Mary Gordon (actress)

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Mary Gordon
Mary Gordon in The Irish in Us trailer.jpg
Mary Gordon in The Irish in Us (1935)
Born Mary Gilmour
(1882-05-16)16 May 1882
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Died 23 August 1963(1963-08-23) (aged 81)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Cause of death a long and unspecified illness
Occupation actress, star of stage, radio and screen
Years active 1925-1950
Known for portraying mother figures and housekeepers
Notable work Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock Holmes' landlady on radio and film
Children Mary Gordon
Parent(s) Robert & Mary Gilmour

Mary Gordon (born Mary Gilmour, 16 May 1882 in Glasgow, Scotland – 23 August 1963 in Pasadena, California) was a Scottish actress, long in the United States, who specialized in housekeepers and mothers, most notably the landlady Mrs. Hudson in the Sherlock Holmes series of movies of the 1940s starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. She would appear in nearly 300 films between 1925 and 1950.

Early life[edit]

She was born Mary Gilmour, the fifth of seven children of Glasgow wire weaver Robert Gilmour and his wife Mary.[1] She worked as a dressmaker before finding work on the stage. Joining a company bound for an American tour, she came to the U.S. in her twenties, apparently making a few appearances on Broadway in small roles, but primarily touring in stock companies.


With her mother and daughter (both also named Mary), she arrived in Los Angeles in the mid-1920s and began playing variations on the roles she would spend her career on. She became friends with John Ford while making Hangman's House in 1928 and made seven more films for him. In 1939, she took on her best-remembered role as Sherlock Holmes' landlady and played the role in ten films and numerous radio plays. She was a charter member of the Hollywood Canteen, entertaining servicemen throughout the Second World War. On the radio show Those We Love, she played the regular role of Mrs. Emmett.

She entered retirement just as television reshaped the entertainment industry, making only a single appearance in that medium. Very active in the Daughters of Scotia auxiliary of the Order of Scottish Clans, she lived out her final years in Pasadena, California with her daughter and grandson. She died at age 81 after a long illness on 23 August 1963.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Scottish Census for 1901, v Roll CSSCT1891_283
  2. ^ Pasadena Star-News, 26 August 1963

External links[edit]