Marie Windsor was an actress known for appearing in many classic films, including Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing. Despite her beauty and talent, Marie never found a role that turned her into the big-name star she desired to be. A big part of this was that the actress was a bit too tall compared to many of her male costars. Join Facts Verse as we explore how Marie Windsor’s height was problematic next to her costars.
Marie Windsor’s Early Life
Marie Windsor was born in a small town in Utah on December 11, 1922. She was the first of three children, though her youngest sibling wasn’t born until she was already well into her teenage years. Marie excelled during her schooling. What she lacked in math skills she made up for in English, though she was particularly fond of both athletics and the arts. The girl’s exceptional athleticism came as a result of her stature. Marie was always taller than the other girls, and she would grow to be a relatively impressive height of 5’ 9”. This height may have helped Marie out during her school athletics, but it would ironically come to hinder the future star while pursuing her other childhood passion.
At Marie Windsor’s high school, there wasn’t any kind of education in the arts available for the students. However, Marie became versed in the arts by other means. Marie found favor with her school’s principal, whom believed that she had a special talent others did not. Though art wasn’t a part of the school’s curriculum, this principal passed along several art books to Marie that proved influential. These art books allegedly taught the young woman how to draw and paint, which were activities that she became very good at.
At home, Marie was also being supported in her affinity for the arts. As a child, the future star dreamt of becoming a Hollywood actress on account of her grandmother’s passed-on love for silent films. Marie’s parents paid for her to attend dancing and acting lessons, and they never balked at their daughter’s dreams of striking it big in the entertainment industry. After attending two years of college at Brigham Young University, Marie decided she was going to pursue her dreams of acting full-time. At the school, her dramatic talents were seen as being so proficient that she was given the chance to appear in plays with the older students.
Marie’s First Trip to Hollywood
In 1940, Marie Windsor’s parents drove her out to Hollywood. There, she began taking acting lessons with a notable teacher by the name of Maria Ouspenskaya. During her early Hollywood days, Marie lived for a time at the Hollywood Studio Club, which was a sorority for young women that were involved in the entertainment industry. The fledgling star appeared on the screen for the first time in 1941, and it was in a film called All-American Co-Ed.
During Marie Windsor’s first stint in Hollywood, she did a lot of work with RKO Pictures. She got to work with some notable stars, including Lucille Ball, John Barrymore, and Donna Reed. Still, it began to seem as if much wasn’t going to come of the actress’s time in Tinseltown. She grew disenchanted with the film industry, and decided to take up an offer in the early 1940s to become a touring performer.
In 1943, Marie Windsor was asked by a touring vaudeville troupe to perform with them across the country. Mare reluctantly accepted the offering, believing that her time in Hollywood was over. Via her time with the troupe, Marie ended up out East. She spent some time in New York City, and it was her that she was given the chance to get into radio. The downtrodden actress found a good deal of success in the medium, and it may have seemed to her as if she had found her calling. However, a second trip to the West, and eventual Hollywood success, was beckoning.
Marie’s Second (and More Successful) Trip to Hollywood
As she was finding massive amounts of success on the radio, Marie Windsor was also finding parts on Broadway. It was through her work on Broadway that the actress was given a second shot at Hollywood fame. A talent scout for MGM offered Marie the chance to come back to Tinseltown, which she gratefully accepted. This time, the actress would find a good deal more success than she did on her first venture into Hollywood. However, despite critical acclaim, she never became the superstar she deserved to be.
Back in Hollywood, Marie Windsor was put to work in the Clark Gable movie The Hucksters. Next, she appeared in the films Romance of Rosy Ridge and Song of the Thin Man. In 1948, she was given her biggest role yet, appearing alongside Angela Lansbury and Vincent Price in The Three Musketeers. All this was happening, but Marie was still having doubts about her future in Hollywood. Before her death, the late Marie Windsor would recall that she went to UCLA and took some aptitude tests in 1948. The goal of these tests was to see what careers besides acting the actress might be suited for. Thankfully, Marie ended up doing just fine in Hollywood over the course of the 1950s.
