Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand

Mae Busch by Marilyn Slater


To Mae Busch—“who is eternally ever popular!"

There is nothing to support any stories of Mabel Normand and Mae Busch knowing each other before 1915.  The story of the two women working in films together in New York doesn’t exist; and as to Mae Busch modeling, no record has been found. There is simply nothing to these stories.

                           So Who was Mae Busch?

 by Marilyn Slater

January 14, 2008

Mae Busch is known to have padded her résumé and at different times and had told widely different stories of her background depending on what situation she was trying for.  Truth was not a virtue that Mae held particularly high. Mabel Normand was creative about her roots too. It could be said, that Mae was a woman of easy virtue, but not by me…well maybe.

In understanding the people and time in which Mabel lived, it is a good idea to get to know Mae a little better.

Minta Durfee said that when Mae Busch came in 1915 to Keystone Studio that “no one liked her”[1].  Mae had been in vaudeville before she went into pictures.  She told the story that she took over the lead in ‘Over the River’, a role that established her as a leading lady which toured the country.  ‘Over the River’ was part of a musical program headed by Eddie Foy and his family.  

Although there had been plans for Mabel to star in a film with Joe Weber and Lew Fields in 1915, the film was never made with her even though the newspapers showed photos of Mabel with Weber and Fields[2].  Oh, yes, Keystone made the comedy it was called ‘The Best of Enemies’  Mae Busch took Mabel’s place as the pretty daughter.







I never ask men any questions because I know they never tell the truth.

It sounds cynical, but it really isn’t.  Mae’s philosophy evolved out of the discovery that life wasn’t all she had expected it to be.  I have had a very unhappy experience in my life,” she said, “the thing I have learned is to save myself worry about men.”


Mae understood herself pretty well, in an interview she did with Dan Thomas in 1929[3], she said, “I’m broke because I’m a fool.” She had a total of $416 to her name!  She had gone to court to get a release of an attachment filed against her.  In 1929, she was the sole support of her sick father, Frederick Busch. 


Mae explained to the judge, “I have thrown away thousands and thousands of dollars” but she promised that from this point on she was going to save her money. She continued explaining, “I’ve learned my lesson – learned that trying to keep pace with Hollywood doesn’t pay.”


The story she told, Judge Marshall Macomb was, “Before I came to Hollywood, I did not know what wealth and luxury were. Then I broke into pictures and met with almost immediate success.  Before I realized what was happening more money than I had ever dreamed of started pouring in on me.  I guess having so much money turned my head.  I started spending it recklessly without a thought of the future.


“My chief ambition was to outdo everyone else in the picture business.  And since there are many others with the same idea, it proved to be a difficult task.  If one of my friends gave a party, I would give one a week or so later on an even more lavish scale.  And if I saw another actress riding in a car, which cost more money then the one I had, I couldn’t rest until I had bought an even more expensive one.  I never stopped to think that some day the flow of gold would stop.  That is Hollywood’s greatest curse – it makes lavish spenders and poor thinkers.


“There were other things too, a pretentious home, servants and clothes.  And they all cost money.  I used to spend upwards of $18,000 a year for clothes”. 


She had to have a cook, liveried chauffer, a private secretary, a personal publicity man, a business agent, house servants and a personal maid to go to the studio with her.


Mae said, “Besides that I gave thousands to friends that I never got back.  However, those days are a past chapter.  I have learned how recklessly I threw money away.  I have awakened and know now how to live sensibly. “


The Judge, ruled in her favor.


Mae traded her husbands regularly.   On December 12, 1915, she married Francis McDonald[4], the silent film star. Mae had married before Mabel left Los Angeles, on the train to New York with, Elgin Lessley[5], Ferris Hartman[6], Joe Bordeaux, Minta and Roscoe Arbuckle and the Keystone gang, December 26, 1915[7].


