Marie Prevost

Mary Provost-Marie Prevost refrigerator magnet


Mary Bickford Dunn, stage name Marie Prevost, 11-8-1898 to 1-21-1937

early silent film comedienne Marie Prevost





Mary Bickford Dunn aka Marie Prevost


bathing beauty Marie Prevost


star of the silent screen


Marie Provost and her dog


Mary Bickford Dunn, stage name Marie Prevost, 11-8-1898 to 1-21-1937, was a moderately popular early film actress, known primarily as a comedienne.  She is mostly known today as the subject of a Nick Lowe song about the unfortunate circumstances of her death.  Nick Lowe was writing a song though, not a biography.  For starters, he misspells her stage name as "Marie Provost." 

He was completely taking liberties with the details, or just guessing from childhood memory or something.  For starters, she was apparently dead for about two days when she was discovered - not two or three weeks as per the song.  The song sounds like he's describing a suicide, but it would appear more interesting if less convenient to Lowe's storyline.  She lost her career because depression resulting in overeating and alcoholism caused her to put on weight, not because she couldn't transition to talkies.  She apparently basically starved herself to death.  And the dog apparently did not eat her for a "doggie dinnger."

From Wikipedia:

On January 21, 1937, at the age of 38, secluded and hiding away from the world, living alone in an apartment house, Marie Prevost died from a combination of alcoholism and her self-imposed malnutrition. The primary cause of death was a heart attack. Her body was not discovered until January 23rd, when neighbors had complained about her dog's incessant barking. The police report stated that her pet dachshund (named John Kelly for unknown reasons) "had chewed up her arms and legs in a futile attempt to awaken her." Among her few possessions was an I.O.U. note which read as follows : "Joan Crawford, I.O.U. $300". It was signed by Marie and dated January 21st, 1937.

Nick Lowe

Marie Provost did not look her best
The day the cops bust into her lonely nest
in the cheap hotel up on Hollywood west
July 29

She'd been lyin' there for two or three weeks
The neighbors said they never heard a squeak
While hungry eyes that could not speak
said even little doggies have got to eat

She was a winner that became a doggie's dinner
She never meant that much to me
Whoa oh poor Marie

Marie Provost was a movie queen
mysterious angel of the silent screen
And run like the wind the nation's young men steamed
When Marie crossed the silent screen

Whoa she came out west from New York
but when the talkies came Marie just couldn't cope
The public said Marie take a walk
All the way back to New York

-repeat chorus-

Those quaalude bombs didn't help her sleep
As her nights grew long and her days grew bleak
It's all downhill once you've passed your peak
Marie got ready for that last big sleep

The cops came in and they looked around
Throwin' up everywhere over what they found
The handiwork of Marie's little dachshund
That hungry little dachshund

-repeat chorus-

poor Marie





Holla Back!

Nick Lowe

Music Sustains the Soul

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