Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand



1909      COLLIER'S COVER                                        Mabel Moves Before The Camera

1911     N Y DRAMATIC MIRROR                              Betty Becomes a Maid

1912     DAILY TALKS BY MARY PICKFORD           New Years Trip with Mabel Normand

1913     LA TIMES -                                                        PHOTOPLAYERS BALL

1913     LA TIMES - February 28                                    NEW CONDUCTOR


1913     PHOTOPLAY (August)                                        MABEL MAY BECOME MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES


1914     STATIC CLUB                                                    PICTURE PLAYERS BALL

1914     OREGONIAN - Jan 25                                        Mabel at 20 a "maga" star

1914     LA TIMES - April 22                                            Car Races                                   

1914     PERTH SUNDAY TIMES - May 3                     Muriel Fortescue

1914     REEL LIFE  - May 16                                      MABEL NORMAND OF KEYSTONE

1915     MOTION PICTURE                                        The Speed Demon

1915     PHOTOPLAYERS WEEKLY - May 7           Luther Burbank vists Mabel

1915     PICTURES & PICTUREGOERS - June 12        Queen of the Movies

1915     MOTOGRAPH - September                             Three Beauties at Triangle Opening

1915     PICTURES & PICTUREGOERS - Oct 2         Wanted at the FRONT

1915     PICTURES & PICTUREGOERS - 23              Fond of Variety

1915     MOTOGRAPH - December                              Chester Conklin & Mabel Normand flying


1915 & 1916 PHOTOPLAYERS' WEEKLY                 advertisements listing Mabel Normand

1916    FILM FLASHES                                                 Photo of Mabel from 1916

1916    MOTION PICTURE                                        Cover and article on Chaplin

1916     RED BOOK - February                                   A dozen STARS

1916     FILM FUN - May                                            They Will Not Rremain In Comedy

1916     PHOTOPLAY - July                                       MABEL NORMAND AT HOME AGAIN

1916    RACINE JOUMAL - August 14                      Film for the Front

1916     LOS ANGELES EXAMINER - August 25          Mabel was Blackmailed

1916     MOTION PICTURE - December                      MARBEL'S DREAM (STUDIO)

1916     STUDIO DIRECTORY - October 21                 DICK JONES DIRECTOR AT MNFFCo

1917     LA TIMES - March 11                               Mabel's Pink Thoughts

1917    MOTOGRAPHY - July 21                           Goldwyn Injunction

1918      unknow newspaper                                             Kind-hearted MABEL

1918     EXHIBITORS HERALD - January                 Sennett sells 16 comedies plus Mickey

1918     PICTURE-PLAY - February                      Girl on the Cover

1918     MOTION PICTURE NEWS (March 9)         What Kind of a Fellow Is - Kessel?

1918     THE MORNING TELEGRAPH                      Liberty Bond Drive

1918  PICTURE AND PICTUREGOER                         Storms and Chocolate Cake

1918  PHOTOPLAY - April                                          MICKEY Sold by Sennett & Triangle

1918  MOTION PICTURE (June)                                The Muses of Movie Land

1918    THE PHOTO-PLAY WORLD (June)               Tragic Side of Mabel Normand

1918  ELYRIA EVENING TELEGRAM - July 11         Dodging A Million

1918 PHOTOPLAY - August                                         Would You Ever Suspect It?

1918  MPM - November                                                Mabel in a Hurry "Back to the Woods

1918 NEW YORK TRIBUNE - November 24                Are We Downhearted?

1918  PHOTO PLAYERS - December 1                        Cartoons

1919     PHOTOPLAY - March                                      A Perfect 36 Joke

1919    PHOTOPLAY - March                                      The Early Days at Kay Bee by Tom Ince

1919     STUDIO SKELETON - (1919 - 1920)                The Studio Skeleton - Goldwyn Newsletter

1919     Picture-Play - April                                       Disabled Seaman

1919     STUDIO SKELETON - July 12           UPSTAIRS

1919     Washington Herald - August 14           Upstairs - Ragtime Romance

1919     STUDIO SKELETON - October 25    Mabel with the Veterans at Goldwyn Studio

1919     THE TATLER                                                  A New National Character


1920     SLIM PRINCESS AD                                     Mabel Normand in Slim Princess

1920     DRAMTIC MIRROR                                      How To Be A Comedienne

1920     PICTURE PLAYS                         The Elixir of Perpetual Springtime

1920     SCREENLAND - (November)                       Mabel Normand -Stars Among the Flowers

1920     LA Herald - December 20               Joke during making What Happened to Rosa

1921     TRAS LA PANTALLA #18                           Mabel Normand - Gallria de Artistas Cinematograficos

1921     MOVING PICTURE WORLD                       Molly O trade Ad

1921     MOTION PICTURE  (September)                Worldly But Not Weary

1921     N Y TRIBUNE - (November 27)                     Acting As An Aid

1922     BLUE BOOK OF THE SCREEN                   Mabel Normand - Model

1922     REVIEW                                                        HEAD - OVER - HEELS

1922     MOVIE WEEKLY                                    MABEL NORMAND STORY IN 10 PARTS

1922     SCREENLAND - January                            MOLLY O'

1922     SAN DIEGO UNION - January 29            Practice to Appropriate Music 

1922     GARY POST - February 3                          Mabel's Best Director


1922     WISCONSIN JOURNAL - February 21               MOLLY O - LACE

1922     MOVIE WEEKLY - February 25                   The Real Mabel Normand

1922   GOLDWYN STUDIO P.R. -April                HEAD OVER HEELS PRESS KIT


1922     CLOSE-UP - April 5                                   ADOPTED BEARS - SUZANNA


1922     LONDON DAILY MIRROR - June 21         TO-DAY'S GOSSIP on page 9


1922     PHOTOPLAY - December                           MABEL'S PARIS FASHIONS


1923     CLOSE-UP - March 5,                                 LORIMER WELCOME HOME FROM EUROPE


1923     PICTURE-PLAY - October                          THE IRREPRESSIBLE ONE


1924     AUTOGRAPH BOOK                                    The Wild Parties & Hootch


1924     Q & A - January 9                                           Joe Kelley


1924     MOVIE WEEKLY - February 2                       Give Mabel Normand A Chance


1924     LA EXAMINER - February 17                        Mabel Normand's Own Life Story! FOREWORD


1924     MOVIE WEEKLY - April                               Happier if I'd Married


1924     DENVER POST - June 17                         Mabel Real Comedy Star on Stand


1924     PRESS RELEASE - July 23                           Mabel’s break with Sennett


1924     MOVIE TIME - August 11                            Cover from Hyogoken Japan


1924     MOVIE Q&A                                                 MABEL a GENIUS


1925     HARRY CARR PAGE - Feb 25                       Who's the Best Actor


1925     DAISY DEAN  - May 17                              Mabel buys a House in Beverly Hills


1925     LOS ANGELES TIME - Jun 9                      Mabel's Voice


1925     THE BEE DANVILLE - Jun 9                          Mabel To Go On Stage


1925     STAFFORDSHIRE SENTINEL - August 28     Kalora, The Slim Princess


1925     PHOTOPLAY - October (page 90)                   There Is Music In The Air

                                     - December (page 90)                 There Is Music In The Air


1926     ONE HOUR MARRIED                                 One Hour Married Poster and Article


1927     MOVING PICTURE STORIES - Mar 22         Mabel in Hospital


1927     GRACE KINGSLEY - May 1                           Welcome Back Mabel


1928      LINCOLN STATE JOURNAL - Feb 29           Mabel Wants a Divorce


1928     PHOTOPLAY - June                                          Gossip of All the Studios - Mrs. Cody


1928     PHOTOPLAY - June                                        Sennett Tearing Down His Studio


1930     LIBERTY MAGAZINE (3 issues)                     Madcap Mabel Normand - full story


1930    HOLLYWOOD FILMOGRAPH - March 1       To Make Everybody Happy


1930     LOS ANGELES TIMES - April 6                   My Pal's Dead              


1930    DOTHAN EAGLE - April 10                             Gladys Normand flying lessons


1930    PHOTO PLAY - May                  Mabel Says Good-bye                


1930    PICTURE PLAY - June                                    Memory of Mabel by the Schallerts


1930    PICTURE PLAY - June                                  Such A Little Queen


1930    SOUTHTOWN ECONOMIST - July 15                 Mickey Sound Remake


1930     ASSOCIATED PRESS - August                     Mabel's Family Trust 


1931     NEW MOVIE MAGAZINE - March           D. W. Griffith Quote about Mabel and Camera


1931     OAKLAND TRIBUNE - May 25               According to Lew Cody


1932     PHOTOPLAY - December                         Their Real Roles were Tragedy


1935    ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL - January             Practical Joker


1935    SAN ANTONIO LIGHT  - September 29       Harry Carry

1948    American Weekly - December 5     Mack Sennett Glamour Girls

1960    CALIF BANK COLLECTION                 Golden Era of Comedy 


1974   THE TIMES RECORDER                               Opening of Mack & Mabel


1981   THE MOVIE - UK                                    POSTCARDS


1982    THE MOVIE - UK                                            Sennett Issue


1985    THE MOVIE - UK                                   Mabel Won and Lost



1911 New York Dramatic Mirror Betty


Betty Becomes a Maid (Vitagraph) --  "Margaret is the older and Betty the younger of two sisters; naturally Margaret claims precedence. Their brother Jack writes home from college stating that he will bring a young unmarried millionaire friend to spend a few days with them. Margaret immediately gets in line to set her cap for the young visitor and warns Betty not to be too presumptuous, for Margaret is well aware that Betty has the advantage in looks and winsomeness. In order to give her sister every chance. Betty says she will play waitress. Brother Jack and his friend join the family at dinner, Margaret pays considerable attention to Jack's friend, but he is attracted by Betty, who is now acting as serving maid. He is so smitten by the pretty maid, that he can see nothing else and Margaret becomes greatly incensed. The young millionaire makes up his mind to get acquainted with the waitress and Jack agrees to help him, not letting him know that she is his own sister. Betty of whom the young fellow has heard a great deal. He follows Betty into the kitchen, bribes the cook to let him sit there until he meets the pretty girls. When she comes in he makes love to her, and in the excitement both he and Betty get covered with flour and sit in the dough, which the cook has been mixing. To add to the fun of it all, Betty tries to protect her face with the dough, from the kisses which the young fellow is trying to give her, she is a sight to behold, but nothing daunted, he makes a hole in the dough and succeeds in planting two or three kisses on her pretty mouth. Betty's father comes into the kitchen with Margaret, the young millionaire tells them he is in love with the waitress; explanations follow, Betty's identity is made known. The young fellow proposes to her there and then, the father's consent is gained and Margaret joins in with all the rest in offering congratulations to little sister and intended.  Released March 14,1911

