Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand




Marilyn Slater

Looking for Mabel

March 17, 2013


In the March 1925 Motion Picture Magazine was a photo of DAGMAR GODOWSKY - did you know her from trying to vamp Rudolph Valentino in “A Sainted Devil?” She has a subtle and mysterious method all her own or maybe you know her from her 1958 autobiography, First Person Plural.

I love her quote: “I lived only for pleasure and I spoiled my own fun. Where was I running? From whom? Little feet running around the globe. Nothing but circles, and I never once bumped into myself.  When questioned about the number of husbands she had, Godowsky said, “Two of my own, my dear, and several of my friends.”

 Dagmar’s nickname was “Doggie.”  Her father was Leopold Godowsky, the composer.  She and Frank Mayo; were married in Tijuana in 1921; Dagmar named Anna Luther as co-respomdent in a suit she brought against Frank but the marrieage wasn’t annulled until August 1928 on the grounds that Frank had another wife.

Oh, yes...her brother, Leo was a scientist that invented Kodachrome film for the Eastman Kodak and he was married to Frances Gershwin, sister of George Gershwin. The New York Public Library  has some wonderful photo of Dagmar by Nickolas Muray