Marie Dressler

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Dressler in 1930

Leila Marie Koerber (November 9, 1868 – July 28, 1934), known by her stage name Marie Dressler, was a Canadian stage and screen actress, comedienne, and early silent film and Depression-era film star.


  • Fate cast me to play the role of an ugly duckling with no promise of swanning. Therefore, I sat down when a mere child—fully realizing just how utterly "mere" I was—and figured out my life early. Most people do it, but they do it too late. At any rate, from the beginning I have played my life as a comedy rather than the tragedy many would have made of it.
    • The Life Story of an Ugly Duckling (1924), Ch. 1
  • ... poor had no terror for me! It was pie for me! My whole life had been a fight!
    • The Life Story of an Ugly Duckling (1924), Ch. 5
  • I was born serious and I have earned my bread making other people laugh.
    • My Own Story (1934), Ch. 1
  • It is well enough to be interested in one's profession, but to restrict one's leisure to association with the members of one's guild, so to speak, is to be doomed to artificiality and eventually to sterility. In order to represent life on the stage, we must rub elbows with life, live ourselves.
    • My Own Story (1934), Ch. 3
  • Love is not getting, but giving. It is sacrifice. And sacrifice is glorious! I have no patience with women who measure and weigh their love like a country doctor dispensing capsules. If a man is worth loving at all, he is worth loving generously, even recklessly.
    • My Own Story (1934), Ch. 7
  • There is a vast difference between success at twenty-five and success at sixty. At sixty, nobody envies you. Instead, everybody rejoices generously, sincerely, in your good fortune.
    • My Own Story (1934), Ch. 17
  • By the time we hit fifty, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves.
    • My Own Story (1934), Ch. 17
  • If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go to all the picnics?
  • A rut is like a grave – it's only a question of depth.
    • Quoted in The Wit of Women, p. 150

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