A Celebration of Life

The Family of Marjorie Lord, an actress of the Golden Age of Hollywood, is saddened to announce that Marjorie passed away on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at her home in Beverly Hills.

Marjorie began her long and varied career on the Broadway stage and in feature films as the sweet-natured ingénue. Born in San Francisco in 1918, her family transported themselves to New York City when she was fifteen where she enrolled in both acting and ballet at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Chaliff School of Dance. Her first job was in 1936 as an 18-year-old on Broadway in "The Old Maid" starring Judith Anderson. After signing with RKO Studios she was cast in the feature films Border Cafe (1937) and Forty Naughty Girls (1937).

Marjorie Lord
 

 

A few years later, she met actor John Archer (b.1914-d.1999 who most notably starred in White Heat with James Cagney and Destination Moon) after they appeared together in the stage production of "The Male Animal". Married at the end of 1941, they settled in Hollywood after playing Los Angeles in a stage tour of "Springtime for Henry" with Edward Everett Horton in 1942. She earned a Universal Pictures contract in the process and throughout the 1940s and 1950s alternated between theater and film.  Son Gregg became an airline pilot after serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War as a pilot of F4 Phantoms off the USS Enterprise, and daughter Anne Archer followed in her parents' footsteps as an Oscar nominated (Fatal Attraction) and Golden Globe (Short Cuts) winning actress.

Marjorie’s most memorable feature films include Johnny Come Lately (1943) with James Cagney and Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943) starring the irrepressible sleuthing team of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

Marjore Lord James Cagney
Majorie with James Cagney in Johnny Come Lately


However, it was in 1953 that she became a household name when she was cast as the second wife of widower Danny Thomas in TV’s Make Room for Daddy. Marjorie proved an able sparring partner for the comedian for seven seasons first on ABC and then on CBS. On Feb. 8, 1960 Marjorie was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After the series ended, she continued to appear in dinner theatre productions as theatre was always her first love. She would return to TV occasionally, appearing in the television series Make Room for Granddaddy (1971) and Sweet Surrender (1987).

Marjorie Lord
Make Room for Daddy


In 1988, Marjorie help found the USC Libraries Scripter Award, an honor bestowed annually by the Friends of the USC Libraries in recognition of the best adaptation of the printed word into film, and is given to both the author and screenwriter. 

In 2005, Marjorie published her memoir "A Dance and a Hug", which was followed up by an audio CD in which she read her book, with the prologue and epilogue read by Majorie's daughter, Anne Archer.  The CD box set also includes a special interview between Anne and Marjorie. 

Marjorie is survived by her daughter Anne Archer Jastrow, her son Gregg Archer and her grandchildren, Tracey, Tommy, Jeffrey, Nathan and Adelle and her three great-granddaughters Sydney, Charlie and Chloe.

If you would like to send a condolence card, you may send it to:


The Family of Marjorie Lord
c/o All-Media Public Relations
Post Office Box 2155
Toluca Lake, CA 91604.

If you wish to make a donation in Memory of Marjorie, consider the Christian Science Nursing Care Endowment – you can visit them online at http://www.christiansciencenursingcare.org/.

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Copyright 2015 Marjorie Lord
Last Updated 12/11/15