January 2, 2017


Moore Marriott [George Thomas Moore-Marriott] (1885-1949) b. West Drayton, Hillingdon, Middlesex, England.

Moore Marriott

Moore Marriott, who once had dark, curly hair, made his first appearance on stage aged five as a boy dancer. His father had his own theatre company and the young Marriott made many appearances with it as a boy. He made his first film when the British cinema was still in its infancy. Supposedly, he made many early silents for the Hepworth company, although no records exist of these appearances, Marriott himself thought that he had made nearly 300 films.

Certainly from 1920 he began to be billed in the credits of movies, often in sullen, bucolic roles. He had become quite popular by the late 1920s and played one or two leading roles. With the coming of sound, however, Marriott moved quickly into character roles, often playing garrulous, toothless, wispy-haired old codgers 20 or 30 years older than he really was. Graham Moffatt joined Marriott in the Will Hay comedy, Windbag the Sailor (1936), Marriott playing the cunning, eager old Jeremiah Harbottle. The trio was back together again in their most famous film Oh, Mr Porter! (1937). Hay is a stationmaster demoted to a dilapidated Irish halt for past misdemeanours. Inevitably he finds the staff consists of Moffatt and Marriott.

Public response to the trio’s subsequent misadventures was such that they were teamed up once more in Convict 99 (1938), a film stolen by Marriott as Jerry the Mole, a prisoner forever trying to dig his way out. Displeased with such scene-stealing, Hay went back to filming on his own for one film, but studio pressure resulted in Moffatt and Marriott re-joining him for Old Bones of the River (1938), Ask a Policeman (1939) and Where’s That Fire (1939). Marriott also supported the Crazy Gang in Gasbags and The Frozen Limits (1939), and he and Moffatt were reunited, along with another popular duo, Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne in the appropriately tided wartime winner Millions Like Us (1943). After that the old codger went his separate way, but not to a long life, Marriott was dead at 64.

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