Scratchy-voiced American character actress who appeared in dozens of Hollywood vehicles following years on the Chautauqua and Orpheum circuits, Marjorie Main eventually worked with W.C. Fields on Broadway, where she appeared in several productions. Widowed in 1934, she entered films in 1937, repeating her Broadway stage role as the gangster's mother in Dead End (1937). Personally eccentric, Main had an almost pathological fear of germs. Best known among her close to 100 film appearances, most for MGM, are Stella Dallas (1937), Test Pilot (1938), Too Hot to Handle (1938), The Women (1939), Another Thin Man (1939), I Take This Woman (1940), Susan and God (1940), Honky Tonk (1941), Heaven Can Wait (1943), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Murder, He Says (1945), The Harvey Girls (1946), Summer Stock (1950), The Long, Long Trailer (1954), Rose Marie (1954), and Friendly Persuasion (1956). Starting with their appearances in The Egg and I (1947), which starred Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, Main and Percy Kilbride became starring performers as Ma and Pa Kettle in a series of rural comedies.
by Rovi biography