 March 11, 1911 The Nickelodeon

1912 Daily Talks by Mary

1913 LA Times Photoplayers Ball



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1913 Dec 13 The Moving Picture World

December 13, 1913

Miss Normand Director

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1914 01 16 Static Club

January 16, 1914 - Picture Player's Camera men's ball

1914 Static Club press to link

1914 April 22 LA Times Car Race


1915 March 15 Reno Gazette


RENO EVENING GAZETTE, Monday, March 15, 1915



Information on Frankie Dolan is available if you PRESS HERE


1915 MOTION PICTURE The Speed Demon

 May 1915


Having taken all sorts of spectacular chances before the camera, Miss Mabel Normand is here shown in a moment of comparative quiet.


Because the motion picture art is so new and unfettered by tradition, because its possibilities are

Even now admittedly unguessed, it is enlisting the eager efforts of producers, writers, scientists, young aspirants for dramatic fame, and actors and actresses who have already won success on the real stage.  The earlier pictures reproduced, as do many still, simple stage plays, thereby providing an inexpensive form of amusement; but, as an expert in the field said recently, “The true function of the film is to show that which could not be shown on the stage.”  And that is what the film is now doing.  The film shows us grand dramatic and historic spectacles acted by hundreds of characters in the proper surroundings:  Rome, Egypt, the Saharan desert, or our own forests, plains and hills.  It shows us the hidden lives of plants and animals, the wonders of the laboratory and of physical science.  The pictures on this page relate to a little of what is being done in the motion picture world, showing a few – a very few – of those who are doing it



Rushing along at seventy miles an hour in a motor driven by a daring engineer called “the Speed Demon.” Or something else equally suggestive is merely commonplace in Motion Picture Land.  Ability and courage to ride restive horses, to swim, to scale steep cliffs and high castle walls, to dive from great heights, and to perform other sensational and athletic feats are valuable qualities in one department of film dramatics










1916 Aug 14, Films for Front

1916 article of the gift Mabel

made for the Front

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1916 Aug 25 Mabel Blackmailed

Dr Raymond Swett tried to Blackmail Mabel Normand, we don’t know what he threatened Mabel with but she seems to have called his bluff and she called in the police…and nothing ever came of it. 


press for information on the arrest


1917 MARCH 11 - LA TIMES

Los Angeles Times, Grace Kingsley

March 11, 1917

"Mabel's Pink Thoughts"


The Girl on the Cover


Norbert Lisk


February 1918


1918 June Motion Picture Magazine, page 106

"The Muses of Movie-Land"

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June 1918 The Photo-Play World

June 1918 The Tragic Side of Mabel Normand



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1918 July 11 Dodging A Million Fashions

1918 Aug Pictures & Picturegoers


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to see article and photos




 Back to the Woods

with Herbert Rawlinson


1918 December 1, PHOTOPLAYERS

1918 December 1 Celebrated Photoplayers



1918 The Morning Telegraph

1918 Liberty Bonds

1918 Kind-heart Mabel




1918 reprint


Kind-hearted Mabel

I HEAR that Mabel Normand is so popular in Mexico that one of the young dandies of Mexico City got himself arrested rather that give up one of her pictures, which he had taken from a lobby display.  Miss Normand heard of the incident, and sent the young man an autographed photograph, to console him for the loss of the one which the police forced him to part with


1919 THE TATLER A New National Character

A New National Character

For a Sweeping Country-wide Popularity Among

Old and Young, Rich and Poor, in City and Country,

Nothing in Years has Equaled “Mickey

Here is Mickey! Mickey, the human, lovable, droll sometimes pathetic sometimes
ludicrous but always wholesome figure who has become so famous. No creation in
drama, fiction, screen or song has caught the public fancy and been taken to the public
heart as Mickey has, and she will go down in popular history with “The Yellow Kid,”
Palmer Cox’s “Brownies.” “Peter Pan,” “Little Nemo” and other striking and
distinctive characters.

The first heard of Mickey was in the Mickey was in the moving pictures and by this
time ten million people have seen this wonderful photoplay. The records of box office
receipts at Washington prove this. Whatever you have seen, Mickey Being Shown
Here To-day” in front of a theatre, you have seen lines of people, blocks long, waiting
to get in. And why? Because no photoplay yet produced is so filled with adventure,
thrills and human emotions as Mickey. One minute you feel a tear coming, but before it
reaches your check you are holding your sides with laughter at some funny incident, or
holding your breath with excitement at some hair-raising episode.

Five hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money, but that is just what was spent on this
picture - $500,000 – before it was even shown to the exhibitor. But there was never
the slightest doubt of its supreme success. From the time Mabel Normand read the
scenario and started her triumphant creation of the role of Mickey until the W. H.
Productions Company sent the films broadcast, it was a bull’s-eye. It has rightly been
called “a picture you will never forget.”

