Marie Dressler receiving her Academy Award (1931)

Vintage photograph on loan from William Hays


Character actor Marie Dressler was honored with an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1931 for her performance

in Min and Bill.  Dressler’s partner, Claire Dubrey, served as her secretary and confidant until Dressler’s death in 1934. 

Dressler’s lesbianism was rarely acknowledged in Hollywood, partially because of her brief marriage to one man and

cohabitation with another, and partially because her advanced age during her screen years unfairly rendered Dressler

as asexual in many people’s eyes.


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