Marguerite Courtot

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Marguerite Courtot
Silent film actress Marguerite Courtot (SAYRE 22250).jpg
Courtot in 1923
Born(1897-08-20)August 20, 1897
DiedMay 28, 1986(1986-05-28) (aged 88)
Other namesMiss Courtot
Years active1913–1924
(m. 1923; died 1984)

Marguerite Gabrielle Courtot (August 20, 1897 – May 28, 1986) was an American silent film actress.

Early life[edit]

Marguerite Gabrielle Courtot was born in Summit, New Jersey, on August 20, 1897 to Gustave Courtot, who was born in France, and Charlotte Marie Courtot (née Kramer[1]), who was born in Switzerland, and later followed in her daughter's footsteps in becoming an actress.[2] Gustave arrived in America in 1887, and Charlotte one year later. The two married in Manhattan on July 7, 1890, and Marguerite's sister, Juliette, was born two and a half months later. Marguerite was of French and German descent.[3][4]

Courtot received her education in New York and Switzerland.[5]


Marguerite Courtot in 1915

Courtot became a child model and in June 1912, while not yet fifteen years old, joined the Kalem Company, appearing in 1913's The Riddle of the Tin Soldier alongside star Alice Joyce and Harry F. Millarde, who was making his film debut. Between then and 1916, Courtot made 37 films for Kalem, playing the starring role in The Ventures of Marguerite, a sixteen episode action/adventure serial.

Following the Kalem Company's merger with Vitagraph Studios, Courtot starred in the Gaumont Pictures production of The Dead Alive, directed by Henri J. Vernot. After several films with Jesse L. Lasky's Famous Players Film Company and smaller independents, Courtot took most of 1918 off to use her public persona to tour the country to promote America's World War I effort in Europe. When the war ended, she returned to film, joining Pathé. Although she had starring roles, she also worked in prominent secondary parts such as in the 1921 serials The Sky Ranger, starring June Caprice, and The Yellow Arm, starring Juanita Hansen.

Marriage and retirement[edit]

In 1922, while working on Down to the Sea in Ships, the film that became her most important feature-length work, Marguerite Courtot began a relationship with co-star Raymond McKee, who was her childhood sweetheart.[6] They married on April 23, 1923, and after she completed two more films, Courtot retired from the film business to raise a family with McKee. They had one child together, son Raymond Courtot McKee (June 25, 1926 – November 15, 2015).[7] Courtot and McKee ran a successful restaurant in Los Angeles called The Zulu Hut and divided their time between homes in Honolulu and Long Beach. Their marriage lasted more than sixty years.


Her husband, Raymond McKee, died in 1984 and Marguerite Courtot died two years later in Long Beach, California. They are buried together in the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.[8]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Charlotte Courtot obituary LA Times 3 Jul 1933". The Los Angeles Times. July 3, 1933. p. 12.
  2. ^ Wlaschin, Ken (October 21, 2009). Silent Mystery and Detective Movies: A Comprehensive Filmography. ISBN 9780786454297.
  3. ^ Lowe, Denise. An encyclopedic dictionary of women in early American films, 1895-1930, p. 134. Psychology Press, 2005. ISBN 0-7890-1843-8. Accessed February 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "Marguerite Courtot – Biography of a Beauty of the Silent Screen". July 6, 2012.
  5. ^ Fox, Charles Donald; Silver, Milton L. (1920). "Who's who on the Screen".
  6. ^ "Photoplay: The Aristocrat of Motion Picture Magazines". 1923.
  8. ^ Resting Places
  9. ^ American Film Institute (1997). Munden, Kenneth White (ed.). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Part 1. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520209695.

External links[edit]