Support Us

Go to this page to support Marie Dressler Foundation online.

Vintage Film Festival

movie-reels79The Foundation produces the Vintage Film Festival every year on a weekend in September. Full details here.

Last 17 Bursaries

Marie Dressler House


The history of the Marie Dressler House is here.  It is now the home of the Interactive Canadian Women in Film Museum.

Dressler House is located at:
212 King street West (Hwy 2),
Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.

The Marie Dressler Museum has been expanded and is now called "Canadian Women in Film Museum".


Due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols and capacity limits, the museum will be open by appointment only.

Visit the new museum's website here for details of how to book your visit.

Contact Us

emailTo contact the Marie Dressler Foundation by mail or email, see our About Us page.  


Board members only

After you login, access minutes under menu tab "About Us".

Tell Us More

email48If you have some information about Marie or simply want to comment on her or the content of this site, please use our "Tell Us More" form available here.

The Marie Dressler Story

Born in Cobourg, Canada - one of Hollywood's greatest stars

The Dressler Story: to Dream, to Dare, to Persist, to Win

Cobourg is the birthplace of Marie Dressler - one of the greatest comediennes of her generation and one of Hollywood's best loved stars.

This is the official site of the Marie Dressler Foundation whose mission is to make sure that Marie Dressler is remembered.

The Foundation, a registered charity, was created to raise money to restore her house when it was burnt down in 1989 (More here). Our largest activity has been the Vintage Film Festival which is held on a weekend in September every year.  But in 2018 we had additional major events to celebrate Marie's 150th birthday.


Another major activity of the Foundation is to award scholarships/bursaries to students planning to pursue an education in the arts field. There is a list of previous scholarship winners here. The 2019 winners were presented with their awards at Dressler House on July 6  - see the story with photos hereFor more information on how to apply, go here.

Also available on this site

By Barbara Garrick

Additional Information - 2015.

From research it appears that Dressler both added to her years and subtracted from them.

Toronto author, Betty Lee in MARIE DRESSLER THE UNLIKELIEST STAR  tells that when Dressler was fourteen years of age, she wrote a letter to Robert Wallace of the Nevada Stock Company explaining that she was eighteen years of age thus adding four years to her life and made of list of all her stage appearances. (Footnote 1)
To cite Lee: " Over the years, Marie Dressler claimed to have been born in 1869 and 1870; her death certificate listed 1871. But the records of St. Peter's Anglican Church in Cobourg show that... she was born on November 9, 1868 and baptized on June 27 the following year.  The records show that her original name was Leila Marie Koerber and that her parents were Annie Henderson and Alexander Rudolph Koerber, a "professor of Music."
According to Church records, deaths and births of members of the congregation have been listed since 1818 so Dressler's data there seems very authentic.
Mathew Kennedy in MARIE DRESSLER (Footnote 2) writes : 

Leila Koerber's conflicting birthdates range from 1860 to 1873.  Most sources list 1869 , but her baptismal record and her 1894 marriage certificate indicate 1868.  Her death certificate indicates 1871.   The most reliable date is 1868, since it was recorded close to her birth .  Leila shaved one or more years off her age in later life.

I can personally attest that Matthew Kennedy came to Cobourg  from California in about 1998 and met with members of the Marie Dressler Foundation at the refurbished Dressler House.
The sign outside Dressler House in Cobourg cites her birthdate as November 9, 1868.


1. Betty Lee.  Marie Dressler  the Unlikeliest Star; the University Press of Kentucky, 1997.
2. Matthew Kennedy.  Marie Dressler   a Biography;  with a listing of major stage performances, a filmography and a discography.
Mcfarland and Company, Inc., publishers, North Carolina. 1999.