In 1949, Marie Windsor appeared in a couple of films that garnered her some success. The first of these films was Outpost in Morocco, and the second was Hellfire. Alongside the 1956 Stanley Kubrick picture The Killing, which the actress would appear in later, Marie considered Hellfire to be one of her favorite films that she ever worked on. The critics and the public seemed to have similar views on the film, as it was a hit and rocketed Marie to more fame than ever before.
Marie Found Herself Receiving Attention in the Tabloids
As Marie Windsor finally began finding fame in Hollywood, she also began appearing in tabloid magazines. Marie didn’t mind being spotted out on the town with prominent leading men, such as the aforementioned Clark Gable. However, the man that Marie ended up settling down with was not someone that worked alongside her in the entertainment industry. Instead, it was a realtor that she was introduced to on a blind date. Before settling down with the love of her life, though, Marie had work to do in Korea! In the summer of 1952, Marie travelled overseas to visit soldiers that were fighting in the Korean War. The actress was one of many stars that formed a group known as the Hollywood Coordinating Committee. This trip overseas helped the public fall in love with Marie even more. When she returned home to Hollywood, she appeared in 1953’s The Tall Texan.
1953 was also the year that Marie Windsor got to appear on the screen alongside John Wayne. Marie did so in the picture Trouble Along the Way. Many of John’s costars didn’t enjoy working with him, but that wasn’t the case with Marie. Marie held a high opinion of the late John Wayne after working with him on the film, though it was another man that ended up winning the actress’s heart over for good a year later. In 1954, Marie was set up on a blind date with a man by the name of Jack Hupp. Jack then became her husband, and they stayed married until the actress’s death.
It was in 1956 that Marie Windsor appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing. Around the same time, she appeared in a much less esteemed picture by the name of Swamp Woman. Marie was so passionate about working on The Killing that she was prepared to storm off of the set of Swamp Woman if the filming of that movie should try and conflict with the filming of Stanley Kubrick’s noir. The actress’s insistence on appearing in the picture paid off. Not only were both her performance and the film received well critically, but the movie still stands today as one of the actress’s most well-known works. Sadly, things would go downhill in Marie’s career after appearing in The Killing.
Marie’s Height Ended Up Killing Her Career
A big reason why Marie Windsor failed to become the superstar that she always dreamed of being was that many of her contemporaries deemed her as being too tall. At 5’ 9”, Marie either matched or excelled the height of many of her male costars. This caused the actress to be insecure. This insecurity arguably didn’t help out much with getting roles, either. Another thing that Marie was insecure about besides her height was her nose. In 1959, the actress underwent surgery to have her nose reshaped. In 1963, her and her aforementioned husband gave birth to their only child.
As time went on, Marie Windsor continued to be a reliable presence on the screen. In the 1970s, she appeared in a few live-action Walt Disney pictures. These included 1975’s Apple Dumpling Gang, as well as 1977’s Freaky Friday. In 1979, she appeared in the hit made-for-television feature Salem’s Lot, which was based upon a novel of the same name by Stephen King. 1983 saw the actress receive her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Though Marie never received the star-making role that she deserved during her long and enduring career in the entertainment industry, she was well respected as a result of her talent and ethic.
Towards the end of Marie Windsor’s life, the actress’s health began to fail. In 1996, she lost the ability to walk after undergoing back surgery as a result of her severe arthritis. Before her death several years later, she was able to relearn how to stand up and move around with the help of a walker. She ended up passing away as a result of congestive heart failure in 2000, just one day before what would’ve been her 81st birthday. Today, the story of how Marie Windsor failed to achieve the fame she deserved because of her height still strikes a chord with people, and her work in films lives on.
Marie Windsor had a lot of talent, but her immense height got in the way of her Hollywood career. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Marie Windsor threatened to walk off of a film if it conflicted with the shooting schedule of Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, and that she got a nose job after appearing in the classic noir? Comment down below!