Ena Gregory

Ena Gregory (18 April 1907 – 13 June 1993), also known as Marian Douglas, was an Australian-American actress who achieved fame in Hollywood in the 1920s.[1]

Ena Gregory
Ena Gregory
Born
Ena J. Gregory

(1907-04-18)18 April 1907
Sydney, Australia
Died13 June 1993(1993-06-13) (aged 86)
Years active1920–1931
Spouse(s)Albert S. Rogell (?–1935) (divorced)
Frank Nolan (1937–1939) (divorced)

Childhood

She was born Ena J. Gregory to Arthur and Jessie Gregory in Sydney Australia in 1907 and grew up in Manly.[2][3] In Australia, Gregory sang, danced and performed in juvenile roles for the J. C. Williamson organisation, appearing in productions such as Eyes of Youth, in 1918.[4][5] Apparently travelling with her businessman father, she arrived in California in about 1920.

Hollywood

She was first signed in Hollywood for ingenue roles by Universal Pictures in 1921. She also worked for Hal Roach Studios and First National Pictures. In all she spent five years in comic roles before going into dramatic work. By 1924 she was the leading lady of the Independent Pictures Corporation. She was a WAMPAS Baby Star of 1925.

Gregory's film career started with comedy shorts like The Bull Thrower (1920), Lion's Jaws and Kitten's Paws (1920), and The Whizbang (1921). After completing The Calgary Stampede (1925) and The Chip of the Flying U (1926), with Hoot Gibson, she was promoted to leading lady for Jack Hoxie, for two movies.

Name change

When Gregory failed to achieve stardom by losing chances due to illness and other causes, she consulted a Hollywood seer named Dareos. He suggested a new stage name which combined the syllables of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. It was Marian Douglas. [6] Her first film using the new name was The Shepherd of the Hills (1928).

Gregory continued to make movies as Marion Douglas until 1931. Her final films are Twisted Tales (1931), Three Wise Clucks (1931), Aloha (1931), and Beach Pajamas (1931).

Personal life

Gregory married film director Albert Rogell in 1931, but the union ended in divorce in August 1934. Beverly Hills, California attorney, William V.R. Smith, was named a co-respondent in a $150,000 lawsuit brought by Rogell. Gregory was awarded a temporary alimony sum of $300 per month from Rogell. Gregory married Dr. Frank Nolan on 5 November 1937. The couple separated in May 1938 and Gregory obtained a divorce decree in July 1939.

She took steps to become a U.S. citizen beginning in October 1927.

Retiring from the film industry in 1931, she became a successful real estate agent in Laguna Beach, California.

Ena Gregory died in Laguna Beach in 1993, aged 86.

Selected filmography

References

  1. George A. Katchmer (2002) A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses p. 142, McFarland & Co ISBN 0786407638
  2. "Despite endless confusion around her date of birth, New South Wales Births, Deaths and Marriages records confirm it was 1907". Archived from the original on 26 June 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  3. Manly Library, City of Manly, New South Wales Accessed 8 April 2017
  4. The Sydney Morning Herald Sat 5 Oct 1918, Page 2, "Advertising" Accessed 8 April 2017
  5. Sunday Times Sun 3 Jun 1923, Page 18, "the Actress on the Cover" Accessed 8 April 2017
  6. Also sometimes spelled Marion
  • Los Angeles Times, "Contrasting Types In Walton Picture", 18 August 1921, Page III4.
  • Los Angeles Times, "She Faced Camera When Babe In Arms", 7 December 1924, Page C31.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Thirteen-Letter Name Gives Luck", 21 October 1927, Page A1.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Cash Split By Rogells", 22 August 1934, Page A5.
  • The New York Times, "With the Producers and Players", 6 September 1925, Page X5.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Actress Wins Divorce Plea", 25 July 1939, Page 7.
  • The New York Times, "Alfred Rogell Asks Divorce", 12 August 1934, Page 18.
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