Mae comes across a bit cynical; I think her philosophy is in fact a form of self-protection. It was devised after her divorce from Francis McDonald – after the filing of a letter from her former husband as evidence of his desertion.  The letter reads:

“Mae – This is the finish.  You can rest assured by to-morrow morning everything will be over between us.  But remember I have kept my end of the bargain.  Do not try to get me at the studio, for I won’t answer the phone.  By-by Mac”

Mae had married McDonald in Los Angeles, December 12, 1915 – note the date – and they parted four years later, almost to the day.  She was granted an interlocutory decree of divorce in October 1922, and the final decree was signed a year and a day later.


After Mae and Mc Donald were divorced, he married Belle Roscoe, the divorced wife of Albert Roscoe. Later, Mae and Francis McDonald came to an understanding and were friendly.


In 1923, Mae was reported engaged to Al Wilkie, a press agent, but they didn’t marry.  Mae admitted that she was again engaged in 1924 but didn’t disclose who it might be, leaving her friends to speculate if it were an actor, she had worked with.


On June 30, 1926 another actual marriage this time to John Earl Cassell of Milwaukee, a salesman. They were only together for 3 months but Mae didn’t file for divorce until August 31, 1928.  Mae charged desertion and non-support; she alleged that John deserted her in November 1, 1926. This was the same thing she filed against her first husband. John Cassell charged that his wife had deserted him. John had filed in June 1928 and obtained a divorce in Milwaukee[8], Mae made no appearance therefore John was granted the divorce by default; since Mae had filed a similar action in Los Angeles only after the Wisconsin filing, her action was dismissed.


There is some information that Mae Busch may have been married to John Holland[9] in 1930 as the records show they were living together.


And, then in 1936 she married Thomas Coe Tate, a civil engineer. In a Walter Winchell column in 1932, they were said, to be “an item”. They were still married in 1946 at the time of Mae’s death.  Thomas Coe Tate died in Los Angeles on October 1, 1950 at the age of 43.  It was pointed out to me that it was eerie to realize that at his death he was still younger than she was when they married.  


Mae was childless; she wrote a sad and lovely poem called



Mae Busch

Never to see your image in my arms

Nestling at my breast –

Tiny lips draining the milk of my

life –

Tiny hands clutching the tendrils

of my heart –

Why does God create barren soil,

when He forever fertilizes it

with His rain?

His sun, His softly warm winds?

Is life forever to go on wanting?

With naught for my arms but the

head of men,

Naught for my heart but their lash?


(Copyright, 1924, by The News, New York)


She was sometimes unemployed but she never truly retired and she found work almost continually from her first film in 1912 to her death.


It is pretty well documented that Mae was born in Australia[10]; her parents were on the stage and the family came to USA to work on the stage.  Her father was Fredrick William Busch and mother, Elizabeth Maria Lay both were performers.   In the stories of her early life, most report that Mae was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1891 (either January 18 or June 18). Her real name was Annie May Busch[11], her parents had been "in the theater," probably burlesque. Mae was around 6 years old, when her family moved to the United States. She was placed in a convent in New Jersey, where she remained until 1912.


Mae said that she went to the convent when she was 12 years old. She remained there for nearly four years.  She had a good singing voice, which was trained at the convent.  Shortly before her graduation, she sang at an informal entertainment, where she met Elsie Janis[12].  When Elsie Janis learned that Mae wanted to go on the stage, she gave Mae a letter of introduction to Charles Dillingham[13], who was then ready to produce ‘Over the River’, with Eddie Foy[14].  Mae went immediately to the Globe Theater, where rehearsals were being held.  Dillingham gave her the job of understudying Lillian Lorraine, who had the leading feminine role. When the leading lady suddenly deserted the show, Mae played the whole season on Broadway.  She was 16 years old when she became a musical star.  After touring with ‘Over the River’, she played in a ‘girl show’, called ‘The Beauties’ which Jesse Lasky put on the Orpheum circuit.  Mack Sennett saw her while she was touring in ‘The Beauties’ and offered her a job with his bathing beauties[15]. 


So there it is as Mae remembers it.  She got her job at Keystone after Mack Sennett saw a “girl show” in 1915.


