Louise Byrdie Dantzler
Mary (Brian) Tomasini
Silent Screen Star


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Born Feb 17, 1908 in Corsicana, Texas as Louise Byrdie Dantzler, daughter of Louise and Taurrence Brian.  Attended Bryan High School in Dallas, TX. 

 Mary Brian is one of the best-liked silent movie stars both on and off the screen, Mary Brian came to Hollywood in 1923 by way of a beauty contest. Her first screen role was Wendy in the 1924 version of Peter Pan, which resulted in a long-term contract with Paramount Pictures. Mary proved herself equal to the challenge of the microphone with her spirited portrayal of the frontier heroine in her first all-talkie, The Virginian (1929). Her career lost momentum in the early 1930s, though she briefly rallied with an amusing turn as W. C. Fields' faithful daughter in The Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935) (a repeat of her role in the 1927 silent Running Wild) and an uncharacteristic appearance as a heartbreaking femme fatale in the 1936 Henry Fonda vehicle Spendthrift. Mary retired in 1937, making sporadic comebacks in such low-budgeters of the 1940s as I Escaped from the Gestapo. Mary Brian's last on-camera assignment was as Ann Baker's mother on the 1954 syndicated sitcom Meet Corliss Archer.

In 1940 Mary met John Hitcomb, a magazine illustrator from Darien, Conn.  and the were married on May 4, 1941,k the first marriage for both of them.    On June 28, she announced she would divorce him on grounds of mental cruelty.

 In 1947, Mary married George Tomasini and they were together until his death in 1964. 

Mary passed away in January of 2003.  (see Obituary)

 

 

from the collection of Edward L. Williams

See Also:

Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox