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Subject: ARCHIVE: March 10, 1984 ~June Marlowe, Hollywood actress of the 1920s/1930s, fondly remembered by millions of "Our Gang" fans as teacher 'Miss Crabtree' in the early Rascals films, before marrying, and soon after retiring in 1934, living a quiet life for next 50 years until her death at 82. ...

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Date Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 12:41:31pm

American film actress who began her career during the silent film era,
best known for her performance of "Miss Crabtree" in the Our Gang shorts.

June Marlowe
[ Gisela Valaria Goetten ]
(November 6, 1903 March 10, 1984)

Marlowe was born to German parents in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She was a prolific actress in silent films during the 1920s, appearing in films opposite John Barrymore and Rin Tin Tin. She began her acting career shortly after her 1923 graduation from Hollywood High School, and was signed to a contract by Warner Brothers in 1924. In 1925, she became one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. Her career did well until the introduction of talking pictures. Marlowe did not make an easy transition, and by 1930 she was starting to drift away from acting.

By chance, she happened to meet director Robert F. McGowan one day in a Los Angeles, California, department store. McGowan was searching for an actress to portray the schoolteacher in the Our Gang series of children's comedies. After producer Hal Roach suggested that brunette Marlowe don a blonde wig to match the hair of the lead kid in the series, Jackie Cooper, she was given the part of Miss Crabtree.

In 1928, she was an actress under contract with Universal Studios.

Marlowe and Cooper were paired together in three Our Gang films, Teacher's Pet, School's Out and Love Business. She also had a small role in 1931's Little Daddy. In addition to her work in Our Gang, Marlowe appeared in fellow Roach stars Laurel and Hardy's first feature film, Pardon Us.

Marlowe's Miss Crabtree character was used in only two more shorts, 1931's Shiver My Timbers
and 1932's Readin' and Writin'. After Cooper left Our Gang in 1931 she appeared in MGM features.

Later years and death
In an October 1931 notice, Washington's Evening Star newspaper announced that the Superior Court in Los Angeles "returned a verdict of $100 damages to Henry M. Oviatt against June Marlowe, film actress, and her brother, Armour Marlowe, as the outgrowth of a motor car collision," adding that their automobile had "collided with one containing Oviatt and Mrs. Nellie McLaren, who sued for $5,000 each, alleging injuries", and that "Mrs. McLaren was denied damages."

On July 2, 1933, Marlowe married Hollywood businessman Rodney Sprigg and retired from motion pictures to become a housewife. The couple remained married until Sprigg's death in 1982. In her later years, she suffered from Parkinson's disease, dying from complications on March 10, 1984.

Marlowe was originally buried at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery, in San Fernando Valley, CA.

Decades was later Marlowe was re-interred just 15 miles aways, along with her siblings to the ornate newly dedicated
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Thanks to Marlowe's generous sister Alona, who had
married business magnate Ross W. Cortese, Mrs. Cortese paid for the cost of the re-internment of all her Goetten siblings
(including June Marlowe) to the Cathedral.

In popular culture

...The name of schoolteacher Edna Krabappel, a cartoon character from the animated television series The Simpsons,
was chosen by early Simpsons writers Wallace Wolodarsky and Jay Kogen in 1990 as a play on the fruit "crabapple"
and as a reference to Miss Crabtree from the Our Gang shorts.


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