Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand



Muriel Fortescue was a Silly Sounding ‘stage’ name which Mabel (Mable) Normand used first when working at Biograph, as you know Biograph was part of the New York Motion Picture Company.  D. W. Griffith was the production supervisor of Biograph and the players ‘posed’ in those early flickers; of course because D. W. Griffith had been an actor, he started to tale stories on film beginning with well-known plays but the stage performers didn’t want their status to be lowered by appearing in the ‘flickers’ so they were not always identified or used ‘stage’ (movie) names.  Mack Sennett at Biograph was Walter Terry.  


When our friend, William Drew read the "Reel Life" article; he found a reference to Mabel Normand known as Muriel Fortescue, in the Australian newspaper archive in ads for "Mabel's Adventures" (½ reel released December 16, 1912) just another 7 minutes of fun starring Muriel Fortescue in Australia 1913 and the Sunday Times of May 3, 1914.


I added an item found in the Ladies Section of the "Perth Sunday Times" of May 3, 1914 which contains a poem by A. W. Stewart of the Railway Department written in tribute to Muriel Fortescue and to which Mabel replied, from New York in the form-letter with a photo; New York Motion Picture Company was also the parent company of Keystone.

   Marilyn Slater


February 2, 2013