Marguerite Chapman

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Marguerite Chapman (March 9, 1918, , Chatham, New York - August 31, 1999, Burbank, California) was an American film and television actress from 1940 until 1976.

Born in Chatham, New York, she was working as a telephone switchboard operator in White Plains, New York when her good looks brought about the opportunity to pursue a career in modeling. Signed by the prestigious John Robert Powers Agency in New York City, the publicity she earned modeling brought an offer from 20th Century Fox film studios in Hollywood.

She made her film debut in 1940, working for the next two years in small roles. In 1942, her big break came with Republic Pictures when she was cast in the leading female role in the twelve-part adventure film serial Spy Smasher, a production that is considered by many as one of the best serials ever made. As a result, Chapman soon began receiving offers for more leading roles and appeared opposite important stars such as Edward G. Robinson and George Sanders. With America's entry in World War II, she entertained the troops, worked for the War bond drive and at the Hollywood Canteen.

During the 1950s Chapman continued to perform mostly in secondary film roles, notably in Marilyn Monroe's 1955 hit The Seven Year Itch. However, with the advent of television she kept busy into the early 1960s with guest appearances in a number different shows including Rawhide, Perry Mason, and Four Star Playhouse.

Chapman was asked to play the role of "Old Rose" Dawson-Calvert in the 1997 James Cameron epic Titanic but poor health prevented her from accepting. The role went to Gloria Stuart.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Marguerite Chapman has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6290 Hollywood Blvd.

Marguerite Chapman died in 1999 and was interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, in Culver City, California.

Mini Biography from

written by
Marguerite Chapman at the Internet Movie Database

Marguerite Chapman, a small-town secretary and tomboy nicknamed "Slugger", became a model only after friends insisted "you oughta be in pictures", and she went on to act in more than 30 movies. Never a Hollywood wannabe, Chapman grew up in Chatham, New York, with four brothers. She started working as a typist and switchboard operator in White Plains, New York. Praised repeatedly for her beauty, she became a John Powers model in New York City. After she had appeared on the covers of enough magazines, studios beckoned her to Los Angeles. From 1940 to 1943 she appeared in 18 movies, ranging from Charles Chaplin comedies to armed services booster films as a member of the Warner Bros. singing and dancing Navy Blues Sextet. Chapman was cast as the leading lady in Destroyer (1943) with Edward G. Robinson and Glenn Ford and Assignment in Brittany (1943) opposite George Sanders. During World War II she entertained troops, kissed purchasers of large war bonds and appeared in a string of war-themed pictures. By the 1950s, however, she had slipped into supporting roles, notably as the secretary in The Seven Year Itch (1955) with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. As her film career waned, she made a few appearances on television, and appeared occasionally in small theaters. Her last film, The Amazing Transparent Man (1960), was a low-budget sci-fi quickie shot by cult director Edgar G. Ulmer in a few days on the grounds of the state fair in Texas (she was asked to appear as "Old Rose" Calver in Titanic (1997), but she was too ill at the time, and the role went to Gloria Stuart). She was married and divorced from attorney G. Bentley Ryan and assistant director Richard Bremerkamp. Her acting career is memorialized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


G. Bentley Ryan (1948 - 1951) (divorced) J. Richard Bremerkamp (? - ?) (divorced)


  • Height - 5' 7" (1.70 m)
  • She and actress Myrna Dell are credited for originating the idea of traveling autograph conventions.

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