Before Sennett invited Mae to come to his studio, Mae had been in a film, ‘The Agitator’ (1912 American Film Manufacturing Company, Incorporated) with J. Warren Kerrigan, American Film Manufacturing Company; the offices were in Chicago.  The release date was April 4, 1912. 


 In 1912, Mabel was working with Sennett/Biograph in Edendale. In some articles on Mae there is a reference that Mae was in or tried to be in a short comedy that Mabel made called ‘The Water Nymph’ in looking at the production details it just doesn’t seem possible.  The release date on September 23, 1912 and of course, it was filmed in Los Angeles and nothing found indicates that Mae Busch was in Los Angeles that early in her career.    


In one of her stories, Mae had claimed to have lived in Tahiti[16] and knew how to swim and dive. In fact, there is nothing to indicate that she lived in Tahiti or that she knew how to swim or dive until much later.


Another story of Mae’s years before Keystone, when she was playing in a musical act on the same vaudeville program as Sarah Bernhardt; Sarah the Divine[17], after watching the girl from the wings Bernhardt told Mae:

“Someday, if you suffer, my dear child, you will become a great actress”

Mae claims to have suffered enough to make good the prophecy of Bernhardt. It is a good story.


So, Mae had a film and music comedies under her belt when she arrived at Keystone in 1915 and met Mabel Normand for the first time.  We have all heard of the alleged brawl between Mabel and Mae; when Mabel found Mae with Mack Sennett, which resulted in Mabel leaving the studio, to work at Fort Lee NJ. Mabel only came back to California to make ‘Mickey’ at her own studio. It is clear that any problems between Mae and Mabel is not based on Mae’s of betrayal of a friend. Mae made about 20 films with Sennett and continued at Keystone until 1916.


Yes, before Mabel left on the train to New York with Roscoe and other members of the Keystone/Triangle production company in 1915, Mae Busch was in a film with Mabel.  “Mabel and Fatty’s Married Life[18], just the one film was made with the two women.  A  Sennett comedy worth a special mention is a Mae Busch and Charley Chase[19], 1915 film called "Settled At The Seaside” where a young and very lovely Mae is found in her swimsuit.



Mae returned to stage with the Foys when they also return to the musical comedy but Mae didn’t stay away, she came back to California to make films for Paramount, Goldwyn and MGM in 1920s.

Although she worked as a comedienne at Keystone and Hal Roach Studios, many of the films she made were not funny.  The total body of her work is very impressive. Mae was known as the ‘Versatile Vamp" during the Silent Era, this might have been because she was such a natural flirt.

It was in 1923 that Mabel was invited to attend Mae’s birthday celebration that Paul Bern gave to honor Mae Busch at the private banquet room at the Montmarte. Also in attendance were Julianne Johnston, Corrine Griffith, Walter Morosco, Billy Haines, Carey Wilson and Joe Jackson.  Mabel and Mae had met when Mabel was the Mack Sennett star, Mae was doing small bits, and there was that fierce quarrel in September 1915 about 7 years before.  The common gossip in 1923 was that their quarrel concerned the attentions of Sennett, but by 1923, the newspaper report that they had resolved their differences and Hollywood rejoiced"[20]. 

Mae’s Hollywood career lasted over 30 years, working for the likes of Erich Von Stroheim in ‘The Devil’s Passkey’ Mae is billed as a former musical comedy star who plays the French dancer. She was engaged for the role in ‘The Primrose Path’ and ‘Foolish Wives’ (a fantastic film) produced at Universal City.

In 1923, Maurice Touneur directed ‘The Christian’ in which Mae Busch was well received.  She plays the talented and temperamental Glory Quayle.  This required her to travel to England in 1922[21] with co-stars Richard Dix and the Sennett alumni, Phyllis Haver for the cast needed to film scenes at the historic spots.

During the filming of ‘Souls for Sale’, Mae was struck by an automobile and was injured and she had to spend a period of time in bed. ‘Soul for Sale again paired Mae with Richard Dix and the villainous, Lew Cody. The rest of the cast was extremely impressive, everyone from Eleanor Boardman, Marshall Neilan, Barbara Marr, King Vidor, Bessie Love, Eric von Stroheim, Anna Q. Nisson and Zasu Pitts.

In 1924, Mae signed a new contract with Goldwyn Picture for an extended period of time as a reward for her work.

 Lon Chaney and Mae Busch were directed by Tod Browning in ‘The Unholy Three,’ Mae played Rosie O’Grady in 1925. Mae worked with Harry Houdini in ‘Grim Game.’  She appeared in ‘Alibi’ (1929) with Chester Morris; ‘Alibi’ was nominated for an Oscar. 

As mentioned Lew Cody worked with Mae before he married Mabel Normand. They made ‘Souls for Sale, (1923); ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew’ (1924); ‘Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model’, (1924) and ‘Time, the Comedian’, (1925) together.

Mae Busch was the comedy relief in “Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model” (1924), Nellie’s chum Polly Joy; Lew Cody was the villain Walter Pock. Victor (Pop) Schertzinger directed Mabel Normand in a large number of films and also worked with Mae Busch as a young wife in a film called “Bread” that Grace Kingley describes Mae’s performance as exquisitely played. 

Mae was at the height of her vamp career, a solid gold contract with Goldwyn, lovely starring parts, terrific reviews, she was a enormous star by the time she made ‘A Woman Who Sinned’ which was described was as, “a gripping daring advance that holds you like a sermon”

Harry Carr tells a story in his August 6, 1924 column of the day after Mae Busch was told to act with more dignity at the studio.  The next morning she gave a cold nod to the gateman, a person she had known for years; when she got to the set, she was very snippy to the electricians.  The crew asked her if any of them had done anything wrong.  No work was getting done.  The studio relented seeing that Mae had made her point and surrendered to her, “Go on with your old stuff or we will never get any pictures made” (Mae knew how to get her way).

While working at MGM there is a report that she suffered a nervous breakdown and lost her contract.  It is curious that in 1926, Mabel marries Lew Cody and Mae had married Lew in a Robert Z. Leonard film at MGM called ‘Time, the Comedian’ both Lew and Mae were said to be at their best in that film. 

In 1927, Mae Busch was in a chorus girl role in ‘Husband Hunters.’  It was written that she enjoyed her part of the sophisticated chorus girl and that it took her back to the days when she first went on the stage and had to go through many tiresome rehearsals, but realized how important all this had been in preparing herself for a screen career.  The director was given a number of pointers by Mae on how he should portray the chorus girls.

By 1928, Mae was dissatisfied with what she had been offered and was rehearsing a new vaudeville sketch, ‘Capital Punishment,’ written by Adela Rogers St. John.  She was also asked to play a supporting role in the play ‘From Hell Came a Lady’ at the Hollywood Play House.  This was the first straight dramatic stage part she would have played as in her early career she was in musical comedy not drama.  She learned drama in the movies.  Mae said that it was Eric Von Strohelm, who taught her how to be obvious in a role and Victor Seastrom worked with her on expressing a side of her character which she never felt before while she becomes stark staring mad.   Mae had a supporting role in the Lon Chaney film with Anita Page, ‘While the City Sleeps’ in 1928. 


It was her classic work at the Hal Roach Studios with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel, which cemented her reputation as the shrewish wife of Oliver Hardy.  Her first Laurel and Hardy film was ‘Love ‘Em and Weep’, (1927). By 1929  Laurel and Hardy made their first all talkie comedy ’Unaccustomed As We Are’ Mae Busch plays Mrs. Hardy, and Thelma Todd appears as the neighbor. Mae Busch made about 16 films with Laurel and Hardy plus other Roach shorts.

Part of the strategy of the Roach studio was to bring recognized names to the Studios “All Star” roster; Mabel Normand, Theda Bara and Mae Busch were part of this plan. So again, Mabel and Mae were working on the same lot although not in the same films.  Mabel retired in 1926 and Mae made her first Roach film in 1927. 

