Mary Forbes (born Ethel Louise Young; 1 January 1883[1][3] – 22 July 1974) was a British-American film actress, based in the United States in her latter years, where she died. She appeared in more than 130 films between 1919 and 1958.[4] Forbes was born in Hornsey, England.[5]

Mary Forbes
Mary Forbes in Terror by Night (1946).jpg
Forbes in Terror by Night (1946)
Ethel Louise Young[1]

(1883-01-01)1 January 1883[2]
Hornsey, Middlesex (present-day Haringey, London), England
Died22 July 1974(1974-07-22) (aged 91)
Years active1919–1958
Spouse(s)Ernest J. Taylor
(m. 1904; div. 19??)
Charles Quatermaine
(m. 1925; div. 19??)
Wesley Wall
(m. 1935)
Children3, including Ralph and Brenda Forbes

She made her first public appearance on the concert platform giving recitals. Her acting debut was in 1908 on the London stage at Aldwych Theatre.[citation needed] Her American stage debut came in Romance at Maxine Elliott's Theatre in 1913.[6]

She took over management of the Ambassadors Theatre in 1913 and had several years experience on stage in Britain and America before her appearances in Hollywood films. Two of her three children by her first marriage in the first quarter of 1904 to Ernest J. Taylor, Ralph and Dorothy Brenda, known as Brenda, were also actors. The middle child of the three, Phyllis Mary Taylor, was not in the acting business. Her second husband was British actor Charles Quartermaine, who married in 1925; the union ended in divorce. She married her third husband, Wesley Wall, an American businessman, in 1935; the couple remained married until her death in 1974.[1][3]

She became a naturalized United States citizen in 1943, with one of her character references being Lucile Webster Gleason, actress and wife of actor James Gleason.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d "According to her petition for Naturalization as a United States Citizen, as Ethel Louise Wall but requesting that her name be changed to Mary Wall, she gave her date of birth as 1 January 1883". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  2. ^ Forbes's Petition for Naturalization as a United States Citizen, under the name Ethel Louise Wall, gives her date of birth as 1 January 1883, as do British census records of 1901 and 1911, and her baptismal papers from St Michael's Church, Highgate, where she, the daughter of Charles Edward Young and Louisa Mary Young, was baptised on 26 July 1883, all of which would make her age at death 91. However, the Social Security Death Index cites 30 December 1883.
  3. ^ a b c Profile,; accessed 22 October 2017.
  4. ^ Baptismal record for Ralph Forbes Taylor,; accessed 25 September 2015.(registration required)
  5. ^ "Mary Forbes, Actress, Dies". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. 23 July 1974. p. 16. Retrieved 21 May 2018 – via  
  6. ^ Nissen, Axel (2012). Mothers, Mammies and Old Maids: Twenty-Five Character Actresses of Golden Age Hollywood. McFarland. pp. 81–87. ISBN 9780786490455. Retrieved 21 May 2018.

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