Mary Gordon

Active - 1922 - 1950  |   Born - May 16, 1882   |   Died - Aug 23, 1963   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Romance, Mystery

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Diminutive Scottish stage and screen actress Mary Gordon was seemingly placed on this earth to play care-worn mothers, charwomen and housekeepers. In films from the silent area (watch for her towards the end of the 1928 Joan Crawford feature Our Dancing Daughters), Gordon played roles ranging from silent one-scene bits to full-featured support. She frequently acted with Laurel and Hardy, most prominently as the stern Scots innkeeper Mrs. Bickerdyke in 1935's Bonnie Scotland. Gordon was also a favorite of director John Ford, portraying Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Englishwomen with equal aplomb (and sometimes with the same accent). She was the screen mother of actors as diverse as Jimmy Cagney, Leo Gorcey and Lou Costello; she parodied this grey-haired matriarch image in Olsen and Johnson's See My Lawyer (1945), wherein her tearful court testimony on behalf of her son (Ed Brophy) is accompanied by a live violinist. Mary Gordon is most fondly remembered by film buffs for her recurring role as housekeeper Mrs. Hudson in the Sherlock Holmes films of 1939-46 starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, a role she carried over to the Holmes radio series of the '40s.

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