Mabel had long ago forgiven Mae for her dalliance with Mack Sennett; it was Mabel’s manner not to carry ill feelings around, she didn’t have time. 

Fred Niblo “There is only one thing that you could ever be sure of with Mae Busch--that you could never be sure of anything."

(Perhaps nothing is truer.)

It is interesting to note in a July 5, 1931 article in a Texas paper[22], that Mae seems to be working in films but no longer a star, just a working actress. Mae had stage experience and made the movement to sound films rather easily…here I will let you read it;   

“A few months ago Mae got permission from an actors’ agent to help “sell” some of his clients to casting directors.  This was one way of getting into studios.

One of her first calls was Hal Roach’s studio, where she went to tell about the merits of one of her clients.  Instead, Mae sold herself.

She got parts in two Laurel and Hardy comedies and now she is working quite regularly again”.


When Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as members of that great order, sons of the Desert, took the oath to attend the annual convention at Chicago they started trouble for themselves, but managed to get out of it by deceiving their trusting wives.  Then the real mix-up began and a brother-in-law’s telephone call to Los Angeles, an unfortunate typhoon that stirred up the ship on which they were supposed to be returning from Honolulu, and finally a motion picture of the Chicago parade in which they were recognized by their wives, caused them a commotion.  That’s the story of ’Son of the Desert’ (this is for those of you who have not laughed their way though it).  Mae Busch and Dorothy Christy are the trusting wives.


Mae’s career didn’t end with her films at Roach; she went on to have supporting roles in a number of films where she played character parts.   

Her role in the 1929, ‘Alibi’ created a great deal of interest in Mae in drama as well as her work in the Roach shorts.  In 1930, she played the part of a cynical partner in ‘Young Desire.’ Her days as a star seem to be over.  By the release of ‘Son of Russia[23]’ in 1932, Mae Busch was on the screen with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. but is not included in the cast list. Mae had a small part in ‘Dance Girl, Dance’ in 1933.  She made the rounds of the studios picking up work where she could, she had a small part in the Warner Bros, 1935 feature ‘Stranded’. 


"The greatest actress on the screen."

--Charlie Chaplin on Mae Busch


By 1937, on a sound stages at a Hollywood studio were five extras whose combined fortunes at one time could have bought and sold the entire movie industry. They were Agnes Ayres, Clara Kimball Young, Ethel Clayton, Vera Steadman and Mae Busch.  They were glad of the chance to work for $7.50 each a day.  Occasionally, they received $15 a day as a dress extras.  This is not every day, of course, for they work only part of the time – a few days in this picture, perhaps a week or two in that one, then nothing for a time.  If you look, quick Mae Busch can be seen in a Universal studios feature ‘High, Wide and Handsome.’ 

Mae didn’t stop, she went on and on and on…in 1938; a success story, perhaps; Once upon a time Mae Busch was a star and Norma Shearer was a young hopeful playing bits in Busch features. Things changes, Mae was working in a small part in ‘Marie Antoinette’ supporting the star, Norma Shearer.


Louella Parsons reported in her October 22, 1940 column that Mae Busch had a small part in ‘Ziegfeld Girl’ back at MGM, which was being directed by Robert Z. Leonard, who made many of her starring features.

Fifteen years before when Mae Busch had been a star and Bob Leonard[24] was one of her directors, her tardiness on the sets had been a Hollywood legend.  She was no longer a star but she was again working for Leonard in ‘Ziegfeld Girl.  Mae remembered his old rage when she wasn’t punctual, she was determined to be on time and on her first day, she started to work a half-hour early.  Alas, en route, a tire on her somewhat battered jalopy blew and history repeated itself – Mae arrived 15 minutes late.  She never had a chance to explain, for: “Don’t tell me you had a flat tire!” roared Leonard, “you used that one up 15 years ago![25] 

Lana Turner was one of the stars of ‘The Ziegfeld Girl’ but when Mae Busch was a star working on ‘Frivolous Sal’ in Idaho she was so impressed with a little 4-year-old girl, she told the child’s mother that they should move to Hollywood.  So Lana Turn’s mother moved to Hollywood and Mae’s confidence in the child’s potential was reward[26].

