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Leila Marie Koerber
(1868-11-09)November 9, 1868
Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
|Died||July 28, 1934(1934-07-28) (aged 65)|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale|
After leaving home at the age of 14, Dressler built a career on stage in traveling theatre troupes, where she learned to appreciate her talent in making people laugh. In 1892, she started a career on Broadway that lasted into the 1920s, performing comedic roles that allowed her to improvise to get laughs. She soon transition into screen acting and made several shorts, but mostly worked in New York City on stage. During World War I, along with other celebrities, she helped sell Liberty bonds.
In 1914, she played the titular role in the first full-length screen comedy, Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914), opposite Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand. In 1919, she helped organize the first union for stage chorus players. Her career declined in the 1920s, and Dressler was reduced to living on her savings while sharing an apartment with a friend.
In 1927, she returned to films at the age of 59 and experienced a remarkable string of successes. For her performance in the comedy film Min and Bill (1930), Dressler won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She died of cancer in 1934.