Mary Hartline. Another doll of the golden era of dolls using the P-
90, 91, 92 and 94 body by the Ideal Doll Company. Considered one of
the early celebrity dolls, following Shirley Temple, Deanna Durban,
Judy Garland, etc.
In Chicago is 1949, a television show debuted call "Super Circus".
It was a variety show that included many circus acts. I can remember
watching the show on Saturday mornings. The Hostess of the show was a
beautiful blonde called Mary Hartline. She introduced the acts on
the show. Mary was dressed in a red and white majorette outfit. Her
wholesome good looks made her an instant celebrity.
Super Circus became an instant success and in 1952 moved to New York
City. Jerry Colona joined the cast as host. There were many
imitation shows that followed. One such show had a Hostess named
Sally Starr. Sally Starr was also made into a doll, but did not
enjoy the success of the Mary Hartline doll made by the Ideal doll
In those days in the fifties most actress were washed up by the time
they reached the ripe old age of thirty-five. By age thirty-five
Mary Hartline had also become a victim. Mary chose to graciously
retire and marry millionaire Woolworth Donahue and moved to Palm
Beach, Florida. She wanted nothing to do with her past celebrity and
not wanting at a much older age to be compared with her youthful
image. It is not known what she did in her later years as the lived
a completely private life.
The Mary Hartline doll Manufactured by the Ideal Doll Company was
dressed in majorette style dresses with long sleeves and written in
white a band of musical bars and notes across the bottom of the
skirt. Above this is written "Mary Hartline". Across the front
bodice is a heart that has "Mary" written on it. She wore white
majorette boots. The majorette dresses came in red (the most
common), green, and navy blue with white writing. The dresses were
also less commonly made in white with the above colors used for the
writing. They were made of both cotton and satin. Still today, the
Mary Hartline dolls are considered beautiful and quite collectable.
A nice addition to anyone's doll collection. I have posted a small
black and white photo of Mary Hartline in the Doll College photo
If you have a Mary Hartline and her boots are yellowed or dirty,
polish them with a good grade shoe polish as you would your own shoes.