Then, all unexpectedly, Mickey appeared in song-one of the prettiest, daintiest,
hauntingest melodies in years. The picture inspired the song. One day Neil Moret, a
composer, happened into the studio where the picture was being shown. He became
fascinated by the charming personality of Mickey, and as the picture went on the
music began working, and when it was over, Moret hurried to his rooms and wrote
the theme that had already shaped itself in his mind. In two hours he was back at the
studio and played the song for the members of the company. The author had no idea
of what a hit it was to be. In fact, he had not written it with any idea of publishing it,
but just to get it off his chest. Nevertheless, within a month a millions copies were sold
in the West alone, and no end in sight to the demand. Waterson, Berlin & Snyder
heard of the song and immediately bought it. The price they paid was well up in the
five figures, but when the first order receiver from the dealers were totaled up they
showed over 500,000 copies sold in the first four days.

To show how the song gets you – Eddie Cantor, who is playing in the Follies in
Chicago and who is the best judge of songs ever, heard it and put it on at the next
show. It was a knockout. Ray Simuels, the clever vaudeville girl, and a great friend of
Cantor’s was appearing in Seattle. Eddie called her up and told her about the great

“How does it go?” asked Ray.
“Oh, Lord,” said Eddie, thinking of the telephone toll,” get a copy of it,”
“I can’t wait,” answered Ray, “you’ve got me so excited I must hear it now.”
Eddie was game. He sang it through a couple of times and Ray said: “Great. I’ll put it
on to-night,” and she did. She took the melody in her head to the orchestra, rehearsed
it before the show, and was the hit that evening. Eddie was so excited about it all that
be forgot to have the telephone charge reversed.

The Columbia Phonograph Company was quick to see the value of Mickey and
immediately secured the rights of the song for their records.

Next to our President there is no better known character in the country today than




1920 June 19 Dramic Mirror


How to Be a Comedienne

by Mabel Normand

Comedy Depends on Jazz—The Delicate Art of Burlesque—The Serious Business of Being a Comedienne—The Root of Humor


I am not a highbrow. If I were, I wouldn’t be earning my living by being funny—or trying to be. I know more about jazz than I do about classical music. Not that I’m not fond of a concert now and then, but on the whole I like syncopation better. My heart beats to a jazz tune, I guess. The world goes round to the sound of the international rag, as Irving Berlin said; and I think the rag he meant was that of laughter and pleasure and joy. It’s a good tune! I know it by heart; and my ambition is to be able to play it on the old piano of the world with my eyes shut.

I think that one of the secrets of being a comedienne is in knowing jazz because when you know the syncopated tunes, you know the songs to which the average heart responds and so, in a way you know humanity. To be a comedienne you’ve got to be human. That’s the truth of the matter. You’ve got to be able to appreciate that side of people which is queer, ridiculous, and yet lovable. You can’t make people laugh just by being odd. You’ve got to be more than that. You’ve got to be a little bit pathetic.

When people laugh most the tears start from their eyes, because laughter and pain aren’t nearly so far a part as they seem to be. Sometimes think they are twins and you can’t knock against their cradle without disturbing both of them, although, if you’re lucky, laughter will be louder than his brother. But you never can tell.

And that’s not the half of it, dearie, as the funny-men say in the papers. Try to burlesque somebody. You’ll notice that you probably do it with the sort of a brush that the bill-board posters use while small boys admiringly surround them. but you won’t appear clever to grown-ups as the poster-pasters do to the younger generation. Burlesque is a delicate art, believe me. I’m no highbrow, as I said before, but I know that. And I know too, that when you make fun of people you have to mimic them with just the slightest exaggeration in order to be really funny. If you overdo it, you ruin your performance, and it’s pretty hard not to overdo your act. You have to watch every gesture, every action, no matter how small. A careless lifting of eyebrows may spoil a perfectly good hand-gesture. Watch your step all the time, and watch everything else you have about you, too. If you seem to have any idea that you’re playing at something, you won’t get it across.  



That brings me to the serious side of being funny. To be a comedienne you have to take yourself with the seriousness of a politician receiving the nomination for alderman from the hands of his fellow citizens. Charlie Chaplin, for instance, rarely smiles in his pictures. That’ one of the reasons he’s so funny! And if he does smile, it is pathetically and just enough to balance his tremendous gravity. When he sees a big policeman he takes off his hat to him with an air which implies that i it is the most serious and sincere act in his life. If he throws a brick at the copper he does it with the same air. He takes his victories and defeat in the same melancholy way—almost.

To be a comedienne, don’t try to teach a lesson. Leave that to Longfellow and the rest of the poets. Just try to be human and serious. Try to remember that people’s spirits are raised by seeing a man chase a hat down the street.

There’s something funny in the misfortunes of our neighbors. It isn’t a kindly thing, but it’s a fact that there’s no getting around.


To be a comedienne, you have to have something about you that is appealing. It’s hard to say just what the thing is, because you can’t put your hands on it; it isn’t a block of wood or a glass of wine. It’s a way, a quaintness, a pleasant quality that’s natural and not artificial. And here again we come to the root of humor that I mentioned before: being human. That’s being natural. When I played the part of a poor little hoyden in one my pictures—”Jinx”—I tried to remember during the entire making of the production that I was a homeless little wretch grateful for kindness from anyone. In another picture I played the part of a little slavey who longed from the kitchen of downstairs to reach the bliss of the grand ball-room upstairs. And when I reached there and played the part of a lady I tried not to forget that I had been a slavey a few moments before. Things puzzled me a little; I wasn’t quite sure that what I did was the correct thing, but I was visibly conscious that I was as good as the ‘rest in my heart and proud of my clothes; oh, so very, very proud of my new, fashionable clothes!