Ten years after Mabel had died; Mae was still working when Republic Studio dedicated a new stage[27] at the old Sennett lot in Studio City to Mabel Normand. Mae Busch was listed as one of the old stars attending this honor to Mabel with so many fading stars.

Mae lived with her husband, Tom Tate at 1219 North Beechwood Drive, Los Angeles[28], when she was taken to the hospital.

There is a strange story that after the death of Mae Busch Tate, which occurred at the Motion Picture Home Hospital, April 19, 1946, of pneumonia where she was hospitalized with rectal cancer; her ashes were not claimed until 1970 when the Way Out West Tent[29] realized that no one had laid her to rest. They paid to have her placed at Chapel of the Pines[30]. 



Mae was not totally forgotten, her star is located at 7047 Hollywood Boulevard. Mae home in the 1920s was also located on Hollywood Boulevard; it is listed as the Hillview Apartments, 6531-35 Hollywood Blvd. and is on Hollywood Star tourist maps. Some of us remember Jackie Gleason referring to “the ever-popular Mae Busch”.

It is my understanding that a toast to her is part of the by-laws of the Sons of the Desert[31] constitution: "To Mae Busch--who is eternally ever popular!"


[1] 1974, July 21; taped Reel 3A Minta Durfee with Steven Normand

[2] Joe Weber and Lew Fields veterans of vaudeville from the 1880s,

German dialect act, pioneer in stage slapstick.


[3] 1929, March 26, Appleton Post-Crescent, Dan Thomas, Hollywood


[4] . Continued to work in films in supporting roles perhaps his last

appearance was in for DeMille's, The Ten Commandments (1956), he plays

Simon working in the clay pit with Charlton Heston and is stabbed with a trowel

by a guard, dying in Heston’s arms.


[5]  Elgin Lessley by Marilyn Slater;  http://www.freewebs.com/looking-for-mabel/elginlessley.htm


 [6] Ferris Hartman by Marilyn Slater;  http://www.freewebs.com/looking-for-mabel/ferrishartman.htm


 [7] 1915 New York trip on New Years by Marilyn Slater; http://www.freewebs.com/looking-for-mabel/1915newyorknewyear.htm


[8] 1928 August 31, The Kingsport Times, Film Actress asks Divorce,

1929 September 12, The Fresno Bee Mae Busch Loses Husband, Milwaukee (UP)


[9] 1930, 15th US Census, Los Angeles California, district #56, line # 17, (courtesy of Steven Rowe)


[10]  if Mae came in 1897 at 6 years old


[11] 1917 07 21, The Eau Claire Leader, Daisy Dean's "News Notes from Movieland”: "All in a Name"  "Mae Busch says she's tired of being kidded about her name.  She laughs twenty times a week when asked if she is related to Anheuser, and twice as often at jokes about bush league players.  The number of laughs required for the burning bush joke average fifty a week.  In making this statement she wishes it understood that she is in no wise beating about the bush."


[12] Elsie Janis was a stage performer, singer, songwriter, screenwriter, director, composer,

producer with a Hollywood Star at 6776 Hollywood Blvd. She did the some of the lyrics and

music for ‘Over the River’ (Jan 1912 – Apr 1912) musical.  Elsie Janis was Princess Kalora

on the stage in ‘The Slim Princess’ (a character Mabel Normand later played on screen). 


[13] Dillingham, Charles Bancroft, Producer
b. May 30, 1868 (Hartford, CT) - d. Aug. 30, 1934 (New York City)
Dillingham is the only prominent Broadway producer who started out as a theater critic.

also built and managed The Globe Theatre


[14] Ed Foy was a Vaudeville and Musical Comedy Star. Born Edwin Fitzgerald Foy in

New York. When Foy’s wife died, he had little choice but to take his 7 children on the

road with him. They developed an act, which became famous as “Eddie Foy and The

Seven Little Foys.”


