First a little background: Mabel was a big deal in the 70s, rightfully so. Mack and Mabel (as mentioned in this article) was ‘set to debut’ and Stephen Normand, Mabel’s great-nephew, was poised to right a biography on her. Stephen agreed to be interviewed by a magazine called Films in Review for their September 1974 issue. The article by far is the most concise thing published on Mabel TO DATE.
Sadly after Stephen’s eager work for his great-aunt, Betty Harper Fussell (in many people’s opinions) took some of his research, mixed it with her fantasy and made a book called “The I Don’t Care Girl” the first real biography on Mabel. A majority of the book is describing how decrepit Hollywood was at the time while reveling in any of her ‘scandals’ as if that was a fun thing to do. She did take Stephen’s work without permission and sadly what could have been awesome became a rightly deserved penny book on Amazon. I bought my copy eagerly before knowing the story, I’d thought about re-selling it or giving it to a thrift shop last year, but decided its best use was to carefully cut out the photos and throw the rest of the book away. I’ve only done that once before (because destroying books physically, even bad books, goes against every fiber of my being) with Hollywood Babylon 2 which I had bought specifically to review how awful it was (if you’re wondering why this list doesn’t include some very notorious authors it was because I was smart enough to not purchase their crap in the first place. Libraries work for some things!)
With Stephen’s permission we’ve reprinted the Films in Review article below as a ‘gallery’. It should be legible and even printable, but if you have issues doing so please let me know, I may transcribe it in the future. The Mabel photos and writing are all copyright of Stephen Normand and The Mabel Normand Estate and may not be reproduced without permission. To obtain permission see our contact page.