Any correspondence course will make a comedienne out of a girl. But neither do I believe that it’s all a gift. It requires a facility and a lot of hard work. Practise makes perfect, I’ve heard. Who was it said that creation is ten percent inspiration and ninety per cent perspiration? Not a pretty picture, but a true one. Work, work, work. Study every little detail of your personality. Try to find out what little peculiarities you have that can be developed for audiences and the director. Stand before your mirror and make faces at yourself. Twist your features, your arms, your body. Find out if you really have a sense of humor in your funny bone, and if your spine appreciates a joke.



Pay particular attention to your mouth. I can’t figure out how many different ways a pair of lips can be funny—and charming. Men try to figure it out, but even they haven’t succeeded in finding the answer, I hear. If you keep your hair in a Grecian knot you may look like a goddess but if you plaster it down over your ears and leave a little loop hanging over your left eye you may look more appealing than the other pose—and genuinely funny, too.

Don’t set any standards for yourself. I have discovered that the things which make people roar with laughter in one part of the country will have just the other effect elsewhere. Geography is a peculiar thing. It seems that climate has an effect on peoples’ humor. A southerner will laugh at a houn’ dawg joke that will bore a northerner. That’s one of the fifty-seven reasons why it’s so hard to find out just what makes everybody laugh—because there are things that do, and the real comedienne is the one who gets hold of those things and uses them until they finally lose out. And remember this; if you are lucky enough to discover a gesture with a universal appeal, never forget that its get-across qualities are temporary.

Don’t work a gesture to death. If you do, you’ll find out quickly enough that you have lost out with the trick. There’s an art in knowing just when to drop the thing. It isn’t when it’s at the height of its popular appeal and it isn’t when it’s an eye-sore to the public. My own humble opinion is that it’s just after it has reached its climax as an applause-getter. But you have to be ready with something new. That’s why there’s so much work in being funny. You can’t afford to lay your wits aside for a moment. They have to be laboring for you all the time, and not part of the time. And you’ll find they won’t labor if you don’t.

In my forthcoming Goldwyn picture “The Slim Princess” I had to keep my wits working all the time I was making scenes, notwithstanding the fact that a great humorist, George Ade, was responsible for the situations. But even Ade will not aid you —pardon the pun—unless you aid yourself. I had to keep at top speed every moment in order to have my action suit the caption and the cut-in and the close-up.

And I guess that’s all.

Counting up what I’ve said I think that i want to emphasize again the ground from which we have to begin—being human. Without that touch you might as well quit comedy and go into melodrama, where nobody is human except the villain and even he isn't a perfect thirty-six of his species. Forget all about “showing-off;” remember that you’re sincere and fresh and kind (I don’t like malicious humor). Hum a jazz tune and don't be a snob. If you are, you won’t be a comedienne. But above all, don’t neglect the jazz element. The world goes around to the sound of it, to the sound of the jazz of laughter!








1920 09 18 Picture Plays

The Elixir of Perpetual Springtime

"Slim Princess"




1920 Mabel Normand in Slim Princess








The Slim





Fat! Tons and tons of it.


Bumping, wheezing, bouncing about the harem of the ruler of Morovenia in the shape of dozens of enormous women!


The little Princess Kalora was a violet in a garden of peonies.  But in the eyes of the Morovenian lounge lizards she didn’t have a chance --- and never would until the day when she could boast of at least three chins.


They Weighed Beauty by the Pound





1921 AP Molly O Ad

1922 Blue Book of the Screen


Mabel Normand is going through the process of “making-up” with the aid of her hairdresser. 

Below she is arguing with Sennett studio







MODELS for famous artists have provided the screen with quite a few notable stars.   Mabel Normand was one of these, but needs no words of description for a public which has admired her from early film days to the present time.

  Miss Normand was born in New York, November 10, back in the nineties.  The first thirteen years were passes in seclusion of St. Mary’s convent, at Northwest Port, Mass.  It was all arranged for her to become a nun, she avers.

     She became an artist model at the flapperish age of 14 years, when her unusual type attracted the attention of Charles Dana Gibson.  She first posed for him.  Other notable artists soon sought her services, among them being James Montgomery Flagg, Henry Hutt, C. Coles Phillips and Hamilton King.

     During the time she became the best known model in New York, she formed a strong a strong friendship for another model, Alice Joyce.  It was the latter who prompted Miss Normand to enter pictures.

     She made her first film appearance at the Biograph studio in New York, in August, 1910.  Her director was D. W. Griffith. 

     Next she worked for Vitagraph, playing comedy with the famous John Bunny and Flora Finch in the “Betty” series.  Returning to Biograph, Miss Normand worked both in comedy and drama, but eventually she headed a comedy unit, playing opposite Sennett, who also directed.

    Her next contract was with Keystone, with whom the star still plays.

     In 1917 the actress turned to special features, starring in “Mickey” that same year.

