Marjorie Reynolds



Place of birth:

Buhl, Idaho, U.S.:


Bright, vivacious Marjorie Reynolds (née Marjorie Goodspeed) was born in Idaho on August 12, 1917 to a doctor and homemaker, and raised in Los Angeles. Making her film debut at age 6, she "retired" after only a few years in favor of a normal education. She returned in the mid-30s, as a teenager this time, and began the typical assembly-line route of extra and bit roles for various mega studios, this time billed as Marjorie Moore. Her first speaking role was in Columbia Studio's programmer Murder in Greenwich Village (1937), this time billed as Marjorie Reynolds (her first husband's last name), a moniker she kept for the duration of her career. The blonde (originally brunette) actress then went through a rather unchallenging prairie flower phase opposite Hollywood's top western stars such as Tex Ritter, Buck Jones, Roy Rogers and Tim Holt. It all paid off, however, when she won the top female role opposite Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the seasonal film classic Holiday Inn (1942), a role originally designed for Mary Martin. It remains Marjorie's most popular and cherished role on film, but it did not help her make a permanent transition into 'A' quality fare. She continued as a dependable "B" co-lead in such films as Up in Mabel's Room (1944), Meet Me on Broadway (1946), and Heaven Only Knows (1947), with an exciting movie offer such as Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear (1944) coming her way on a rare occasion. Along with maturity and a new entertainment medium (television) in the 50s came a return to her natural hair color. As William Bendix's patient, resourceful brunette wife on the comedy TV series The Life of Riley (1953), Marjorie became a semi-household name. Her career took a steep decline following its demise five years later and she was only sporadically seen in films, commercials and TV guest spots after that. Married twice, her first husband was Jack Reynolds, who was an Assistant Casting Director for Samuel Goldwyn. They had one daughter, Linda, before divorcing in 1952 after 16 years. Second husband, film editor John Whitney, worked for a time in the 40s as an actor. They were married for 32 years until his death in 1985. Long retired, Marjorie died in 1997 of congestive heart failure after collapsing while walking her dog. Though she didn't fully live up to her potential as a serious, formidable actress, her gentle charm and obvious beauty certainly spruced up the 60+ films in which she appeared.

Film Credits

Juke Box Rhythm (1959)
as Martha Manton
No Holds Barred (1952)
as Rhonda Nelson
Models Inc. (1952)
as Peggy Howard
His Kind of Woman (1951)
as Helen Cardigan
Home Town Story (1951)
as Janice Hunt
The Great Jewel Robber (1950)
as Martha Rollins
Customs Agent (1950)
as Lucille Gerrard
That Midnight Kiss (1949)
as Mary
Bad Men of Tombstone (1949)
as Julie
Heaven Only Knows (1947)
as Ginger 'The Copper Queen'
Monsieur Beaucaire (1946)
as Princess Maria of Spain
The Time of Their Lives (1946)
as Melody Allen
Meet Me on Broadway (1946)
as Ann Stallings
Duffy's Tavern (1945)
as Peggy O'Malley
Bring on the Girls (1945)
as Sue Thomas
Three Is a Family (1944)
as Kitty Mitchell
Ministry of Fear (1944)
as Carla Hilfe
Up in Mabel's Room (1944)
as Geraldine Ainsworth
Dixie (1943)
as Jean Mason
Holiday Inn (1942)
as Linda Mason
Star Spangled Rhythm (1942)
as Marjorie Reynolds - Swing Shift Skit
Blondie Goes to College (1942)
as Martha Kingston
Law of the Timber (1941)
as 'Perry' Lorimer
Dude Cowboy (1941)
as Barbara Adams
Top Sergeant Mulligan (1941)
as Gail Nash
Cyclone on Horseback (1941)
as Mary Corbin
Secret Evidence (1941)
as Linda Wilson
Robin Hood of the Pecos (1941)
as Ambrose Ballard
Up in the Air (1940)
as Anne Mason
Doomed to Die (1940)
as Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan
Enemy Agent (1940)
as Peggy O'Reilly
Midnight Limited (1940)
as Joan Marshall
Chasing Trouble (1940)
as Susie Carey
The Fatal Hour (1940)
as Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan
Gone with the Wind (1939)
as Guest at Twelve Oaks (uncredited)
Danger Flight (1939)
as Betty Lou
Sky Patrol (1939)
as Betty Lou Barnes
Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)
as Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan
Stunt Pilot (1939)
as Betty Lou Barnes
Timber Stampede (1939)
Streets of New York (1939)
as Anne Carroll
Mystery Plane (1939)
as Betty Lou Barnes
The Phantom Stage (1939)
as Mary Ellen
Delinquent Parents (1938)
as Edith Ellis, as a youth
Man's Country (1938)
as Madge Crane
Rebellious Daughters (1938)
as Claire Elliott
Western Trails (1938)
Six Shootin' Sheriff (1938)
as Molly Morgan
Tex Rides with the Boy Scouts (1937)
as Norma Willis
Murder in Greenwich Village (1937)
as Molly Murphy
Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)
as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Top of the Town (1937)
as Dancer
College Holiday (1936)
College Holiday (1936)
as Dancer
The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936)
as Dancer (uncredited)
College Humor (1933)
as Student
The Broken Wing (1923)
as Child (uncredited)
Scaramouche (1923)
as Child (uncredited)