June Marlowe

June Marlowe (born Gisela Valaria Goetten, November 6, 1903 March 10, 1984) was an American film actress[1] who began her career during the silent film era. She was best known for her performance of "Miss Crabtree" in the Our Gang shorts.

June Marlowe
Gisela Valaria Goetten

(1903-11-06)November 6, 1903
DiedMarch 10, 1984(1984-03-10) (aged 80)
Resting placeCathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Years active19231932
Rodney Sprigg
(m. 1933; died 1982)


Marlowe was born to German parents in St. Cloud, Minnesota.[2] She was a prolific actress in silent films during the 1920s, appearing in films opposite John Barrymore and Rin Tin Tin.[3][4] She began her acting career shortly after her 1923 graduation from Hollywood High School,[5] and was signed to a contract by Warner Brothers in 1924.[6]

In 1925, she became one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars.[7] Her career did well until the introduction of talking pictures. Marlowe did not make an easy transition, and by 1930 she was starting to drift away from acting.

By chance, she happened to meet director Robert F. McGowan one day in a Los Angeles, California, department store. McGowan was searching for an actress to portray the schoolteacher in the Our Gang series of children's comedies. After producer Hal Roach suggested that brunette Marlowe don a blonde wig to match the hair of the lead kid in the series, Jackie Cooper, she was given the part of Miss Crabtree.

In 1928, she was an actress under contract with Universal Studios.[8]

Marlowe and Cooper were paired together in three Our Gang films, Teacher's Pet, School's Out and Love Business. She also had a small role in 1931's Little Daddy. In addition to her work in Our Gang, Marlowe appeared in fellow Roach stars Laurel and Hardy's first feature film, Pardon Us.

Marlowe's Miss Crabtree character was used in only two more shorts, 1931's Shiver My Timbers and 1932's Readin' and Writin'. After Cooper left Our Gang in 1931 she appeared in MGM features.

Later years and death

In an October 1931 notice, Washington's Evening Star newspaper announced that the Superior Court in Los Angeles "returned a verdict of $100 damages to Henry M. Oviatt against June Marlowe, film actress, and her brother, Armour Marlowe, as the outgrowth of a motor car collision," adding that their automobile had "collided with one containing Oviatt and Mrs. Nellie McLaren, who sued for $5,000 each, alleging injuries", and that "Mrs. McLaren was denied damages."[9]

On July 2, 1933, Marlowe married Hollywood businessman Rodney Sprigg and retired from motion pictures to become a housewife.[10][11][7] The couple remained married until Sprigg's death in 1982.[10] In her later years, she suffered from Parkinson's disease, dying from complications on March 10, 1984.[2]

Marlowe was originally buried at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery. She was later re-interred in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.[12]

The name of schoolteacher Edna Krabappel, a cartoon character from the animated television series The Simpsons, was chosen by early Simpsons writers Wallace Wolodarsky and Jay Kogen in 1990 as a play on the fruit "crabapple" and as a reference to Miss Crabtree from the Our Gang shorts.[13]


Short subject
Year Title Role Notes
1924 Killing Time
1924 Horace Greeley, Jr.
1930 Fast Work June Marlowe
1930 Teacher's Pet Miss Crabtree
1930 School's Out Miss Crabtree
1931 Love Business Miss Crabtree
1931 Little Daddy Miss Crabtree
1931 Shiver My Timbers Miss Crabtree
1932 Readin' and Writin' Miss Crabtree
Year Title Role Notes
1923 Fighting Blood Minor role Uncredited
1924 When a Man's a Man Kitty Reid
1924 The Tenth Woman Rose Ann Brainherd
1924 Find Your Man Patricia Reynolds
1924 A Lost Lady Constance Ogden
1925 The Man Without a Conscience Ann Sherman
1925 Tracked in the Snow Country Joan Hardy
1925 The Wife Who Wasn't Wanted Mary Paterson
1925 Below the Line May Barton
1925 The Clash of the Wolves Sylvia Norcross
1925 The Pleasure Buyers Helen Ripley
1926 The Night Cry Mrs. John Martin
1926 Don Juan Trusia Uncredited
1926 The Old Soak Ina Heath Lost film
1926 Fangs of Justice Janet Morgan
1927 The Fourth Commandment Marjorie Miller
1927 The Life of Riley Molly O'Rourke Lost film
1927 Wild Beauty Helen Cunningham
1927 On the Stroke of Twelve Doris Bainbridge
1928 Alias the Deacon Phyllis/Mrs. Nancy Blythe
1928 Their Hour Peggy
1928 Free Lips Ann Baldridge
1928 The Branded Man Louise
1928 The Foreign Legion Gabrielle
1928 The Grip of the Yukon Sheila O'Neil Lost film
1928 Code of the Air Helen Carson
1929 The Brandenburg Arch Frieda, seine Tochter German title: Durchs Brandenburger Tor. Solang noch Untern Linden...
1929 The Unusual Past of Thea Carter Thea Carter German title: Die seltsame Vergangenheit der Thea Carter
1930 The Lone Defender Dolores Valdez
1931 Los Presidiarios Warden's daughter Uncredited
1931 Pardon Us Warden's daughter
1932 Devil on Deck Mary Moore
1935 Roaring Roads June Marlowe


  1. Nelson, C. E. "Flashes from the Screen" (mention of June Marlowe's casting in the lead role of "Gabrielle" in The Foreign Legion). Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, October 9, 1927, p. 3.
  2. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland & Company Incorporated Pub. p. 198. ISBN 0-786-40983-5.
  3. "Rialto—"Tracked in the Snow Country". Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, September 30, 1925, p. 57.
  4. "Rin-Tin-Tin Saved Hotel from Fire". Key West, Florida: The Key West Citizen, March 24, 1926, p. 7.
  5. "Success without Struggle". Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, December 5, 1926, p. 3.
  6. Abend, Hallet. "Hollywood Gossip". Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, June 8, 1924, p. 2.
  7. Liebman, Roy (2000). The Wampas Baby Stars: A Biographical Dictionary, 1922-1934. McFarland. p. 141. ISBN 0-786-40756-5.
  8. "June Marlowe, Universal", in "9 out of 10 screen stars use Lux Toilet Soap for their priceless smooth skins: 'Smooth skin essential' say leading Directors". Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, February 28, 1928, p. 16.
  9. "Awarded $100 Damages". Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, October 9, 1931, p. B-9.
  10. Vazzana, Eugene Michael (2001). Silent Film Necrology (2 ed.). McFarland. p. 351. ISBN 0-786-41059-0.
  11. Strawther, Larry (2012). A Brief History of Los Alamitos-Rossmoor. The History Press. p. 118. ISBN 1-609-49861-5.
  12. Brooks, Patricia; Brooks, Jonathan (2006). Laid to Rest in California: A Guide to the Cemeteries and Grave Sites of the Rich and Famous. Globe Pequot. p. 6. ISBN 0-762-74101-5.
  13. Groening, Matt; Wolodarsky, Wallace (2001). Commentary for the episode "Homer's Odyssey", in The Simpsons: The Complete First Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
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