Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mary Hartline

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.

1 comment:

  1. Is her body the same as a Toni, then? i have a battered but sweet Toni and wonder if the pattern for knitted clothes for Mary Hartline would fit her.
    She's a sweet doll. We didn't have such nice dolls in the UK in the 40s and 50s.