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Polly Moran

Polly Moran
BornPauline Theresa Moran
(1883-06-28)June 28, 1883
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJanuary 25, 1952(1952-01-25) (aged 68)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Vaudevillian, stage and screen actress
Years active1913–1950
Bob Sandberg
(m. 1911; div. 1917)
Martin T. Malone
(m. 1933)
Children1 son (adopted)

Pauline Theresa Moran (June 28, 1883 – January 25, 1952) billed as Polly Moran, was an American actress of vaudeville, stage and screen and a comedian.


Born in Chicago, Illinois, Moran started in vaudeville, and widely toured North America, as well as various other locations that included Europe and South Africa. An attractive beauty of Irish descent, she left vaudeville in 1914 after signing for Mack Sennett at Keystone Studios as one of his Sennett Bathing Beauties.[1] There she honed the style of the brash, loud-mouthed, knock-about comedian by which she later became known. She proved effective at slapstick[1] and remained with Sennett for several years until she was signed by MGM.

She partnered with the famous Broadway star Marie Dressler in The Callahans and the Murphys (1927); and the two appeared in eight additional films together, such as Chasing Rainbows (1930), Caught Short (1930), and Prosperity (1932).[1][2] After Dressler's death in 1934, Moran's career declined, and she only starred in low-budget comedies or B-movies. In 1940, Moran retired to her home in Laguna Beach, California, but maintained an active Hollywood social life and was known for practical jokes. She once ran a failed campaign for a Laguna Beach City Council seat on a "Pro Dogs" platform.[3]

She made a brief comeback appearance in the Tracy–Hepburn classic comedy Adam's Rib in 1949. After playing the role, she said "I worked in the picture two days before I got a look at myself. I never went back."[4]


Moran has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard.[5]

Personal life

After a marriage that ended in divorce in 1917, Moran married attorney and former prizefighter Martin T. Malone in 1933. Malone was abusive; he beat her and threatened to kill her, but she would not leave him.[6] She had one child, a son, who was adopted between her two marriages. She lived at 530 Mountain Road in Laguna Beach, California.[7] Moran died of cardiovascular disease in 1952. Although a number of biographies give her date of death as being January 25, 1952, her grave marker reads January 24, 1952.

Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b c "Polly Moran, Movie Comedienne, Dead". The Washington Star. Hollywood. January 26, 1952. p. 1. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  2. ^ Miller, Frank. "ARTICLES: Prosperity (1932)", Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner Broadcasting System, a subsidiary of Time Warner, Inc., New York, N.Y. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Kennedy, Matthew (December 1998). Marie Dressler : A Biography, with a Listing of Major Stage Performances, a Filmography and a Discography. McFarland & Company. p. 223. ISBN 9780786405206.
  4. ^ "Heart Ailment Fatal for Actress Polly Moran, 68". Lawrence Journal-World. Los Angeles. January 25, 1952. p. 11. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  5. ^ "Hollywood Star Walk; Polly Moran". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  6. ^ Mann, William J. (1998). Wisecracker. Viking Penguin. pp. 353. ISBN 0-670-87155-9.
  7. ^ Epstein, Benjamin (February 19, 1998). "Course of History". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
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Polly Moran
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