Marjorie Main and our Deadeyes
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Feb. 2, 1946: Actress Marjorie Main is hoisted by soldiers of the 96th “Deadeye” Division during welcome home celebration in Los Angeles.

 

Marjorie Main - Deadeye Pin-Up Girl

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During WWII each unit had a pin-up girl; who in many ways symbolized the girl left behind, or the most seductive girl to long for. You can often see creative pictures of girls on WWII aircraft and tanks and trucks. These emblems often had slogans etc. directed by the taste of the men at that time.

While with the 96th division on Mindoro the division band went around the division from company to company promoting Margery Main of all women for the “pin-up girl” This middle aged woman had absolutely no sex appeal.

She was a star in the Ma and Pa Kettle series of pictures, and a real rough tough no nonsense person of her day; capable of taking over any situation.

She was promoted as a “tough gal for a tough outfit and the idea soon caught on. Who could challenge this slogan? Who could deny it? So in 1945 she was voted in. This pistol-packing gal’s fan club included the entire division.

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Movie Poster of our pin-up gal in 1945

Marjorie Main reminded many of “Mom”

 

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To hear the Ma and Pa Kettle theme song Click HERE

 

Marjorie Main, playing Ma Kettle, was nominated for the best supporting actress Oscar for the 1947 movie “The Egg and I.”

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She was a character actress at that time for MGM and played in many movies. Main began playing upper class dowagers, but was ultimately typecast in abrasive, domineering, salty roles, for which her distinct voice was well suited. She repeated her stage role in Dead End in the 1937 film version, and was subsequently cast repeatedly as the mother of gangsters. She again transferred a strong stage performance, as a dude ranch operator in The Women to film in 1939

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Marjorie Main is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.

She was born Mary Tomlinson in Acton, Indiana, Main attended Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, and adopted a stage name to avoid embarrassing her father, Samuel J. Tomlinson (married to Jennie L. McGaughey), who was a minister. She worked in vaudeville on the Chautauqua and Orpheum Circuits, and debuted on Broadway in 1916. Her first film was A House Divided in 1931.

Margery married Stanley LeFevre Krebs, who died in 1935. They were divorced after thirteen years of marriage.

In 1974, a year before her death, Main attended the Los Angeles premiere of the MGM compilation film That's Entertainment. It was her first public appearance since she retired from films in 1958. At the post-premiere party, she was greeted with cheers of enthusiasm from the crowd of spectators.

She died of lung cancer on April 10, 1975 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles, where she had been admitted on April 3, at the age of eighty-five. Information from Wikipedia

       
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Actress Marjorie Main welcomes ‘Deadeye’ Division home"

 

When the 96th went home they contacted her and she met elements of the division on a troop transport.

The captain of the ship invited her to eat with him, but she refused and instead chose to wander about the ship to meet the men.

She made the trip on the ship with them to Camp Anzo, in California and served “her boys” at the chow line. That picture is in the division book.

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A lusty, old-time western welcome greeted 1,800 men of the famed 96th (Deadeye) Division at the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation yesterday. The 1,800 men, among the 3,081 returning veterans arriving in the harbor aboard the transport General Langfitt, got a special greeting from Marjorie Main, western pistol-packing motion-picture actress who was voted the “pinup girl” for the division in a spirited contest.

Miss Main, decked in a 10-gallon hat and with two guns at her hips, greeted the men from aboard the Port of Embarkation greeter ship Snafu Maru and then went aboard the General Langfitt. Later she went to Camp Anza staging area to help serve the division men their first Stateside dinner….

Miss Main was elected “Occupation Girl” of the 96th Division because her two-fisted screen characterizations embodied the same rugged virtues that carried the division through campaigns in Leyte and Okinawa."

From Framework, Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia- Los Angeles Times

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Thank You to Scott Harrison
Posted on October 5, 2012

 

A Tribute to Marjorie Main