Emma Reed

born: 01 January 1883
Colorado County, Texas,
United States of America
died: 27 October 1955
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(chronic nephritis, age 72)

Fat, black American actress who appeared in a small handful of Our Gang films in the early 1930s.

Jim Jarvis' thorough research on her contradicts other websites information:
Her birthplace assumed from 1897 Marriage Certificate. The "Jul 1881 Lee County" birth is probably incorrect (often a "Jan 1st" birthday is placed on a Death Certificate when actual day is unknown).
The key to Emma is her son Ernest who is living with her in the 1930 LA Census where she is a "character" in movies. He is also with her in the 1920 LA Census where she is a seamstress. I didn't find a 1900 Census (or 1910) which would indicate a month and year of birth but the one cited by other sources has absolutely none of the known provable facts.
Emma married Ernest Taylor in Colorado County, TX on 04 Nov 1897. Her age is given as 18, but she probably lied to be legal as her Census sheets indicate that she was about 16 when her son was born: 25 Aug. 1899 according to his CA Death Certificate. In 1920, she says that she is divorced. Ernest married Katherine Brown in LA on 31 Dec.1934 (Marriage Cert.), naming both of his parents. His 1949 Death Cert. indicates that he was a widower. In 1939 ("California Eagle" 17 Aug. 1939 p.1), Emma suffered an accidental overdose of morphine she was taking for rheumatism while under the care of a Japanese doctor. Her son, Ernest Taylor rescued her. Ernest Taylor's Death Cert. (1949) gives his home address as "4173 Ascot Ave." and the same address is given on Emma's (1955) death certificate. Neither are listed in the 1940 Census.

Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Small Talk

Saturday's Lesson
Farina's mother

The First Seven Years
Farina's mother

Los pequeños papas

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FX3K-7MJ (1897 marriage Emma & Ernest Taylor)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH7Q-V68 (1920 Emma B. Reed son Ernest Taylor)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCVF-FMQ (1930 Emma B. Reed son Ernest Taylor)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L93H-3X74?cc=1804002 (1934 Ernest's marriage)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VGYP-8MB (1949 CADI son Ernest's death)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPDV-R23 (1955 CADI Emma Reed's death)
Jim Jarvis (research)

This page was last updated on: 18 May 2023