- Birth name:
- George Thomas Moore-Marriott
- Date of Birth:
- 11 December 1885 West Drayton, Hillingdon, Middlesex, England,
Largely forgotten today, comic actor Moore Marriott reigned supreme for a time in the 1930s alongside Will Hay and Graham Moffatt in British film farce. The trio came about by happenstance, but it was their audiences who insisted they reappear together again and again.Born in 1885, Marriott started off on the stage as a youngster with his theatrical family. The dark, curly-haired natural made his debut on film as an infant and reportedly made a number of silent films for the Hepworth Company, but credits are sketchy. By the 1920s he had churned out a number of pictures including By the Shortest of Heads (1915), The Monkey's Paw (1923) and The Gold Cure (1925), sometimes in a lead. By the advent of sound, however, he found his niche playing countrified character folk. He played much, much older than he really was (by at least 20-30 years), and audiences took to his doddering old fool act, and he essayed a host of assorted toothless, muttering coots. Marriott was unbilled in his first Hay comedy, Dandy Dick (1935), but received billing in his next film with Hay, Windbag the Sailor (1936), in which they were joined by the impish, heavyset foil Moffatt. With Marriott playing his famous bald geezer Jeremiah Harbottle, the popular trio continued to put out such wacky, nonsensical films as Oh, Mr. Porter! (1937), often deemed the best of the lot, and Convict 99 (1938). Eventually Hay severed the union, preferring to be thought of as a solo star. Moffatt and Marriot went on to perform as a duo a few more times, milking laughs in Old Bones of the River (1938) and Where's That Fire? (1940). Marriott supported other comedians as well in the ensuing years, including Arthur Askey, but he never matched his earlier success. He died at age 64 without ever harvesting a strong core audience as a solo artist.