    She shifted to Goldwyn, making “Sis Hopkins”, “The Slim Princess” and others.  Returning to Sennett she played “Molly O’ and her most recent one, “Suzanna

     Mabel Normand, off screen, is a vivacious, intelligent young woman, with more than her share of sympathy for the unfortunate.






1922 Head Over Heels Review

1922 FEB 18


to read version along with a few photographs is linked press

Just for the record I agree with this statement from the Sennett Studio. 



1922 February 21


Wisconsin State Jounal, February 21, 1922

press reprint to see Mabel in her Molly O' lace




1922 February Movie Weekly

She is one idol who can stand a closeup















Dr. Grad's photo





from Movie Weekly, February 25, 1922

            The Real Mabel Normand

The Study of a Vibrant and Unusual Personality by One Who Knows Her


Intimately Stars invariably disappoint their worshippers. We invest them with all the attributes of gods and then find them  ¾  only human beings, with all the failings of mortals. Sometimes we are disappointed to find they are not even human beings. I had a preconception of Mabel Normand before I met her several years ago.  I was wrong about her.   Her quips, her pranks and wanton wiles, as the poet would say, had been emphasized out of proportion. In a word, I had expected to find her the high priestess of Jazz, the essence of the Sennett comic spirit. Mabel Normand is not that.

     I have read many interviews and stories about her because I am profoundly interested in her. My conclusion is that she is the least known of all the stars.   In attempting to tell the truth about the real Mabel I am therefore doing an audacious thing, because necessarily I must discount the jazz idea. First of all, she is in my opinion the best read of all the stars I have met, and I have lived in the Hollywood colony for several years. She not only reads  ¾  she remembers what she reads.      There is a vast fund of knowledge under those saucy black curls. She is, rthermore, the most sympathetic human being I have ever encountered.  This is a constitutional attribute. She doesn't try to be kind; she is, instinctively so. Her generosity is proverbial in the film colony.

      There was a camera boy working in her company when she was at Goldwyn. He made a very small salary, scarcely enough to keep himself and his wife, for he was a beginner in the industry. And his wife was expecting the arrival of a baby. Mabel heard of this. One morning she handed a sealed envelope to a carpenter and told him to give it to the camera boy. She instructed him not to tell whence it came. The camera boy opened it and found a fifty dollar bill. He never learned who sent to him, but he certainly suspected the source, for one cannot be around Mabel for long without knowing the quick, fine impulses of her heart.

      She is the feminine counterpart of the man who would give the shirt off his back.     Her charity is little known because, without recourse to the scriptural warning, she never lets her right hand know what her left hand is doing.  There was an unfortunate girl taken to a Los Angeles hospital without funds. The case came to Mabel's Attention. She paid the girl's expenses. Upon her recovery the girl came to Mabel's home and sought further aid. Mabel took care of her and gave her little odd jobs to do. That girl stole from Mabel Normand. She confessed the theft  ¾  and Mabel forgave.

      She is quick to appreciate the art and personality of another actress. She once expressed admiration for a star of far less ability than herself.  I think she is lovely,” she said to a mutual friend. “But I have never met her. I wish you would tell her that I would like an autographed picture of her.”

      The other actress was surprised and delighted to receive such a request from the great comedienne, and, of course, sent a photograph, asking Mabel for one in return. When that same actress sailed for Europe on a trip some time ago, she found a great mass of flowers in her stateroom. They bore Mabel Normand's card with best wishes.

      Such are the little things that distinguish Mabel  ¾  she is “Mabel” to everyone. Yet she is the most irresponsible of mortals. She can forget more appointments and still retain friendships better than any human being alive, because everyone knows that she is  ¾  well, just Mabel. You almost want her to break appointments because her apologies are always so charming and real.Nor does she disappoint as a comedienne. She has a keen wit, sometimes audacious but never cutting. She cannot understand artifice or conceit because it is not in her nature. She may be irresponsible toward social affairs, but never toward her art. She is a conscientious and genuine artist. True, her work is spontaneous, just as it appears on the screen. She is singularly gifted. But few realize the labor she has given to that gift.

She reads everything that will help her perfect herself. Chief among her textbooks is the screen. She attends on an average of five pictures a week, and is forever making notes. There is always a memorandum book tucked way in her vanity bag, and it contains a bewildering array of notes; interesting lines from books she has read; criticisms of her own pictures and others she has seen; ideas for use in characterization; memorandums of gifts which she wants to make; appointments; random thoughts; and books which have been recommended to her.

      She lives without pretension  ¾  one car, a comfortable but unostentatious apartment, a few necessary servants. Although she has a rare collection of jewels, she wears them sparingly. Her dress is always in exquisite taste, but never the sort to challenge attention.  It is impossible to analyze charm; hence it is impossible to describe the personality of Mabel Normand. It is the sort that makes you love her instantly, but more than that, it is the sort that makes you feel that she loves you. It is pervasive and distinctive. She has the rare mental faculty of understanding people upon first meeting and of engaging them on their level of interests. I am sure that the studio gateman knows nothing of Mabel's love for books; but he does know her love for flowers, and every morning regularly her presents a little nosegay for her dressing room. It is always placed in water on her dressing table, while American Beauties from a less sincere admirer may be relegated to a corner ¾  or sent to a hospital.

