Mary Gordon (actress)

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Mary Gordon (born May 16, 1882 in Glasgow as Mary Gilmour , † August 23, 1963 in Pasadena , California ) was a Scottish actress . Her best-known role is the housekeeper Mrs. Hudson in the Sherlock Holmes film series with Basil Rathbone . She also starred in several films with Laurel and Hardy .


Mary Gordon was born in Glasgow, the fifth of seven children to a wire maker. After her first job as a seamstress, she became an actress. In the 1900s she traveled to the United States with an acting company . There she toured and played a few minor roles in Broadway plays. Her husband, with whom she had a daughter, died in 1917. Together with her daughter and mother - both were called Mary - the character actress traveled to Hollywood in the 1920s , where she made her film debut in 1925 with the short film The Dome Doctor . She starred in several silent films, such as 1928 Joan Crawford film Our Dancing Daughters before the end of the 1920s, the sound film Hollywood reached. She managed to switch to talkies without any problems.

During the 1930s she played in numerous films - often her screen appearances lasted only a few seconds, but sometimes she was also given larger supporting roles. The corpulent, gray-haired actress played matronly roles like mothers, landladies and housekeepers throughout her life. A characteristic of Gordon was her Scottish accent, which she did not shed even when she played Irish or English roles. Her best-known role was Sherlock Holmes ' housekeeper Mrs. Hudson in the famous crime series with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the lead roles. Gordon played Mrs. Hudson in a total of ten films between 1939 and 1946 and also in various radio plays . She also shot several times with the comedian duo Laurel and Hardy , including an appearance as a feisty Scottish innkeeper in We're from the Scottish Infantry Regiment (1935). Gordon also appeared in several films by director John Ford , for example as the landlady "Ma" in To the Last Man alongside Henry Fonda and Shirley Temple .

In total, Gordon made almost 300 film appearances by her last film in 1950. Shortly before the end of her career, she got a single television appearance. She spent her last years with her daughter and her grandson in Pasadena. In 1963 Mary Gordon died after a long illness at the age of 81.

Filmography (selection)

Sherlock Holmes films

Web links and sources

Commons : Mary Gordon  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Mary Gordon at Allmovie