Maid Marion

Maid Marion

Marion Davies’ story starts like a lot of these lovely ladies, of film. A talented young girl, on Broadway, who found her way to movies. But, Marion’s story differs, a bit. A 19-year old, Davies was dancing in the famed, Follies when newspaper mogul, William Randolph Hearst, fell in love, or with the maiden, Marion. Hearst promised to make Davies a star. In 1918, Cosmopolitan Pictures was created, as a Hearst-run, vehicle for Marion. Cosmopolitan made deals with the big studios like, Paramount, Warners, and MGM. Marion starred in 29 films, over the next 10 years, leaving enough time in between to spend with Hearst. Marion Davies probably holds the world-record, as the most promoted, actress in the world. She appeared in (Hearst’s) newspaper, in lavish costumes, with all the dressings and with more words dedicated to her movies, than any other subject. Marion and others were a bit embarrassed by this and claimed it hurt her career and image, more than the intentional help. Marion lived it up with Hearst, throwing fantastic parties and living like a queen, in the biggest beach house in, Santa Monica. Hearst was obsessed with Davies and controlling. He believed she was having affairs, behind his back, especially with Charlie Chaplin. This lead to extreme jealousy and a scandal that is still on the tips of tongues. Hearst and Davies threw a yacht-party with their closest friends. These friends, included Chaplin and film producer, Thomas Ince. Supposedly, a trigger-happy Hearst was searching for Davies, to catch her in the act with Chaplin, when he saw 2 figures embracing in the dark. He took a fatal shot. To Hearst’s surprise, it was Ince whom he’d wounded, not Chaplin. Thomas Ince was dead the next day. This is considered urban legend by most and was denied by Davies and Hearst. Ince’s death certificate says he died of a heart condition. Was it a cover-up? Did Hearst throw enough money at enough people to keep their mouths shut? We’ll never know. All parties on the yacht are long buried, along with any secrets. Davies stayed with Hearst until his death, though never married. Marion passed away from stomach cancer, in 1961. She had married Horace Brown, 11 weeks after Hearst’s death. It was an unhappy, marriage. He was supposedly cruel and encouraged destructive behavior, in Davies. In 2001, a movie based on the night on the yacht, “The Cat’s Meow” was released. A whole new millennium has begun and people are still interested. That’s fame.

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2 thoughts on “Maid Marion

  1. Pingback: Catching up with Old Friends: Movies, Silently | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

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