Joan Marsh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joan Marsh
Dorothy Rosher[a]

(1914-07-10)July 10, 1914
DiedAugust 10, 2000(2000-08-10) (aged 86)
Other namesDorothy D. Rosher
Years active1915–1944
Charles S. Belden
(m. 1938; div. 1943)
John D. W. Morrill
(m. 1943)

Joan Marsh (July 10, 1914[a] – August 10, 2000) was an American child actress in silent films between 1915 and 1921. Later, during the sound era, she resumed her acting career and performed in a variety of films during the 1930s and 1940s.

Early years[edit]

Marsh, born Dorothy D. Rosher,[a] was the daughter of Lolita and Charles Rosher. Her parents later divorced.[5]


In 1915, Marsh made her first film appearance, an uncredited one, in the short The Mad Maid of the Forest, which her father was filming.[6] Later that same year she was also cast in Hearts Aflame and then billed as Dorothy Rosher.[6] In 1917 she appeared too in A Little Princess and in no less than five other productions in 1918, including the comedy-drama Women's Weapons for Paramount Pictures.[7] After these minor roles as a baby and toddler, Marsh finally became a star in Mary Pickford films such as Daddy-Long-Legs (1919) and Pollyanna (1920).[6]

Marsh made her last film appearance as a child in 1921 but returned to films nine years later with a role in King of Jazz, in which she sang with Bing Crosby. She subsequently worked in a series of shorts and other feature films before she played W. C. Fields's daughter in You're Telling Me! in 1934. She continued performing on-screen in small roles for the next decade.[6] In 1936, she sang on the CBS radio program Flying Red Horse Tavern.[8]

In 1931, Marsh was one of 13 actresses named as WAMPAS baby stars.[9]

She made her final film appearance in 1944 in Follow the Leader.[6]

Personal life[edit]

During the filming of Charlie Chan on Broadway, Marsh met writer Charles Belden, who had co-written the film's screenplay.[citation needed] They married on December 2, 1938, in Beverly Hills, California.[10] Their marriage ended in divorce in 1943—first in Los Angeles, California, on August 26, 1943, followed by a second divorce October 23, 1943, "so she won't have to wait a year before remarrying."[11]

In 1943, Marsh married Army Captain John D. W. Morrill in Santa Monica, California.[12]

Later years and death[edit]

Marsh later managed a stationery shop. She died at age 86 in Ojai, California[6] on August 10, 2000.[13]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Some sources list Marsh's birth year as 1913, and others 1914;[1] the day, July 10, however, is consistent amongst them. The California Birth Index corroborates a birthdate of July 10, 1914, for Dorothy Rosher, born in Tulare County, California.[2] Furthermore, some sources (primarily obituaries) suggest that her birth name was Nancy Rosher,[3][4] though the California Birth Index entry conflicts with this claim.


  1. ^ "Joan Marsh Biography". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on January 29, 2022.
  2. ^ "Dorothy D. Rosher, born on July 10, 1914 in Tulare County, California". California Birth Index. Archived from the original on February 22, 2016.
  3. ^ "Deaths". The Washington Post. August 24, 2000. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  4. ^ Oliver, Myrna (August 23, 2000). "Joan Marsh: '30s Bombshell Began in Silents". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 29, 2022.
  5. ^ "Joan Marsh Father Freed From Paying". The Bakersfield Californian. California, Bakersfield. August 4, 1938. p. 18. Retrieved June 30, 2016 – via Open access icon
  6. ^ a b c d e f Katz, Ephraim and Nolen, Ronald. The Film Encyclopedia, pp. 1166-67 (HarperCollins 2013).
  7. ^ "Woman's Weapons". The Wichita Daily Eagle. Kansas, Wichita. November 24, 1918. p. 26. Retrieved June 30, 2016 – via Open access icon
  8. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, pg. 234. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4.
  9. ^ "Pick 13 as 'baby' stars". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 13, 1931. p. 24. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  10. ^ "Joan Marsh a Bride". The New York Times. Associated Press. December 3, 1938. p. 10. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  11. ^ "Actress Joan Marsh To Marry Captain". Long Beach Independent. California, Long Beach. International News Service. October 22, 1943. p. 5. Retrieved June 30, 2016 – via Open access icon
  12. ^ "Joan Marsh Married". The New York Times. October 25, 1943. p. 11. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Oliver, Myrna (August 23, 2000). "Joan Marsh; '30s Bombshell Began in Silents". Los Angeles Times. p. B 8. Retrieved August 13, 2021 – via

External links[edit]