" team didn't last:  after sound came in, the Thelma Todd series would be more successful. I recall a number of discussions about what was funny when who did it: my own feeling is that Thelma Todd was seen as a popular type in the 1930's and that as much as anything was responsible for the greater success of the later series, reguardless of the nature of  the material in the films, and how suitable it might seem for women compared to how suitable it might be for men.

Marion Byron can be seen in a number of movies made in the early sound era. In HIPS, HIPS HURRAY, she was one of the girls that Wheeler and Woolsey kissed to test the lipstick- she was the real cute one that had such an effect on Bert Wheeler during the test. Makes you wonder why the
movie industry didn't think more highly of her.



Santa Brings The Good Little Girl Even More Presents For Christmas.
"He must not have seen my latest picture."



With Anita Garvin


With Laurel And Hardy
With Stan Alone - But He Doesn't Seem To Be The Winner
And With Ollie Alone
 Incidently, Oliver Hardy was six feet tall, but Anita Garvin wasn't.
With Charley Chase
With Loretta Young
Hariette Lake (aka Ann Sothern) and Marion Byron

A publicity item from early in the era of the talkies.

Finally, we have a picture of "six foot" Anita Garvin next to Edgar Kennedy, who really was around six feet tall.

Imdb gives a height of five foot six for Anita Garvin, which is more reasonable.

Marion Byron:




Roach's Female Comedy Teams:





  1. That doesn't look like Edgar Kennedy next to Anita Garvin. I watched all those Little Rascals (Officer Kennedy) for years and years (and in Duck Soup as the peanut vendor), and it's not him. Don't know who it is, unfortunately.

  2. Actually, Edgar Kennedy looks about the same in the picture with Anita Garvin as he does on the posters for A PAIR OF TIGHTS. But he looks different than he did in the talkies, where he was a little older.

  3. Regarding what you said about Peanuts Byron in "Hips, Hips Hooray", she doesn't kiss Wheeler, she's the one who kisses Woolsey and causes him to levitate.

    1. Sometimes I forget which one is Wheeler and which one is Woolsey.

  4. Regarding Anita Garvin's height, did you notice in "Feed 'em and Weep" that Anita wears heels and Peanuts Byron wears flats to further show their difference in height.

    1. You're right, they were trying to make Anita Garvin look taller and Marion Byron look shorter.

  5. In the Thelma-ZaSu short "Asleep In The Feet", which features Anita Garvin, is that Peanuts Byron playing the uncredited bit part of the hatcheck girl at Billy Gilbert's dancehall? I know it's not listed among her credits, but it sure looks like her and she did return to Hal Roach to do the Charley Chase short "It Happened One Day".

  6. I don't think that was her in ASLEEP IN THE FEET.