- Gender: Female
- Birthday: 1906-02-11
- Day of Death: 1994-07-07 ( 88 years old )
- Place of Birth: New York City, New York, USA
- Also Known As: Nita Garvin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anita Garvin (February 11, 1907 – July 7, 1994) was an American actress and comedian who appeared in both silent and sound films. She is best known for her work with comedians Laurel and Hardy and Charley Chase.
Garvin was born in New York City.] Her two sisters who danced in vaudeville encouraged her talents. At age 12, she lied to an agent saying she was “almost sixteen” and got a job being a bathing beauty for one of Mack Sennett’s stage shows. The following year she joined the Ziegfeld Follies. She took pride in being the only woman allowed to touch Will Rogers’s ropes. She also appeared in Earl Carroll Vanities.
Garvin went on tour with the musical Sally staying with the show for two seasons, then decided to stay in California when the tour left that stop in 1924. In Hollywood, Garvin began working for Christie Film Company’s comedies. She recalled her co-star Bobby Vernon dropping butter on the floor onto which she stepped and tumbled, cementing her career as a comedian. Charles Lamont brought her over to work for Educational Pictures. In 1926, Hal Roach took her under contract, where she appeared in many silent films with Charley Chase, James Finlayson, and Max Davidson as well as playing occasional supporting roles in feature films. Standing around 6 feet tall, “her regal countenance and deadpan expression” made her the perfect comic foil.
Roach later considered her “one of his finest actresses.” Reflecting upon her frequent co-star Stan Laurel, Garvin observed: “One thing about Stan–with apologies to a lot of directors–they thought they were directing him. And they thought they were directing the picture. But Stan was the one…He was very clever about it. The director was never cognizant of the fact that he was not doing all the directing. Stan’s mind was going all the time, always thinking of gags and things to do. The script didn’t mean a thing.” Garvin appeared in a total of eleven Laurel and Hardy films. In 1928, she was teamed with Marion Byron as a short-lived female version of Laurel and Hardy. Along with Edgar Kennedy, Byron and Garvin appeared in A Pair of Tights, an “acknowledged masterpiece.”