Marilyn Harris was born July 17, 1924 in San Fernando, California and was placed in a Los Angeles Orphange just after her birth. Baby Marilyn was adopted when she was about one month old by an area couple. She was soon put in a Rin Tin Tin film, her adopted mother forced her into acting due to her own failed acting attempts. Later Marilyn said that her mother was very physically and emotionally abusive.
Harris won the role of "Little Maria" in (1931) 'Frankenstein'. Her playing with The Monster (played by Boris Karloff) by the lake, giving her friendship to the monster, something he had never experienced. Making floating flowers in the lake and when running out the monster thowing her in thinking she would float but drowning her by mistake. This runing the villagers into an angry mob. The clip of Maria being thrown into the water was cut because it was thought to horrific for the public at that time, it was restored to the print in the 1980's.
Apparantly there were many takes to the scene of her being thown in the water. They needed a last take and the director James Whale promised Marilyn anything to do one more take, she asked him for her favorite snack - one dozen hard-boiled eggs. Whale gave her two dozen in appreciation. Hariis was quoted speaking of Boris Karloff "Boris Karloff was a very sweet, wonderful man, and I just loved him. Immediately, from being on the lot, and taking his hand, I just loved him. I had no fear of him, whatsoever. We seemed to have a rapport together-and it was like magic."
Harris would appear in about a dozen films including (1935) 'The Bride of Frankenstein'. She would marry Wally Watkins in 1944 (She was 19) and she would quit acting. Harris was working as a cashier at Hollywood Palladium and Wally was a bouncer. The couple had a child a son in 1945. Wally Watkins died in 1981.
Harris would marry a second time to Carl Wood, they had no children. Carl died in 1988.
Marilyn Harris struggled with her health in her final year. She died in Los Angeles, California on December 1, 1999 of a heart failure and cancer at the age of 75. She was cremated and her remains went to a resident in Oro Valley, Arizona.