Invisible things by Noëlle Maline

With the flicker of a bird .. I prefer distractions and being interrupted . These days , I am a luggage organizer , book filer and background diorama painter .. I look at the night sky and watch old films .. Collect shadows and uncertainties .. I make art with fragments and broken images .. Paper , things and sounds .


Mary Nolan

Back on March 11, 1932


Los Angeles, Mar. 11 (UP)
Mary Nolan, blonde film actress, and her husband, Wallace T. Macrery, Jr., to-day were sentenced to serve thirty days in the county jail for failure to pay wage claims.
Municipal Judge Clement D. Nye sentenced Miss Nolan to 750 days and her husband to 840 days but in each case he suspended all but thirty days.

Born Mary Imogene Robertson in Kentucky, Robertson's childhood was beset with hardship that included the death of her mother in 1908 and an absent father. As a child, she worked as a farm laborer, before moving to New York City in 1919 where she worked as a model. Before long, she was discovered by Florenz Ziegfeld, who hired her under the name Imogene Wilson (the first of three name changes she was to have) as a dancer in hisfollies. As a showgirl in New York she was called Bubbles.

She began a long and abusive relationship with comedian Frank Tinney, which would culminate in being hospitalised for injuries he inflicted on her during an argument. Because Tinney was married to another woman, the affair caused a scandal. Mary Robertson was fired from theZiegfeld Follies and subsequently moved to Germany for two years. While in Germany, she made a large number of films.

Moving back to the United States in 1927, Robertson adopted the stage name Mary Nolan and had a brief film career, starring in films such as The Foreign LegionShanghai Lady, and Docks of San Francisco. She made Sorrel and Son for United Artists in 1927, but her film career declined afterwards. In 1928 she co-starred with two great actors, Lon Chaney and Lionel Barrymore, inWest of Zanzibar in what is arguably today her most well-known and heartbreaking silent film role as Chaney's defiled daughter raised in the dives of an African coastal town. In 1933, she made her final screen appearance in File 113. The same year, she sued Hollywood producer Eddie Mannix for $500,000 in damages. She accused him of beating her. In 1937, Nolan was jailed for an unpaid dress bill.
She turned up "sick and broke" at the Actor's Fund Home in Amityville, New York. She regained her health and returned to Hollywood in 1939. She lived there in obscurity with her sister, Mrs. Mabel Rondeau.

Unable to gain work, she became addicted to heroin and died of cardiac arrest on Halloween day, October 31, 1948. She suffered from a chronic gall bladder ailment and had recently been discharged from Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. She was 42 and weighed only 90 pounds when she died in a small stucco bungalow at 1504 South Mansfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California.
Her tiny apartment was simply furnished except for a single possession. There was a huge antique piano formerly owned by Rudolph Valentino, which almost filled her living room. She bought it from the possessions which were once a part of Falcon Lair, Valentino's home. Nolan revered the deceased film actor and kept his photo on the music rack.
Nolan had only recently completed negotiations for the sale of her life story, in screenplay and novel form. She previously sold a similar account to a popular magazine, the second installment of which had only recently been printed.


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