Joan Marsh

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Joan Marsh
Joan Marsh MP831.jpg
Nancy Ann Rosher

DiedAugust 10, 2000(2000-08-10) (aged 87)
Other namesDorothy D. Rosher
Years active1915–1944
Charles S. Belden
(m. 1938; div. 1943)

John D. W. Morrill
(m. 1943)

Joan Marsh (born Nancy Ann Rosher; 1913/1914[1] – 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 Nancy Ann Rosher, and briefly known as Dorothy D. Rosher, was the daughter of Lolita and Charles Rosher, who was an award-winning cinematographer. Her parents later divorced.[2]


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.[3] Later that same year she was also cast in Hearts Aflame and then billed as Dorothy Rosher.[3] 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.[4] 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).[3]

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 then continued performing on screen in small roles for the next decade.[3] In 1936, on radio, she sang on the CBS program Flying Red Horse Tavern.[5]

In 1931, Marsh was one of 13 actresses named as WAMPAS baby stars.[6]

Marsh made her final film appearance the next year in Follow the Leader.[3]

Personal life[edit]

During the filming of Charlie Chan on Broadway, Marsh met writer Charles Belden, who had co-written that film's screenplay.[citation needed] They married on December 2, 1938, in Beverly Hills, California.[7] 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."[8]

In 1943, Marsh married Army Captain John D. W. Morrill in Santa Monica, California.[9]

Later years and death[edit]

Marsh later managed a stationery shop, and she died at age 86 in Ojai, California[3] on August 10, 2000.[1]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Oliver, Myrna (August 23, 2000). "Joan Marsh; '30s Bombshell Began in Silents". Los Angeles Times. p. B 8. Retrieved August 13, 2021 – via
  2. ^ "Joan Marsh Father Freed From Paying". The Bakersfield Californian. California, Bakersfield. August 4, 1938. p. 18. Retrieved June 30, 2016 – via open access
  3. ^ a b c d e f Katz, Ephraim and Nolen, Ronald. The Film Encyclopedia, pp. 1166-67 (HarperCollins 2013).
  4. ^ "Woman's Weapons". The Wichita Daily Eagle. Kansas, Wichita. November 24, 1918. p. 26. Retrieved June 30, 2016 – via open access
  5. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, pg. 234. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4.
  6. ^ "Pick 13 as 'baby' stars". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 13, 1931. p. 24. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  7. ^ "Joan Marsh a Bride". The New York Times. Associated Press. December 3, 1938. p. 10. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  8. ^ "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
  9. ^ "Joan Marsh Married". The New York Times. October 25, 1943. p. 11. Retrieved August 13, 2021.

External links[edit]