      It is this strain of the genuine that is dominant in the personality of Mabel Normand. You believe in her without reservation. I once asked a studio official if the company ever had trouble with her. I had in mind her way of eluding engagements.  He was a hard-boiled individual, who bows to no star, and he looked me straight in the eye.

      “If anyone has trouble with Mabel Normand,” said he, “he is to blame for it. But I cannot imagine anyone finding fault with her.”  While we were chatting, a gentleman called by appointment with the star. He did certain work for her. She was unable to see him because she was having her hair dressed. But she sent down a charming note of apology and enclosed a signed check asking him to fill it out for whatever amount she owed him!           Of course, she has been imposed upon. Her secretary must stand between her and beggars all the time, for people have a way of considering stars legitimate prey, believing, I suppose, that their wealth in inexhaustible. Therefore her secretary and her managers keep her carefully hedged about. If they did not, she would be beggared of time and money.


A bewitching, elfin personality, lovable and loving, an alert and brilliant mentality, a rare and radiant charm that is both physical and intellectual, a star who is a heroine even to her personal maid  ¾  such is Mabel Normand.  If my study of her seems eulogistic, I can only refer you to her friends of the film colony; they, no doubt, would be even more eulogistic.








1924 January Joe Kelly

1924 February 2 Give Mabel a Chance

















Give Mabel Normand A Chance!

By Fulton Oursler

Movie Weekly, February 2, 1924


It was little more than a year ago today that Mr. David A. Balch, the editor of Movie Weekly, came into my office and said:

“What shall we do about Wally Reid?”


Wally Reid was in the hospital. The newspapers had published ugly stories that Reid was a dope fiend. The following week Movie Weekly published an editorial captioned with Mr. Balch's question, “What About Wally Reid?” in which this magazine pleaded for fair play and besought the always hasty American public to withhold its judgment on this young man until, with God's help, he should recover and come out of the sick room to answer the charges himself.


He never had that chance. He died. But from all over the United States there came letters to this office endorsing the plea, letters from the great leaders of the film world.


This morning Mr. Balch came to my office again, and the question that he asked instantly asked brought back to my mind the query he had uttered on the day Wally Reid died. Only this time his question was:

“What about Mabel Normand?”


Shall this young woman be convicted before the bar of public opinion without a fait hearing? Shall her livelihood be endangered, her reputation besmirched, her pictures be barred on the strength of the most unreliable testimony ever uttered in the history of the world  --  the careless and irresponsible reports of the popular American newspapers?

Already boards of censorship in various states, trembling with virtuous indignation, have pontificated over the young woman. Her pictures have been censored off the screen by these dignitaries, although they know nothing more of the circumstances than what they have read of them in the sensational press.


Admitting at the outset that appearances are against her, we should remember always that appearances are deceiving. But, regardless of appearances, regardless of what the circumstances reported may be, it is the height of unfairness, the height of impudence and the height of intolerance to take swift drastic, and in many case irreparable action against the private fortune and reputation of an individual, without a full and complete understanding of the merits of the case.


No more eloquent example of the abuses of power can be wished for than such autocratic and arbitrary tyranny. I shall never forget one lavender twilight in Chicago. I was at dinner in the Marigold Gardens, when the lady who was with me said:

“There's Fatty Arbuckle.”


I had never met Mr. Arbuckle, And I say it with shame, I had asked her to introduce us, and she did. And the conversation I had with Arbuckle was reported in these columns.


At my request, Arbuckle supplied me with all the evidence of his various trials, including the absolute and final vindication of a jury of twelve honest men and women who tried him and found him guiltless of the blood of Virginia Rappe.


And now before the bar of public opinion is marshaled the beautiful and talented Mabel Normand. Shall she, too, be condemned, unheard? The heart of that girl must be filled with dread. I think I should rather face the cowled inquisitors of  Spain. I think I should rather go into the den of beasts outside the brazen gates of Babylon. I think I should rather take my chances in the front line trenches, than innocent, come before intolerance and bigotry and pre-judgment.


The crime of hasty judgment is committed day after day in the land whose temples are built to Him who said: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Our history is stained with illustrious examples. Poor Dewey found out what it is to be a popular hero, and then to make a mistake.

It is conceivable, wholly conceivable, that Mabel Normand and Edna Purviance paid a friendly call upon a man under entirely innocent circumstances and that while they were there a crazy person, a drunkard, a dope fiend, or whatever that unfortunate individual may have been, came in and fired a shot that brought in the police, and there they were.


And now, through no sin of their own, they have become such outcasts from decent society that their pictures cannot be shown. It is unfair, it is unworthy, it is unjust. And as long as Movie Weekly is read by the patrons of the moving picture theaters of America, we will lift our voices in behalf of fair play for those who work and toil in the studios to shed pleasure and romance, beauty and drama, before the lives of people who hunger for something besides the grey monotony that fills their lives.


From another angle, the idea is not only opposed to the constitutional rights of citizens of the free-republic, so-called. It is fundamentally absolute. I said once before in these columns that I had bought for my daughter a very beautiful piano. It is a matter of the utmost indifference to me whether the men who made that piano, the men who strung the scale and inserted the action had set the keys and varnished the case and made it a singer of beautiful melodies beneath the caressing fingers of my little girl  --  I say, it is a matter of the utmost indifference to me whether those men who made this instrument beat their wives or sold their souls to the devil. I hope they stopped such practices, but their private sins are of no concern to me when I buy that instrument. Nor are they of concern to anyone else in the United States. When you buy a bar of soap you do not ask whether the factory girl who wrapped it was a virgin.





