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1930s & Earlier / Our Gang - Miss Crabtree
June Marlowe played the charming blonde teacher, Miss Crabtree, in six Our Gang comedies from the early sound period. Marlowe was born Gisela Goetten in St. Cloud, MN in 1903. She was a prolific actress in silent films during the 1920s, appearing in films opposite John Barrymore and Rin Tin Tin. Her career faltered with the introduction of talking pictures, and by 1930 she was starting to drift away from acting. Marlowe had a chance meeting with Our Gang director Robert McGowan in a Los Angeles department store. McGowan was searching for an actress to portray the teacher in the Our Gang comedies. After producer Hal Roach suggested that the brunette Marlowe wear a blonde wig to match the hair of the lead kid in the series, Jackie Cooper, she was given the part. Marlowe and Cooper were paired together in three Our Gang films: Teacher's Pet (1930), School's Out (1930), and Love Business (1931). Our Gang devotees refer to them as the 'Miss Crabtree trilogy.' She also played a small role in Little Daddy (1931). In addition to her work in Our Gang, Marlowe appeared in Laurel and Hardy's first feature film, Pardon Us (1931). After Cooper left the Our Gang troupe in 1931 to appear in MGM features, the Miss Crabtree character was used only twice more, in Shiver My Timbers (1931) and Readin' and Writin' (1932). In 1933, Marlowe married Hollywood businessman Rodney Sprigg and retired from motion pictures to become a housewife. In her later years, she suffered from Parkinson's disease, dying at age 80 from its complications on March 10, 1984.