Minta Durfee: Wife of Arbuckle


Originally posted in 2010

Today is the birthday of Arabella Estelle “Minta” Durfee (1889-1975). The diminutive Durfee had become a chorus girl by age 17. While acting in musicals she met and married Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle” in 1908 and the two toured in shows together to points as distant as the Far East. In 1913, the pair were hired by Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studio, where both were significant players in the ensemble. Here she is with Charlie Chaplin in the melodrama parody Cruel, Cruel Love (1914), directed by George Nichols:

In 1917, Durfee moved to New York with Arbuckle when he left Keystone to star in his own pictures for Comique. The couple broke up shortly thereafter, and Durfee slid off into oblivion. (Although she was briefly in the news in 1921 as one of the few vocal supporters of Arbuckle during his rape/murder trial). In 1974 Durfee gave a series of remarkable interviews for writer Don Schneider. A little crazypants, so take it cum granis salis: http://www.mn-hp.com/minta1.html

To learn more about silent and slapstick comedy don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc

chain%20of%20fools%20cvr%20front%20only-500x500

And to learn about vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

safe_image

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: