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Mary Kornman

Mary Kornman
Mary Kornman in Dogs of War (1923)
Born Mary A. Kornmann [1]
(1915-12-27)December 27, 1915
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Died June 1, 1973(1973-06-01) (aged 57)
Glendale, California
Cause of death
Occupation Child actor
Years active 1922–1940
Spouse(s) 1) Leo Tover, 2) Ralph B. McCutcheon
Parent(s) Eugene N. Kornmann, Verna H. Kornmann [1]

Mary Kornman (December 27, 1915 – June 1, 1973) was an American child actress who was the leading female star of the Our Gang series during the Pathé silent era.

Our Gang

Mary Kornman was the daughter of Hal Roach′s still-photo cameraman Gene Kornman. After Peggy Cartwright, who appeared in only four or five Our Gang episodes, Mary became the leading lady of the series, appearing in more than 40 episodes. Kornman was one of the series′ biggest stars during its early years between 1922 and 1926.[2]


Photoplay Magazine of May 1925 reports the following interchange between Kornman and Our Gang director Robert McGowan:[3]

Pretty Mary Kornman gave director Robert McGowan the biggest surprise he ever got from any member of ″Our Gang″ when she asked him:
Do chickens go to heaven?
What a question! Of course not.
Why don′t chickens go to heaven when cats do?
What makes you think cats go to heaven?
Because when I dug up my kitty where it was buried it was all gone.

Later career

After the series, she had a successful movie career through her twenties. She also continued appearing with Our Gang co-star Mickey Daniels into adulthood, as evidenced by some publicity shots from the era.[citation needed] She appeared with Mickey Daniels in the teen version of Our Gang, The Boy Friends. She married Leo Tover, a cameraman, in or around 1934, but divorced approximately five years later. She later married Ralph B. McCutcheon, a horse trainer on some of her Western films; this marriage lasted until her death.

In 1935, she appeared in Queen of the Jungle with Reed Howes. The same year, she appeared in The Desert Trail as a store owner and the love interest of John Wayne. She continued to appear in features until 1940, when she retired from the screen.

Later years

Never having children, Mary spent the rest of her life devoted to her husband, Ralph. They both spent their remaining years on their ranch with the horses they loved. Mary was never to return to movies, yet she kept in close contact with many of her Hollywood acquaintances and friends.[4]

When recently asked if Mary was as kind and genuine a person as she appeared to be in her movies, sister Mildred Kornman replied, "She was all of that and more."[4]


Mary became ill in the early 1970s. She was eventually diagnosed with cancer and died on June 1, 1973 with sister Mildred at her side. Kornman′s husband Ralph died in 1975. They both were buried at the Linn Grove Cemetery, in Greeley, Weld County, Colorado.[4]


When asked in 1960 what she thought of being part of Our Gang, Kornman replied "It was fun being a gang member. It was play. I have no regrets...We didn′t have to be talented, which is natural for kids...I think we had a privileged childhood working in those films."[2]


Our Gang

The Boy Friends

  • Doctor′s Orders (1930)
  • Bigger and Better (1930)
  • Ladies Last (1930)
  • Blood and Thunder (1931)
  • High Gear (1931)
  • Love Fever (1931)
  • Air-Tight (1931)
  • Call a Cop! (1931)
  • Mama Loves Papa (1931)
  • The Kick-Off! (1931)
  • Love Pains (1932)
  • The Knock-Out (1932)
  • Too Many Women (1932)
  • Wild Babies (1932)


 •  Rupert of Hee Haw (1924) – girl at palace gate – uncredited
 •  Short Kilts (1924) – McGregor kid
 •  Isn′t Life Terrible? (1925)
 •  The Voice of Hollywood no. ? (1931)  – herself
 •  Let′s Do Things (1931) – cigarette girl in nightclub – uncredited
 •  Are These Our Children? (1931) – Agnes ′Dumbbell′
 •  The Hollywood Handicap (1932) – herself
 •  Exposure (1932) – Eileen Foster, socialite – uncredited
 •  Maids à la Mode (1933) – model – uncredited
 •  Me and My Pal (1933) – bridesmaid – uncredited
 •  Bondage (1933) bit in record store – uncredited
 •  College Humor (1933) – Amber Davis
 •  Neighbors′ Wives (1933) – Mary McGrath
 •  Please (1933) – Beth Sawyer
 •  Flying Down to Rio (1933) – Belinha De Rezende′s friend – uncredited
 •  Just an Echo (1934) – herself
 •  The Quitter (1934) – Annabelle Hibbs
 •  Picture Brides (1934) – Mataeo Rogers
 •  Strictly Dynamite (1934) – party guest – uncredited
 •  Financial Jitters (1934) – herself
 •  Madame Du Barry (1934) – Felice ′Sweet Pea′ – uncredited
 •  Smokey Smith (1935) – Bess Bart
 •  Roaring Roads (1935) – Mary McDowell
 •  The Desert Trail (1935) – Anne Whitaker
 •  Adventures Knights (1935) – Annette
 •  Queen of the Jungle (1935) – Joan Lawrence, Mary Lawrence – lead
 •  The Calling of Dan Matthews (1935) – Kitty Marley
 •  Swing It, Professor (1937) – Joan Dennis
 •  Youth on Parole (1937) – Mae Blair
 •  King of the Newsboys (1938) – Peggy
 •  That Certain Age (1938) – friend – uncredited
 •  I Am a Criminal (1938) – Alice Martin
 •  Zenobia (1939) – townsperson – uncredited
 •  On the Spot (1940) – Ruth Hunter

Our Gang - Questionable Listings

There is some discrepancy concerning which of the early Our Gang films Mary actually appeared in. According to The Lucky Corner website Mary did not appear in any of the following four films.


  1. ^ a b The Official Mary Kornman Website: Mary Kornman′s ′Our gang′ contract, page 1 (parties of the contract), last page (signatures), signatures enlargend (retrieved Feb-1-2013)
  2. ^ a b Maltin, Leonard and Bann, Richard W. (1977, rev. 1992). The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang, p. 249. New York: Crown Publishing/Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-517-58325-9
  3. ^ "Bright Sayings of Children in Filmdom. When the Rising Generation Has Risen Hollywood Should Be Full of Comedians". Photoplay Magazine 27 (6): 64. May 1925. Retrieved Feb-3-2013 via Media History Digital Library.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ a b c

External links

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