Mary Brian
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Article about daughter, Mary Brian Dantzler born Feb. 17, 1906 in Corsicana –died Del Mar, California. Her film name was Mary Brian. Mary’s first starring role in the movies was “Wendy” in Peter Pan and later starred with Gary Cooper in “Only the Brave” lots of other films. Her obit in the Genealogy bank mentions Clara Bow, Mary Pickford, Gary Cooper, Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Cary Grant, Wm Haines, Warner Oland, Dick Powell, Walter Huston, Herbert Brenon. (lots of other articles about her visit to Corsicana)

h/o Louisa Byrd ”Byrdie” (Greene) Dantzler Aug. 12, 1876 – Apr. 3, 1973 buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California

Taurrence J. Dantzler, Sr.
1869 - 1906



Clara Bow and her “IT,” Alice White and her curves, Nancy Carroll and her sweetness all combined, could not have demanded and received from the city such a welcome as was voluntarily extended to Mary Brian, Corsicana’s own featured artist in the Paramount studio and favorite actress on the silver and talking screens.

For citizens of all degrees and ages almost too avidly welcomed the actress back to her childhood home for her first vacation since she entered filmdom in 1925, and within hours after she reached Corsicana a constant stream of well-wishers and old friends began to seek her, and the telephone began to ring to extend her every sort of an invitation and courtesy imaginable.

It is the first time in seven years that Mary Brian, known as Louise Dantzler to her Corsicana friends, has visited her birthplace and she is glad to be “home.”

“I live in California, but my home is in Corsicana where my friends are,” the screen favorite declared in an interview Sunday afternoon, that was sandwiched in between groups that called on her at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. McGill, where she and her mother are spending the few days allotted for a vacation while waiting the call for her next picture.

Friends of her school days found her the same girl that they knew before she gained the upper ranks of the celebrities of the screen, and glad smiles wreathed their faces as she called them by almost forgotten nicknames of carefree school days when thoughts of stardom were remote from their minds.

Welcome Home Gives Thrill
And although Miss Brian is not by any means unused to the plaudits of an admiring throng, she admitted that the welcome she had received in Corsicana gave her a “thrill” that was lacking in curiosity inspired crowds that throng the studios in Hollywood and New York for these were “home folks” who felt a personal interest in her. It was difficult for her to resist the endless demands made on her for appearances, and it took stern insistence from her mother to secure for her some badly needed rest.

Miss Brian’s last visit to Corsicana was in 1923, two years before she sprang into prominence in the movies. And the story of her career reads almost like a fairy tale, practically as fantastic as the first role that she played, but the murmurs and roars of an appreciative public have left her untouched, and in person she is even more attractive than the screen presents her.

After being in Hollywood for some time seeking an entrance to filmland, she was selected to play the role of “Wendy” in the film version of Sir J. M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan,” and overnight she was changed from obscurity to prominence, and her rise has been continuous since that time.

Selected for Role of “Wendy.”
She was selected for the role of “Wendy” because it was the desire of the producers to fine a person who was not well known to the movie public, in order that the sequence of the story should not be interrupted. Other candidates for the place were Betty Bronson and Esther Ralston, actresses who had carried a few minor parts but were not well known.

During the past year the Corsicana representative in Hollywood has been having a strenuous time, in many instances her pictures overlapping and she averaged almost a picture a month during that period. She denied having a favorite role or that nay role that she had carried was particularly dear to her, but she chose “River of Romance” and “ The Virginian” as her favorite pictures in which she had appeared.

With the exception of a few pictures in which she has been “loaned” by Paramount, all of her work has been done for that company and her contract has yet two years to run. Her short vacation of this time was occasioned by the fact that the producers are undecided as to which of two plays will be her next work, and she is not waiting for the call to return to the studios.

Roles Have Been Varied
In her five years, Miss Brian has carried almost every type of role including “horse operas”—the studio name for Westerns; “blood and thunders”—the old melodramas; mystery plays, and a wide variety of others, Shakespearean roles are about the only type that have been omitted from her career so far. And she has acquitted herself with honor and ease in all of them.

Only a few of her pictures have not been shown in Corsicana, and she was highly pleased when she found that “Only the Brave” in which she plays opposite Gary Cooper, is to be shown in the near future.

While the “talkies” make greater demands on the actors, Miss Brian asserts that the work is infinitely more pleasant than work for the silent screen, where so many retakes were necessary because some little something failed to achieve the desired results.

The individual actors are called upon to do a greater amount of preparation and study for their roles in talking pictures, but the fact they are actually living their roles on the sets and not pantomiming, makes the work easier and enables the players to feel the result of their labors more readily. All of the work is done in soundproof booths.

Talking Pictures Easier.
During the early days of the “talkies,” Miss Brian asserted that there were many difficulties to overcome that made additional demands on the artists; but within the past few months the majority of these have been overcome and the work is much easier. Among the recent changes in the studios is new equipment that makes a large quantity of makeup unnecessary; many of the women use only a fraction of that needed formerly, and in several instances the men use not at all, saving time and trouble for the actors.

Work in the studios is much like that in any other profession, the actress pointed out. If the scenes are to be “shot” inside, the actors and actresses must be in their places ready for action at 9 o’clock, which means that they must be in costume, and made up by that hour.

For outside scenes, the party must be on the scene by daybreak, but the early hours demanded are more than made up by the joys of being outside and the picnic in idle moments, Miss Brian declared.

Not Permitted to Fly
Aviation has considerable fascination for her, the actress admitted, but her contract forbids her enjoying the latest method of transportation. She laughed gaily as she related an incident in which the officials had refused to allow her to use a plane to reach a scheduled appointment for a public appearance, but readily consented to her making the trip via automobile. But the trip was made in such a hurry that most of the curves were made on two wheels, and the actress was probably in greater danger than she would have been in a plane. She has hopes, however, of indulging in flying in the future.

In all fairness to the actress, it must be stated that the screen fails to do her justice in its portrayal of her beauty and personality. One is immediately aware of this face when they see her and talk to her. In too many instances the fans are disappointed when they see their favorite off the screen.

But in the case of Mary Brian, there is no disappointment except that of screen unfairness. Thoroughly unspoiled and without a trace of haughtiness or superiority, no more gracious a personality could be imagined. Thoroughly democratic, her handshake is an immediate index to her character for it meets one fairly and with an unmistakable grip, in pleasing contract to the usual limp gesture so often affected by the languid flappers of today.

Attractive Personality.

She is neither a flapper nor of the more sedate type, but a pleasing combination of the best of both. Her long bobbed hair of a dark brown falling about her face, sets off regular features and a clear complexion that causes envy from the feminine group, and peculiar palpitations in the cardiac regions of the males.

During her brief stay in Corsicana, Mrs. Dantzler and Miss Louise are in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. McGill on West Second avenue, life-long friends. A number of social events have been scheduled honoring the visitors, and they will be among the honor guests at the annual Corsicana club dance Monday evening.

Mary Pickford has been known for several years as “America’s Sweetheart,” but she had best renew her campaign vigorously or her mantle will fall on the shoulders of Corsicana’s own, both claimed and admitted, Mary Brian. She is now in her early twenties and with a very auspicious start bids fair to blaze on the film horizon for many years.

She was born in Corsicana and lived here for several years. Her father T. J. Dantzler was one of Corsicana’s leading business men until his death, and he is buried in Oakwood cemetery.


  • Corsicana Daily Sun - Monday, April 21, 1930

  • Submitted by Diane Richards


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