Minta Durfee

Araminta Estelle "Minta" Durfee (October 1, 1889 – September 9, 1975) was an American silent film actress from Los Angeles, California, possibly best known for her role in Mickey (1918).

Minta Durfee
Cover of Photoplay, December 1915
Araminta Estelle Durfee

(1889-10-01)October 1, 1889
DiedSeptember 9, 1975(1975-09-09) (aged 85)
Other namesMinta Durfee Arbuckle
Years active1913–1971
Spouse(s)Roscoe Arbuckle
(m. 1908–div.1925)


She met Roscoe Arbuckle when he was attempting to get started in theater, and the two married in August 1908. Durfee entered show business in local companies as a chorus girl at the age of seventeen. She was the first leading lady of Charlie Chaplin.

Durfee and Arbuckle separated in 1921, just prior to a scandal involving the death of starlet Virginia Rappe. There were three trials and finally Arbuckle was acquitted. His career was destroyed and he received few job offers. Durfee and Arbuckle were divorced in 1925. Durfee was quoted in her later years as saying Arbuckle was "the most generous human being I've ever met", and "if I had to do it all over again, I'd still marry the same man."[1]

Durfee was an avid defender of her close friend Mabel Normand throughout Normand's many public scandals, and she spoke fondly of her until her own death.[1]

A regular performer on television, Durfee appeared on such shows as Noah's Ark (1956). She had minor roles in motion pictures like How Green Was My Valley (1941), Naughty Marietta (1935), Rose-Marie (1936), It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), and Savage Intruder (1970).

In later life, Durfee gave lectures on silent film and held retrospectives on her and her husband's pictures. She was surprised and excited by the renewed interest in silent film and did her best to help.[1]

Minta Durfee died in Woodland Hills, California, at the Motion Picture Country Home in 1975. She suffered from a heart ailment.[2][3]

Selected filmography


  1. Schneider, Don; Normand, Stephen (July 21, 1974). "Excerpts of Interview with Minta Durfee Arbuckle". Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  2. "Minta Durfee, Actress, 85, Dies; Former Wife of Fatty Arbuckle". New York Times. September 12, 1975. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  3. Del Olmo, Frank (September 12, 1975). "Fatty Arbuckle's First Wife Dies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
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