In Australia Gregory was known as the child wonder of the vaudeville stage. Her first screen experience came at the age of four when she was shown in her mother's arms in a crowd which was welcoming British dignitaries.
She was first signed in Hollywood for ingenue roles by Universal Pictures in 1921. She also worked for Hal Roach Studios and First National Pictures. In all she spent five years in comic roles before going into dramatic work. By 1924 she was the leading lady of the Independent Pictures Corporation. She was a Wampas Baby Star of 1925.
Gregory's film career started with comedy shorts like The Bull Thrower (1920), Lion's Jaws and Kitten's Paws (1920), and The Whizbang (1921). After completing The Calgary Stampede (1925) and The Chip of the Flying U (1926), with Hoot Gibson, she was promoted to leading lady for Jack Hoxie, for two movies.
When Gregory failed to achieve stardom by losing chances due to illness and other causes, she consulted a Hollywood seer named Dareos. He suggested a new name which combined the syllables of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. It was Marian Douglas. Her first film using the new name was The Shepherd of the Hills (1928). She took steps to become an American citizen beginning in October 1927.
Gregory continued to make movies as Marion Douglas until 1931. Her final films are Twisted Tales (1931), Three Wise Clucks (1931), Aloha (1931), and Beach Pajamas (1931).
Marriage and divorce
Gregory divorced film director Alfred Rogell in August 1934. Beverly Hills, California attorney, William V.R. Smith, was named a co-respondent in a $150,000 lawsuit brought by Rogell. Gregory was awarded a temporary alimony sum of $300 per month from Rogell. Gregory married Dr. Frank Nolan on 5 November 1937. The couple separated in May 1938 and Gregory obtained a divorce decree in July 1939.
Ena Gregory died in Laguna Beach, California in 1993, aged 87.
- Los Angeles Times, Contrasting Types In Walton Picture, 18 August 1921, Page III4.
- Los Angeles Times, She Faced Camera When Babe In Arms, 7 December 1924, Page C31.
- Los Angeles Times, Thirteen-Letter Name Gives Luck, 21 October 1927, Page A1.
- Los Angeles Times, Cash Split By Rogells, 22 August 1934, Page A5.
- New York Times, With the Producers and Players, 6 September 1925, Page X5.
- Los Angeles Times, Actress Wins Divorce Plea, 25 July 1939, Page 7.
- New York Times, Alfred Rogell Asks Divorce, 12 August 1934, Page 18.