[15] 1923 Blue Book of the Screen, It was Elsie Janis who gave Miss Busch a letter of

introduction to Charles Dillingham, then rehearsing "Over the River" with Eddie Foy. Mae was

allowed to understudy Lillian Lorraine, the leading lady. A few days before the opening of the

production, Miss Lorraine left the company suddenly, and the ambitious Australian girl found

herself appearing in the lead. Despite her lack of experience, she played the role for the entire

season on Broadway.

Next, she appeared in "The Beauties," a girl show on the Orpheum circuit. She played with the

company for a year. While in Los Angeles, a leading comedy manager (Mack Sennett) noticed her

and urged her to take up motion-picture work. Still considering the offer, she left for San Francisco,

where she played the leading role in "Damaged Goods" at the Alcazar Theatre, with Edmund Lowe.

At the close of this engagement, she wired that she would accept his offer, and returned to Los

Angeles, where she entered the motion pictures as one of the Sennett bathing girls.


[16] 1923 Blue Book of the Screen MAE BUSCH was born in Melbourne, Australia, on June 18,

and spent early girlhood in that country and Tahiti.


[17] Sarah Bernhardt carried out a successful tour of America in 1915. Even after her right leg

was amputated before her tour; she continued her career; her physical condition confined her

practically to immobility on the stage, but the charm of her voice allow her to continue.  She

has a star on the Walk of Frame, 1751 Vine Street. 



1 reel,  Feb. 11, 1915; The Monkey Scare dir. Roscoe Arbuckle

cast:  Mabel Normand, Roscoe Arbuckle, Glen Cavender, Al St. John, Mae Busch, Cecile Arnold finished:  1/29/1915, Location:  Keystone studio, Echo Park, Edendale Blvd. copyright:  Feb. 11, 1915


[19] In a Grace Kingsley column, which noted that Mae was being directed by Charles Parrott

(Charley Chase) in Fox comedies 1917/1918 and that, during breaks in filming, the two would

have fun by singing duets.


[20] Photoplay,  October 1924


[21] 1922, June 6 The Capital Times, by Daisy Dean, News Notes From Movieland


[22] 1931, July 5; San Antonio Express, Merely Chatier


[23] "Scarlet Dawn" release title, TCM has shown it and it can be found on Warners Home Video

as part of the "Forbidden Hollywood" series.


[24] Robert Z. Leonard 1889 to 1968, director, actor, producer and screenwriter. Married to silent

superstar Mae Murray. He was nominated for Academy Award for The Divorcee and The Great

Ziegfeld (won for best picture.) His Hollywood star is at 6368 Hollywood Blvd.


[25] 1941, January 21, 1941 The Syracuse Herald Journal, NY, Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood  


[26] 1942, August 24; The Morning Herald, Uniontown, PA, About Movies


[27] 1940, December 28; Los Angeles Times, LA, CA Edwin Schallert, Studio Sound Stage

Dedication to Mabel Normand, Silent Star


 [28] 1946, April 22; Obituaries, Hollywood, (UP) Mae Busch, Silent Screen Star, Dies


[29]  Way Out West website  http://www.wayoutwest.org/


[30] Chapel of the Pines Crematory; 1605 S. Catalina; Los Angeles, CA  90006


[31]  Sons of the Desert, USA http://nightowlstent.home.att.net/;

Sons of the Desert, UK  http://www.sotd.org/





Special thanks to:

Members of the Mabel Normand Yahoo Group,


·        William M. Drew, knower of just about everything everybody else forgot, a devoted admirer of Mabel and Mae and a sharer of knowledge

·        John Everton, lover of Mabel and all things Laurel and Hardy

·        Maria Fernandez, the asker of the right questions

·        Delores Hanney, a writer and a reader and a smashing lady of wit and style

·        Steve Rowe, the finder of facts

·        Steve Rydzewski, the searcher, researcher, the writer and man with “Wrigglyeyes”

·        William Thomas Sherman, of the Mabel Normand Source Book, an editor and my friend

