• 16 March 1911
  •  Dayton, Ohio, USA

Marion Byron


At Warner Brothers, tiny, five feet tall Marion Byron was nicknamed (and occasionally billed as) "Peanuts". She was a cute and vivacious soubrette who featured in early, long forgotten musicals, with titles like The Show of Shows (1929), Broadway Babies (1929) and Playing Around (1930). Marion began her performing career as a teenage showgirl in Los Angeles and got her first break in films as leading lady to Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928). In a biographical form, she was required to submit at First National, she answered the question of how she got her first screen opportunity with: "By mistake". In the early 30's, Marion's regular screen assignments included the usual assortment of feisty maids, college girls, friends of the heroine, flappers and chorines, which were reserved for those deemed 'second leads'. Though stardom eluded her, she was briefly popular in lightweight comedies, notable examples being the Michael Curtiz-directed The Matrimonial Bed (1930) and Mervyn LeRoy's quirky Jewish farce The Heart of New York (1932) (which sported comic duo Smith & Dale as eccentric matchmakers 'Schnapps and Strudel'). Already by 1933, Marion's roles had diminished to uncredited bits and walk-ons. Her last film was as a nurse in Five of a Kind (1938), the story of the Dionne Quintuplets, scripted by her husband, the screenwriter Lou Breslow.