Mary Dresselhuys played more than 150 roles during her long career. She played a wide range of roles, but got most known as the Queen of Comedy. She performed till high age. After she turned 80, she asked Paul Haenen to write a play (Een bijzonder prettig vergezicht) in which she and her daughter Petra played. At the age of 85 she played a part in the movie Eline Vere, and at 90, she was on stage again, where she, together with Paul Haenen, looked back at her career.
Mary played her first parts while she was still a gymnasium student. She spend her vacations with her grandmother in The Hague, where she grabbed every opportunity to go to the theatre - getting a front row seat if possible. In her teen years, she managed to see about 200 plays - keeping notes about the plays and actors she saw in a notebook, which she kept throughout her life. After high school, she spend half a year in an English boarding school after which she took an entering exam for the Toneelschool (acting school) in Amsterdam, without her parents knowledge. She passed the exam. After her graduation in 1929, Mary played her first part, in the play Men trouwt geen meisjes zonder geld (One doesn't marry girls without money). From 1931 till 1945 she played with the company Centraal Tooneel.
Among the films in which she appeared are
- Eline Vere (1992) .... Mevrouw van Raat
- Vroeger kon je lachen (1983)
- Dorp aan de rivier (1958) .... Mrs. Van Taeke
- De Kribbebijter (1935) .... Mary