·        April Tanner, the internet surfer and sharer of fines




David Noakes website


The Life of the Family in OZ





Of Mae Busch


The Agitator



(Sennett Studio)

Settled at the Seaside

A Rascal of Wolfish Ways

A Rascal’s Foolish Way

Those College Girls

Mabel and Fatty’s Married Life (with Mabel Normand)

Ye Olden Grafter

Willful Ambrose

Ambrose Sour Grapes

Love in Armor

Beating hearts and Carpets

A One Night Stand

The Rent Jumpers

A Human Hound’s Triumph

For Better – But Worse

Merely a Married Man

The Best of Enemies



The Folly of Fanchette

The Fair Barbarian



The Grin Game



The Devil’s Passkey

The Lone Ranger

Her Husband’s Friend



The Love Charm

A Parisian Scandal



Her Own Money

Foolish Wives

Pardon My Nerve

Brother Under the Skin

Only a Shop Girl



The Christian

Souls for Sale (with Lew Cody)



Name the Man

The Shooting of Dan McGrew (with Lew Cody)

Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model (with Lew Cody)

A Woman Who Sinned


Broken Barriers

Married Flirts

The Triflers



1925 Studio Tour (Lew Cody)

Camille of the Barbary Coast

Flaming Love

The Unholy Three

Time, the Comedian (Lew Cody)



The Miracle of Life

The Nutcracker

Fools of Fashion

The Truthful Sex



Tongues of Scandal

Husband Hunters

Perch of the Devil

The Beauty Shoppers

Love ‘Em and Weep (L&H)



The Bride of Colorado

San Francisco Nights


Black Butterflies

While the City Sleeps

Sister of Eve

West of Zanzibar





Unaccustomed As We Are

A Man’s Man



Young Desire



Chickens Come Home (L&H)

Come Clean (L&H)

Defenders of the Law

Fly My Kite


Slow Poison



Without Honor

The Rider of Death Valley

High Hats and Low Brows

The Man Called Back

The Purchase Price

Jewel Robbery

Doctor X

Heart Punch

Scarlet Dawn

Their First Mistake (L&H)

Women Won’t Tell

The Racing Strain



Blondie Johnson

Sucker Money

Out All Night

Cheating Blondes

Lilly Turner

Secrets of Hollywood

Dance, Girl Dance

Sons of the Desert (L&H)




Olivier the Eighth (L&H)

The Road to Ruin

I Like It That Way

Picture Brides

Going Bye-Bye (L&H)

Then Thar Hills (L&H)

The Live Ghost (L&H)



Tit for Tat (L&H)

The Fixer Uppers (L&H)

The Affair of Susan



The Bohernian Girl (L&H)

The Amazing Exploits of the Clutching Hand

Easy to Take

The Accusing Finger



Daughter of Shanghai



The Buccaneer

The Big Broadcast of 1938

Scandal Street

Prison Farm

Marie Antoinette

Nancy Drew – Detective



Fang of the Wild



Women Without Names



Ziegfeld Girl

French Fried Patootie



Hello Annapolis

The Mad Monster



Masquerade in Mexico

The Stork Club



The Blue Dahlia

The Bride Wore Boots

Cross My Heart






1912 March 28,  Lillian Lorriane was having an affair with the co-producer of the play, Flo Ziegfield.  In one of their spats in  late March of 1912 -  she left the show and got married. She was indeed replaced by Busch,  the date is listed in the New York Times. Lorriane was stated by an unknown to me April newspaper to be returning to the show, I have no idea if she did before the show ended in late April.  Nor do I know who was in the touring show (which ran until at least Jan 1913). (the Lorriane marriage didn't last long either. exact dates of Busch's first staring role and the end of the show were  " Mae took over the role in "Over the River" from Lillian Lorriane on March 27, 1912 - per the New York Times of March 28." .  Broadway show ended April 20, 1912. ( a note from Steve Rowe)



A visit to “To Mae Busch—on Hollywood Blvd.    http://looking-for-mabel.webs.com/buschwalking.htm