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 Michelle <I>Triola</I> Marvin

Michelle Triola Marvin

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 30 Oct 2009 (aged 76)
Malibu, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot The Woodlands section, Map #B40, Niche Rock 179
Memorial ID 43747110 · View Source
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Actress, Legal Folk Figure. She was the plantiff in a lawsuit that established the rights of unmarried partners, and put the word "Palimony" into the dictionary. Raised in Southern California, Michelle was a theater arts major at UCLA, and, during the 1950s, worked as a nightclub singer on Sunset Strip. In 1958, she was a dancer in a Broadway production of "Flower Drum Song" (the issue of whether Gene Kelly ever offered her a larger role would be raised in her later court case), and in 1964 she met actor Lee Marvin (deceased 1987) while working as an extra in "Ship of Fools". Michelle moved into Marvin's home, and lived with him for six years; she took his name in 1970, but he had her evicted a month later. In November 1971 Marvin cut off her allowance, and in February 1972, she filed suit for $1.8 million, calculated as half of what Marvin had earned during the six year relationship. In 1976 the California Supreme Court ruled the case could go forward, and in 1979 it finally went to trial. With legendary Hollywood divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson (deceased 2004) as her attorney, Michelle claimed to have given up her own career to live with Marvin, and further stated that the actor had promised her "lifetime support". Counter charges focused on just what she was ever pledged, and on the question of how much talent she really had, and what "career" she was abandoning. After an 11-week trial (during which Mitchelson coined "palimony"), the jury denied her claim for $1.8 million, but awarded her $104,000 for "rehabilitative purposes"; an appeals court overturned that judgment on a technicality, and, in the end, Michelle got nothing, though the legal principle of partner rights remained intact. Michelle moved-in with actor Dick Van Dyke shortly after her lawsuit concluded, appearing in some episodes of his "Diagnosis Murder", and remaining with him until her death from lung cancer. In her later years, she was to brush-off references to Lee Marvin, simply referring to him as "a great guy". Though she and Van Dyke never wed, shortly after her court case concluded, Michelle had said: "If a man wants to leave his toothbrush at my house, he bloody well better marry me".

Bio by: Bob Hufford





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 31 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43747110
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Michelle Triola Marvin (13 Nov 1932–30 Oct 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43747110, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .