Born in Philadelphia and living in Collingswood when discovered by MGM in 1936, DOROTHY SHORT appeared in local productions at the Camden Elks Home on Cooper Street, the Camden Moose Lodge and elsewhere before going to Hollywood. She will be forever remembered in cult film circles for her starring role as Mary Lane in the 1936 epic, Reefer Madness. She also had a major role in a film of a similar nature Assassin of Youth

Her first screen appearance came in the 1934 production Student Tour, which starred Jimmy Durante, and also featured singer Nelson Eddy. She met actor Dave O'Brien, who appeared with her in her third film, She Married Her Boss in 1935, and in Reefer Madness the following year. The two married were soon married. Later in the 1930s, as "Dave 'Tex' O'Brien", he starred in a number of B-Westerns. The couple appeared in a number of these films together. In 1940 she appeared in Aloma of the South Seas with Jon Hall and Dorothy Lamour, and the following year saw her in Spooks Run Wild with Bela Lugosi, the East Side Kids (aka the Bowery Boys), and the amazing Angelo Rossitto.

In 1942, Dorothy Short and Dave O'Brien co-starred in the 1942 Columbia serial Captain Midnight. This would be her last feature film, however she appeared in nine shorts produced by Pete Smith at the MGM studios between 1946 and 1953, all but one of them opposite her husband.

Dorothy Short and Dave O'Brien had two daughters, Patty and Pam, The couple divorced in 1953, reportedly because he spent too much time indulging in his hobby -- yachting and sailing. Considering the two had co-starred in short films titled I Love My Husband, But! and  I Love My Wife But!, its not surprising that their divorce created a flurry of highly imaginative headlines at the time. 

Apparently Dorothy Short then left show businesses. She passed away in Los Angeles CA on June 4, 1963.

If anyone has any further information about Dorothy Short, PLEASE e-mail me!

Phil Cohen

Camden Courier-Post * February 17, 1928

Camden Courier-Post
June 3, 1932

Cliff Odendhal & his Penn Troubadours
Grace Mauger - Blanche Mauger
Maria Armstrong - Thelma Burhanna

Reefer Madness

Promotional Poster
Captain Midnight


  1. Things We Can Do Without (1953) .... Dave's wife

  2. Bargain Madness (1951) (uncredited) .... Dorothy

  3. Fixin' Fool (1951) .... Wife

  4. How Come? (1949)

  5. Let's Cogitate (1948)

  6. Just Suppose (1948) .... Wife

  7. I Love My Mother-in-Law, But! (1948) .... Wife

  8. I Love My Wife But! (1947) (uncredited) .... Wife

  9. I Love My Husband, But! (1946)

  10. Captain Midnight (1942) .... Joyce Edwards

  11. Bullets for Bandits (1942) .... Dakota Brown

  12. The Lone Rider Fights Back (1941) .... Jean Dennison

  13. Spooks Run Wild (1941) .... Linda Mason

  14. Aloma of the South Seas (1941) .... Handmaiden

  15. Buzzy and the Phantom Pinto (1941)

  16. Trail of the Silver Spurs (1941) .... Nancy Nordick

  17. Pony Post (1940) .... Alice Goodwin

  18. Frontier Crusader (1940) .... Jenny Mason

  19. Phantom Rancher (1940) .... Ann Markham

  20. Daughter of the Tong (1939) .... Marion Morgan

  21. The Singing Cowgirl (1939) .... Nora Pryde

  22. Missing Daughters (1939) (uncredited) .... Bee

  23. Code of the Cactus (1939) .... Joan

  24. Wild Horse Canyon (1938) .... Jean Hall

  25. Where the Buffalo Roam (1938) .... Laddie Gray

  26. Heart of Arizona (1938) .... Jacqueline Starr

  27. Start Cheering (1938) (uncredited) .... Student

  28. The Mysterious Pilot (1937) (uncredited) .... Babette, dancehall gal [Ch.1]

  29. Brothers of the West (1937) .... Annie Wade, Ed's Wife

  30. Assassin of Youth (1937) .... Marjorie Barrie ... aka Marihuana

  31. More Than a Secretary (1936) .... Ann

  32. Melody in May (1936) (uncredited) .... High School Girl

  33. Reefer Madness (1936) .... Mary Lane
    ... aka Dope Addict (USA: reissue title)
    ... aka Doped Youth (USA: reissue title)
    ... aka Love Madness (USA: reissue title)
    ... aka Tell Your Children (USA: reissue title)
    ... aka The Burning Question (USA: reissue title)

  34. She Married Her Boss (1935) (uncredited) .... Girl

  35. The Call of the Savage (1935) .... Mona Andrews
    ... aka Savage Fury (USA: recut version)

  36. Student Tour (1934) (uncredited) .... Student