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Madcap Mabel Normand



        Notables of Hollywood turn out for the funeral of Mabel Normand, film comedienne.  At left is Lew Cody, film actor and Miss Normand’s husband, with her mother, Mrs. Mary Normand.  The pallbearers are, left to right facing camera: Louis B. Mayer, Judge James, Eugene Pallette, Charlie Chaplin and Sid Grumman; backs turned: Douglas Fairbanks, Colonel Art Goebel, D.W. Griffith, Mack Sennett and Samuel Goldwyn.

Chester Times

March 3, 1930

Page 18


   Louis Burt Mayer (born Lazar Meir July 4, 1884October 29, 1957) was an early film producer, most famous for his stewardship and co-founding of the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

He is generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in its golden years. Known always as Louis B. Mayer and often simply as "L.B.", he believed in "wholesome entertainment" and went to great lengths so that MGM had "more stars than there are in the heavens". At the time of Mabel Normand’s death, Lew Cody, her husband was one of the MGM stars. (from Wikipedia information)

   Judge William P James was the youngest judge on the superior bench of Los Angeles County.  He was born in the outskirts of Buffalo New York in 1870.  His family moved to California when he was three, graduating from Los Angeles High School.  He spent a few years as a reporter for The Herald Newspapers.  In 1898, he was elected to the bench, and was than appointed chief deputy in the office of the District Attorney. He served for years as a Superior Judge in California making many important and landmark discussions and was a very good friend to Mabel Normand. 
   Eugene Pallette (July 8, 1889 – September 3, 1954) was an American actor. Born in Winfield, Kansas, Pallette became a silent screen actor beginning in 1912. In 1927, Pallette signed with Hal Roach Studios, working with Mabel Normand in her last film, "Should Men Walk Home". Pallette's weight may have topped out at 300 pounds. Sound proved to be the career boost for Pallette, he had a inimitable rasping gravel voice.  Mabel and Eugene had known each other for years.

(from Wikipedia information)

   Sir Charlie Chaplin, (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977), the Academy Award-winning actor. A the beginning of his film career it was Mabel Normand that influanced his on screen personality.  He went on to become the one of the most famous actors as well as a notable filmmaker, composer and one of the finest mimes ever captured on film. With Mary Pickford, Doughlas Fairfanks and D.W. Griffith, he formed United Artists in 1919.  These were all Mabel’s friends, and he performed the last act of a friend by accompaning her to her final resting place.
   Sidney Patrick Grauman, (March 17, 1879 – March 5, 1950) was an American showman who created one of the most recognizable and visited landmarks, Grauman's Chinese Theater also the Egyptian Theater and the Million Dollar Theater.  He was considered a close friend of Mabel Normand from the time they danced together at the Screen Club in 1914 until he helped lay her to rest in 1930.
   Douglas Fairbanks was born Douglas Elton Ullman  (1883-1939) it was in 1915 that he signed a contract with Triangle Pictures, where Mabel Normand was working.  In 1918, the year Mabel was voted the most popular comedy actress, he was the most popular actor. He went on to marry her dear friend, Mary Pickford.  He mourned and honored his colleague as one of her ten pallbearers
   COLONEL ARTHUR C. GOEBEL (1895-1973) was just 35, a big and handsome World War I flier, he had belonged to the "Thirteen Black Cats of Hollywood," movie stunt fliers who charged $80 for a parachute jump and $15,000 for blowing up a ship in mid-air. His autobiography “Art Goebel’s Own Story had been published in 1929, he had built a business around his passion, how much Mabel Normand would have loved to fly away with Art. 
   D. W. Griffith was born David Llewelyn Wark Griffith (1875 – 1948). He was Mabel Normand’s film teacher, director, mentor and friend.  When she started in her career at Biograph, it was D.W. that saw her potential as a film actress (perhaps not her comedy genius). He had always been there for her, even at the end. He was the giant, the “Old Man” the persons she always respected. 
   Mack Sennett (1880 – 1960) was born Michael Sinnott in Quebec Canada. He was a producer, actor, director, screenwriter, composer, cinematographer, Academy Award winner, innovator of slapstick comedy movies and yes, he was the King of Comedy; founder of Keystone but more importantly, he loved Mabel Normand.  After he heard that she had married Lew Cody, he said he never spoke to Mrs. Cody and yet here he stands.  The last act of love. 
  Samuel Goldwyn (1879 – 1974) was born Schmuel Gelbfisz in Warsaw, Poland.  He founded his own studio and produced over 15 films with Mabel Normand before she returned to the Sennett Studio in 1921. He had a great eye for talent and Mabel was one of the stars in his galaxy of stars.  She worked with him at Fort Lee and Culver City and he honored her by standing with the other powerful men in Mabel’s life.