A specialist in portraying light-headed, pretentious society dowagers, American actress Mary Boland began her stage career at age 15, shortly after the death of her actor father. Though she played roles of every sort throughout her theatrical career, Boland found that her forte was scatterbrained comedy in such Broadway productions of the 1920s as Clarence, The Torch Bearers and The Cradle Snatchers. Boland made her movie debut in the silent film The Edge of the Abyss (1914), but her Hollywood career really took off with the advent of the talkies. She worked in movies steadily throughout the 1930s and 1940s, collaborating with everyone from Cecil B. DeMille to W.C. Fields; her most frequent costar was comic actor Charlie Ruggles, with whom she appeared in a number of droll domestic comedies. Mary Boland continued to alternate between stage and screen work until her retirement in the mid 1950s, finding time for occasional TV appearances.