…page 29… The moving picture that I see is not Mabel Normand. It is a story. If it is a good story, I like it. And what is Mabel Normand to me or what am I to Mabel Normand? But now, in the hours of her extremity, in the hour of her distress, she stands imminently in danger of being garroted, black-jaded and utterly destroyed in her profession, when she may be, for all I know, and as far as all these pontificating censors know, as innocent as their wives and their mothers and their daughters.

And while we're about it  --  what of these censors, and their wives, and their daughters? Are they all of them so irreproachable in their conduct as to cloak themselves in a holier-than-thou attitude? Or would their own lives disclose incidents that would not stand the pitiless light of publicity  --  a light as fierce and as cruel as that which was shed upon Mabel Normand in her unhappy hour of New Year's festivity? I wonder.

Therefore, Movie Weekly refuses, in this, and all subsequent issues to publish a scandal story about this unfortunate girl. But it throws open its space quite freely to the prosecuting attorney in Los Angeles, to Miss Normand, and to Miss Purviance, that each and all of them may use, without  reserve, this allotted space to state their case freely and fairly. And if there is a trial in the courts, Movie Weekly will report the evidence in the trial just as freely and just as fairly. But to the sanctimonious censors who are so eager to destroy a woman's good name before she has had a chance to speak for herself, Movie Weekly will give nothing save the counsel of a little practical Christianity:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged!”

It is just as true today as it was two thousand years ago when it was first spoken.

Gentlemen  --  give Mabel Normand a chance!

1924 April Movie Weekly






1924 June 17 Denver Post

1924 Wild Parties & Hootch


1928 February 29 Lincoln State Journal

1928 Feb 29 Lincoln State Journal

1930 LIBERTY Madcap Mabel Normand

1930 April 10 Dottan Eagle

1930 May Photoplay by Quirk

Mabel Says Good-Bye

May 1930 Photoplay


1930 August (AP)

1930 August (AP) Trust Fund

Mabel Normand had set up a $50,000 Trust Fund

in 1922 for her family

press to link

1935 January Albuquerque Journal


press to link


1935 San Antonio Light 09 29




1960 Golden Ers of Comedy

California Bank promotional collection of photos done in the 1960s,


places our Mabel with the pantheon of the greats, right were she belongs.



press to link

1974 Opening of Mack & Mabel

Opening of Mack & Mabel 1974

The Times Recorder

Wed Oct. 16, 1974


by Earl Wilson


It Happened Last Night


Another Opening


NEW YORK – Nobody understands a first – night but a first-nighter and especially not a first-nighter.

     This memorable one began around 6:15 o’clock Sunday evening when the temperature was still around 75.  Bathed in sunlight, I was squeezed into a thinner me’s dinner jacket.  I shouldered through the jammed Majestic Theater lobby for the opening of an $800,000 musical “Mack and Mabel” with Bob Preston, Bernadette Petters and Lisa Kirk.

     I made notes about sexy, Rexy Harrison and sexy Ingrid Bergman being there.  I got to my feet for standing ovations…by 9:15 I was at the Tower Suite, about 50 floors up, for a soiree producer David Merrick gave for the cast. 

     “King David” my B.W. calls David Merrick.  He accepts the title.  Everybody’s telling Merricks he’s got a great hit – Carol Channing, Alan King, Ethel Merman, Shirley MacLaine, Irving Lazar.

     You’ve got a 4-hour hit, are you still talking to your cast?” I ask… “I always talk to them.  They don’t always talk to me,” he says… “You once said that actors were children” … “I was right.  They’re 10 years old and I’m their director – and I’m 11.”

    In came Bernadette Peters’ parent, the Peter Lazar of Ozone, Queens, for this brunette darling who will be a big star as an Italian blonde of 26 who doesn’t have a steady boy friend.  But I do not wish to take away from Bob Preston and Lisa Kirk whom I will deal with subsequently in these dispatches.


    The original Mabel Normand, the movie star about whom this love story was composed for the stage, came from Staten Island.  At the Tower Suite I met her niece also Mabel Normand*, from Clark N.J. this modern day Mabel Normand wore a locket with Mabel Normand’s picture.  She was with two grown sons.  She wore a small diamond ring, old fashioned cut.

     “It’s the engagement ring Mack Sennett gave to Mabel Normand,” she said.  “It’s about two carats, they say with the old kind of setting its worth about $4,000.”

     The new Mabel Normand was attractive, shapely and bore a resemblance.  She said her father Claude Normand was Mabel Normand’s brother.  What a funny place to discover Mabel Normand. At a first-night about Mabel Normand!



*Mabel (Normand) Rycowitch and her sons; Normand and Stephen.  Mabel Rycowitch died in June 2005; her son Stephen Rycowitch/Normand worked with Betty Fussell on the book called Mabel: Hollywood’s First I-Don’t-Care Girl and now lives in England; Normand Rycowitch still lives in New Jersey.

1982 THE MOVIE #107

1982 THE MOVIE #107