Marjorie Gateson learned elocution and poise from her mother, a speech teacher. It was not surprising that her sophistication, correct manners and use of language led to her frequent portrayals of upper crust society matrons, hostesses, social climbers and blue-blooded snobs. Her stage career began in the chorus of 'The Dove of Peace' in 1912 and her first featured role was on Broadway in 'The Little Cafe', the following year. She continued in musical comedy until her first dramatic role in 'So This is Politics' (aka 'Strange Bedfellows') in 1924. Other notable theatrical roles included 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Street Scene', 'Pygmalion', and 'Show Boat', her last in 1954, as Parthy Ann Hawks (a part played in the 1951 motion picture by Agnes Moorehead).

She was notable on screen as a jilted wife in The Silver Lining (1932), A rival to Mae West in Goin' to Town (1935) and, in a rare comical performance, as society matron Mrs. Winthrop LeMoyne, taking boxing lessons from Harold Lloyd in The Milky Way (1936). Critical praise came her way even in smaller roles, acted, as in Lady Killer (1933), with her 'customary polish and charm' (New York Times,January 1 1934). Marjorie Gateson was for some years a member on the governing board of Actor's Equity.