Fay Holderness

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Fay Holderness (née MacMurray; April 16, 1881 – May 13, 1963) was an American vaudeville performer and film actress.


Fay Holderness was born Fay MacMurray in Oconto, Wisconsin, the daughter of Thomas James MacMurray and Mary E. Barnes MacMurray.[1] Her father was a prominent organist and her brother, Frederick MacMurray, was a respected violinist and a composer,[2][3] whose son was actor and businessman Fred MacMurray.

The family left Wisconsin in the late 1880s, later living in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois.[4]


Holderness performed in a vaudeville production in Olean, New York in 1920, a presentation of The Village Four. Three actors along with Holderness appeared in this comedy and harmony singing skit. She performed in silent movie productions as early as 1917. In 1919 Holderness was in the cast of Hearts of the World, directed by D.W. Griffith. The film was shot on location in France over a period of eighteen months. Other actors in the movie are Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Kate Bruce, and George Fawcett.

Holderness was in the cast of Dick Turpin (1925). This tale of romance and adventure was set in old England. The film featured Tom Mix, Philo McCullough, and Alan Hale, Sr.

She appeared in many short comedies, including several with Laurel and Hardy, playing Mrs. Laurel in Their Purple Moment (1928), and Mrs. Hardy in Hog Wild (1930). She also supported W. C. Fields in The Barber Shop (1933) and The Bank Dick (1940). Her career continued into the late 1930s and the era of sound film. Holderness' last screen credits are for Share The Wealth (1936) and Just Speeding (1936). Her uncredited parts take her career into the 1940s. Among these are parts in The Pride of the Yankees (1942) and The Mummy's Ghost (1944).

Personal life[edit]

In 1912, she married Francis C. Holderness in Detroit.[5]

She married Edmund Ayars Leeds (1892–1954) on August 25, 1923.[1] Fay Holderness died in 1963 at the Pacific Convalarium in Santa Monica, California, age 82, from arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles as Fay H. Leeds.[citation needed]

Partial filmography[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K8NQ-ZGD: accessed December 19, 2014), Edmund Ayars Leeds and Fay Holderness, August 25, 1923; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 2,074,426.
  2. ^ "Fay Holderness Pursues Her Sweetie". Vancouver Daily World. February 9, 1924. p. 14. Retrieved December 19, 2014 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  3. ^ "Frederick MacMurray Here". The Pantagraph. May 3, 1904. p. 7. Retrieved December 19, 2014 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  4. ^ "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MS4C-5Y4 : accessed 19 December 2014), Fay Macmurray in household of Thomas J Macmurray, Chenoa Township Chenoa city Ward 1-3, McLean, Illinois, United States; citing sheet 12A, family 269, NARA microfilm publication T623, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 1,240,322.
  5. ^ "Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N321-HL9 : accessed 19 December 2014), Francis C Holderness and Fay Macmurray, 03 Sep 1912; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, v 5 p 360 rn 87672, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,699.


  • Appleton, Wisconsin Post-Crescent, Dick Turpin, Wednesday Evening, February 3, 1926, Page 7.
  • Clearfield, Pennsylvania Progress, Hearts of the World, February 6, 1919, Page 3.
  • Olean Evening Herald, Dorothy Phillips At Palace The Right To Happiness, January 5, 1920, Page 4.