Marie Prevost (November 8, 1898 – January 21, 1937) was a
Canadian-born film actress. During her twenty-year career, she made 121 silent
and talking pictures.
Prevost began her career during the silent film era. She was
discovered by Mack Sennett who signed her to contract and made her one of his
"Bathing Beauties" in the late 1910s. Prevost appeared in dozens of
Sennett's short comedy films before moving on to feature length films for
Universal. In 1922, she signed with Warner Bros. where her career flourished as
a leading lady. She was a favorite of director Ernst Lubitsch who cast her in
three of his comedy films; The Marriage Circle (1924), Three Women (1924) and
Kiss Me Again (1925).
After being let go by Warner Bros. in early 1926, Prevost's
career began to decline and she was relegated to secondary roles. She was also
beset with personal problems, including the death of her mother in 1926 and the
breakdown of her marriage to actor Kenneth Harlan in 1927, which fueled her
depression. She began to abuse alcohol and binge eat causing her to gain weight
thus making it difficult for her to secure acting jobs. By 1935, Prevost was
only able to secure bit parts in films. She made her last onscreen appearance
After years of drinking, Prevost died of acute alcoholism at
the age of 38 in January 1937. Prevost's estate was valued at $300 since she
had squandered most of her earnings. Her death prompted the Hollywood community
to create the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital.