Madeline and Marion Fairbanks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Fairbanks Twins

Madeline (Madeleine) (15 November 1900 – 15 January 1989) and her twin sister Marion Fairbanks (15 November 1900 – 20 September 1973) were stage and motion picture actresses active in the silent era. The two sisters were seemingly inseparable. However, their Thanhouser filmographies are slightly different, as on occasion one twin appeared in a film without the other.

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, the twins were mainly educated by private tutors at home and while traveling. Their mother was actress Jennie M. Fairbanks, a.k.a. Jane Fairbanks, and their father was the son of Nathaniel Fairbanks, who served in the American Civil War, and a descendant of Jonathan Fairbanks, a Massachusetts hero of the Revolution. Madeline and Marion had an older brother, Robert.


The Fairbanks twins, Madeline and Marion Fairbanks

The twins began their career on the stage in such productions as Alias Jimmy Valentine, Mother, Salomy Jane, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, and countless others. Starting in 1909 they performed with Nora Bayes in The Jolly Bachelors. Madeline wrote a note to President William Howard Taft, who received the twins at a private reception when they performed in Washington, D.C.. After the meeting, he presented them with an autographed picture. At first Marion desired to be a dramatic actress while Madeline aspired to playing comedic roles.

They entered films with Biograph circa 1910. They joined the Thanhouser Film Corporation in 1912, where they were billed as "The Thanhouser Twins", and remained there until 1916. The Fairbanks sisters appeared with Teddie Gerard in the cast of the Florenz Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic in August 1920.

In 1923, Madeline decided to pursue dramatic roles, while Marion continued in musical revues, touring in the title role with the "Little Nellie Kelly company". Madeline landed roles in Mercenary Mary, The Grab Bag, and The Ritz Revue. By 1924, the girls had felt their separation too keenly, and they rejoined on stage in George White's Scandals, followed in early 1927 by parts in Oh, Kay.

Date Stageplay Performing
1912 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Madeline & Marion
1916 The Century Girl Madeline & Marion
1917 Ziegfeld Follies of 1917 Madeline & Marion
1918 Ziegfeld Follies of 1918 Madeline & Marion
1919 Ziegfeld Follies of 1919 Madeline & Marion
1921 Ziegfeld 9 O'clock Frolic Madeline & Marion
1921 Two Little Girls in Blue Madeline & Marion
1924 Hassard Short's Ritz Revue Madeline
1924 The Grab Bag Marion
1925 Mercenary Mary Madeline
1926 Oh, Kay! Madeline & Marion
1927 Allez-oop Madeline
1928 Happy Madeline
Date Movie Acting
1912 The Twins Madeline & Marion
1912 Cousins Madeline & Marion
1912 As Others See Us Madeline & Marion
1912 The Little Girl Next Door Madeline & Marion
1913 An Unfair Exchange Madeline & Marion
1913 Life's Pathway Madeline & Marion
1913 The Twins and the Other Girl Madeline & Marion
1913 The Children's Hour Madeline & Marion
1913 Their Great Big Beautiful Doll Madeline & Marion
1913 Uncle's Namesakes Madeline & Marion
1913 Lawyer, Dog and Baby Madeline & Marion
1913 Jack and the Beanstalk Madeline & Marion
1914 Twins and a Stepmother Madeline & Marion
1914 Guilty or Not Guilty Madeline
1914 The Tin Soldier and the Dolls Madeline & Marion
1914 Beating Back Madeline
1914 In Her Sleep Madeline
1914 The Legend of Snow White Marion
1914 The Girl Across the Hall Marion
1914 The Million Dollar Mystery Madeline & Marion
1914 The Widow's Mite Madeline & Marion
1914 The Pendulum of Fate Madeline & Marion
1914 In Peril's Path Madeline & Marion
1914 In Danger's Hour Madeline & Marion
1914 The Benevolence of Conductor 786 Madeline & Marion
1914 Left in the Train Madeline & Marion
1914 Shep's Race with Death Madeline & Marion
1914 Pawns of Fate Madeline & Marion
1914 Shadows and Sunshine Madeline & Marion
1914 A Hatful of Trouble Marion
1915 When Fate Rebelled Madeline & Marion
1915 $1,000 Reward Madeline & Marion
1915 Their One Love Madeline & Marion
1915 Fairy Fern Seed Madeline & Marion
1915 Through Edith's Looking Glass Marion
1915 Which Shall It Be? Madeline & Marion
1915 The Flying Twins Madeline & Marion
1915 The Twins of the G.L. Ranch Madeline & Marion
1915 An Innocent Traitor Madeline & Marion
1915 The Baby and the Boss Marion
1916 Bubbles in the Glass Madeline
1916 The Burglars' Picnic Madeline & Marion
1916 A Bird of Prey Madeline
1916 The Answer Madeline & Marion
1916 The Heart of a Doll Madeline & Marion
1922 The Beauty Shop Madeline & Marion
1929 On with the Show! Madeline & Marion

Later years[edit]

By 1932, Marion was on stage separately at the Waldorf Theatre, New York City. She succeeded Eleanor King as leading lady in Whistling in the Dark. 1930s news accounts reported that she operated a beauty parlor and directed a branch of a cosmetics manufacturer. In her later years she knew much unhappiness and struggled with the temptations of alcohol.


Marion Fairbanks died in Georgia in 1973. Her name was then Marion Fairbanks Delph. She had no survivors other than her sister. Madeline married Leonard Sherman in 1937. The union ended in divorce in 1947. She lived in New York until early 1989, where she died of respiratory failure.


External links[edit]