In 1919, Prevost secretly married socialite Sonny Gerke who left her after six months of marriage. Gerke, whose mother forbid him to associate with Pervost because she was an actress, was scared to tell his mother of the marriage and couldn't get a divorce without revealing that he was married. Prevost was fearful of the bad publicity a divorce would cause and would stay secretly married to Gerke until 1923.
While at Universal, Prevost was still relegated to light comedies. After her contract expired, Jack Warner signed her to a two year contract at $1500 a week at Warner Bros. in 1922. During this time, Prevost was dating actor Kenneth Harlan. Jack Warner had also signed Harlan to a contract and cast the couple in the lead roles in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned. To publicize the film, Warner announced that the couple would marry on the film's set. The publicity stunt worked and thousands of fans sent gifts and letters to the couple. The Los Angeles Mirror got wind that Prevost's was stilled married to Sonny Greke and ran a story with the headline Marie Prevost Will be a Bigamist if She Marries Kenneth Harlan. Warner was livid over the negative publicity and Prevost's failure to disclose her first marriage despite the fact that the publicity stunt was his idea. Warner quickly arranged an annullment and, when the publicity surrounding the scandal died down, Prevost and Harlan were quietly married.
In spite of the bad publicity, Prevost's performance in The Beautiful and Damned brought good reviews. Director Ernst Lubitsch chose her for a major role opposite Adolphe Menjou in 1924's The Marriage Circle. Of her performance as the beautiful seductress, Ernst Lubitsch said that she was one of the few actresses in Hollywood who knew how to underplay comedy to achieve the maximum effect.This performance, praised by The New York Times, resulted in Lubitsch casting her in Three Women in 1924 and in Kiss Me Again the following year.
Just as her career was blossoming, Prevost's mother was killed in an automobile accident while traveling in Florida with actress Vera Steadman, another Canadian friend, and Hollywood studio owner, Al Christie in 1926.
Prevost's depression caused her to binge on food resulting in significant weight gain. By the 1930s, she was working less and being offered only secondary parts. A notable exception was Paid, in 1930, a role for which she got good reviews. As a result of all this, her financial income declined and her growing dependency on alcohol added to her weight problems. By 1934, she had no work at all and her financial situation deteriorated dramatically. The downward spiral became greatly aggravated when her weight problems forced her into repeated crash dieting in order to keep whatever bit part a movie studio offered.
In February 1937, it was discovered that Prevost estate was valued at only $300prompting the Hollywood community to create the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital to provide medical care for employees of the television and motion picture industry.
Marie and her pet are also referenced in the play Legends, wherein Carol Channing's character warns Mary Martin's that it wouldn't be safe for her to die with the dog on the premises unless it knew how to operate a can opener.
In Chuck Palahniuk's 2008 novel Snuff, Prevost's death is referenced several times, although the cause of her depression and decline in popularity are attributed to a heavy Bronx accent being revealed at the inception of movies with sound.
|Those Bitter Sweets|
|His Father's Footsteps|
|1916||Unto Those Who Sin||Celeste|
|A Scoundrel's Toll|
|1917||Secrets of a Beauty Parlor|
|1918||Her Screen Idol||Billy McBride|
|The Village Chestnut|
|1919||Uncle Tom Without a Cabin||Eliza|
|1920||Fresh from the City|
|1921||Wedding Bells Out of Tune|
|Moonlight Follies||Nan Rutledge|
|1922||The Dangerous Little Demon||Teddy Harmon|
|The Married Flapper||Pamela Billings|
|1923||Red Lights||Ruth Carson|
|The Wanters||Myra Hastings|
|1924||Being Respectable||Valerie Winship||Credited as Mary Prevost|
|The Lover of Camille||Marie Duplessis|
|1925||Bobbed Hair||Connemara Moore|
|Seven Sinners||Molly Brian|
|1926||His Jazz Bride||Gloria Gregory|
|Up in Mabel's Room||Mabel Ainsworth|
|1927||Man Bait||Madge Dreyer|
|The Girl in the Pullman||Hazel Burton||Alternative title: The Girl on the Train|
|1928||A Blonde for a Night||Marie|
|The Rush Hour||Margie Dolan|
|1929||The Godless Girl||The Other Girl|
|The Flying Fool||Pat Riley|
|1930||Ladies of Leisure||Dot Lamar|
|Sweethearts on Parade||Nita|
|1931||The Good Bad Girl||Trixie|
|The Sin of Madelon Claudet||Rosalie Lebeau||Alternative title: The Lullaby|
|1932||Slightly Married||Nellie Gordon|
|1933||The Eleventh Commandment||Tessie Florin|
|1935||Keystone Hotel||Mrs. Clarabelle Sterling|
|Hands Across the Table||Nona|
|1936||Thirteen Hours by Air||Waitress||Uncredited|
|Cain and Mabel||Sherman's Receptionist||Uncredited|
Death Cab drives it home; Ben Gibbard & Co. tested new songs amid many beloved staples at their old First Avenue stomping grounds on the "Underplay Tour.".(VARIETY)
May 23, 2011; Byline: CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER; STAFF WRITER Well played on the underplay, Death Cab. A band that rose out of indie-rock...