Esther Muir worked with the Marx Brothers in A DAY AT THE RACES ( 1937 ). Some commentaries have referred to her as a substitute for Thelma Todd.
Esther Muir (1940), in Misbehaving Husbands
|Born||(1903-03-11)March 11, 1903|
Andes, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 1, 1995(1995-08-01) (aged 92)|
Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.
(1933-1948) (divorced) 1 child
Theatrical ReviewsMuir was born in Andes, New York and began modeling in New York City while still a high school student. She soon won a role in a show called Greenwich Village Follies. She participated in the Earl Carroll Vanities and in the International Review. The latter show starred Gertrude Lawrence. Her major break as a theatrical performer came when she landed the title role in My Girl Friday!, in 1929. While in London, England performing in a musical Esther became a favorite dancing partner of Edward VIII, then Prince of Wales. She befriended Wallis Warfield.
Movie ActressMuir is probably best known today for her appearance with the Marx Brothers in A Day At The Races (1937). Muir toured with the Marxes in a stage version where material was crafted and rehearsed prior to filming. Muir described the Marx Brothers as diligent comic actors who sometimes worked days and weeks on a scene to perfect it. Her other screen credits include parts in I'll Take Romance (1937), City Girl (1938), and The Girl and the Gambler (1939). She continued in motion pictures until 1942. Her final role is Bonnie in X Marks The Spot. Her first motion picture appearance was in A Dangerous Affair in 1931.
Personal lifeMuir was introduced by columnist Walter Winchell to Hollywood director and choreographer Busby Berkeley, whom she married. They were divorced in 1931. In the 1950s the former actress became a real estate developer in southern California. She supervised the construction of more than 400 tract homes. Muir married composer/producer Sam Coslow in Mexicali, Mexico on November 1, 1934. The couple repeated their wedding vows a year later in Ventura, California. The marriage ended in divorce in 1948. Her daughter, Jacqueline Coslow, became an actress and married actor Ted Sorel.
Esther Muir died in 1995 at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York, aged 92. She had lived in Somers, New York.
- Fresno Bee, Marriage of Song Writer, Esther Muir Revealed, Wednesday, September 25, 1935, Page 6A.
- The New York Times, Esther Muir, 92, Character Actress, August 9, 1995, Page D20.
- The Oshkosh Northwestern, Hollywood Roundup, May 22, 1937, Page 10.
- Esther Muir at the Internet Movie Database
- Esther Muir at the Internet Broadway Database
- Esther Muir at Find a Grave
Esther Muir appeared in many comedy films, so comparisons to Thelma Todd were almost inevitable. She appeared in movies with Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Andy Clyde, and Wheeler and Woolsey as well as the Marx Brothers. But today she is best known for her film with the Marx Brothers.
Glenn Mitchell's MARX BROTHERS ENCYCLOPEDIA states that "Her work in A DAY AT THE RACES included the pre-filming tour, during which she earned sufficient respect for the Marxes to insist on her being retained. She could take the knockabout gags and was even capable of bettering the comedians: she told FILMS IN REVIEW of having caught them asleep and bribing the chorus girls to paint the toenails red. The Marxes were left with the problem of explaining it to their wives".
They probably had to spend a lot of time explaining that one.
SAILOR'S LUCK ( 1933 )
A DAY AT THE RACES ( 1937 ) with Groucho Marx
Watch a scene with Esther Muir from A DAY AT THE RACES.