Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand


Transcribed by

Marilyn Slater

August 31, 2016




Los Angeles Herald, December 20, 1920

The California has something of interest to tell about Mabel Normand and her new Goldwyn picture, “What Happened to Rosa,” which is now playing there.  It is a little story Mabel tells about her trip to San Francisco to do the boat scenes for this production.  She fooled a number of fans who had collected to see her when she went aboard the vessel.


One thing Mabel detests is public gatherings where she is stared at, so she prepared to fool them.  Her costume was a Spanish girl’s dancing flimsy, so she just put on a big bathrobe, borrowed a slouch hat from Director Victor Schertzinger, slung a towel over her shoulder and with dark glasses over her nose and a pair of prop man’s boxing gloves under arm, she arrived at the wharf in a taxi, got out and stalked through the crowd while they waited eagerly to see “Mabel.”



She stopped and “gassed” with a cop, swapped a story with a gateman and then passed on in.  One of the crowd asked who the “prizefitin’ guy” was and the cop answered, “”Oh, that’s just one of them movies I guess.”