Suggest Edits
 Marion Davies

Photo added by A.J.

Marion Davies

  • Original Name Marion Cecelia Douras
  • Birth 3 Jan 1897 Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
  • Death 22 Sep 1961 Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Plot Garden of Legends (formerly Section 8), east side of lake
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 257

Actress. Her three older sisters Rose, Reine, and Ethel were successful performers in local stage shows and eventually Broadway, which made her desire a similar career. When she was old enough, she too began acting in school plays. After graduating from school, she became a chorus girl, eventually ending up in the famous Ziegfeld Follies. While she was working as a model, she met the powerful publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, who would become her lover for the next thirty years. However, modeling and dancing didn't satisfy her desire for a career in show business, and she made her first film in 1917, at the age of twenty. 'Runaway Romany' was written by Marion herself and directed by her brother-in-law. Although it didn't immediately launch her career, it did start the process. In 1918 she was in three films, among them 'Cecilia of the Pink Roses.' This film was backed by Hearst, which did much to make her a star. From this point out, she appeared in more and more films, which were heavily promoted and financially backed by Hearst. During her long relationship with Hearst, they lived at a lavish mansion in San Simeon, California, throwing legendary parties attended by many Hollywood personalities of the time. Although the rumor persists that she was only popular because of her association with the newspaper magnate, many newspapers not owned by Hearst gave her favorable reviews for her work. However, although Hearst felt she belonged in more serious costume dramas such as 'When Knighthood Was in Flower' (1922), 'Yolanda' (1924), 'Bride's Play' (1922), and 'Lights of Old Broadway' (1925), she is generally thought to have done her best work in light comedies such as 'Show People' (1928), 'The Patsy' (1928), 'The Fair Co-Ed' (1927), 'Adam and Eva' (1923), 'The Floradora Girl' (1930), and 'The Bachelor Father' (1931). Although she was concerned about passing her voice test when sound films came in, she turned out to record very professionally in spite of having a bit of a stutter when she was nervous or excited. She ended up making the transition to sound very successfully, and continued to star in films throughout the Thirties, although as time wore on they became fewer and further in between. It is believed that Hearst's insistence on casting her in dramas instead of comedy, the genre she had proven herself very talented in, was one of several serious missteps in the management of her career and ultimately put a premature end to a very successful and promising acting career. In her own memoirs she said that his overboard promotion of her had a negative effect on her career. Another reason for the premature end to her career was because of the financial problems Hearst had in the late Thirties. He was no longer doing as well as he once had, and was bailed out by Davies, who sold over a million dollars worth of her jewelry for him. She put in her last performance in 'Ever Since Eve' (1937). A large blow to her reputation came in 1941 with the release of 'Citizen Kane,' which was said to be based on the life of Hearst and featured a character named Susan Alexander, who seemed to have been based on Davies. Many people who saw this movie came away believing that Marion was also a talentless drunken floozy whose rich and powerful lover forced the newspapers to only print favorable reviews, even in spite of evidence to the contrary. Many film historians have been working to restore her reputation ever since. Although she began to have some problems with alcohol after her retirement, she became a very astute and sharp businesswoman, and after Hearst's death in 1951, she married Horace Brown. This marriage lasted until her death at the age of sixty-four, although she filed for divorce twice. In her later years she also became heavily involved in charity work, fighting childhood diseases through the Marion Davies Foundation and donating $1.9 million dollars to create a childrens' clinic at UCLA in 1952.

Bio by: Carrie-Anne


Family Members

Parents
Spouse
Siblings

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Marion Davies?

Current rating:

242 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 257
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Marion Davies (3 Jan 1897–22 Sep 1961), Find A Grave Memorial no. 257, citing Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .