Friday, July 29, 2011

Ziegfeld Girl, Part 5

Wow, today I'm finishing up my "mini-series" on Ziegfeld girls. I really didn't think I had it in me! Of course, my rigid schedule of working out and clean living took a serious hit in order to bring you these FASCINATING blogs, but I'll do whatever it takes to bring my brand of pseudo knowledge to you, my 5 loyal readers.

Did I ever mention that I want to invent a "sarcasm font?" If there was one, it should have been applied to the words "rigid schedule of working out and clean living," "FASCINATING," and "knowledge."

So, on with the blog.

Today, we are going to talk about Marion Davies.

She was born Marion Douras in Brooklyn, NY in 1897. She and her sisters changed their surname to Davies as it was believed that an English sounding surname would serve them better in the melting pot of New York during the turn of the century

She had stage ambitions at an early age and joined the Ziegfeld Follies in 1916. She appeared in her first feature film in 1917. It was called Runaway Romany and was directed by her brother-in-law. Hello, nepotism.

In 1918 she starred in Cecilia of the Pink Roses. This is significant because the film was financially backed by newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst. And this is where her real fame began: her decades long affair with the always married Hearst. To put this in today's terms, it would be like Rupert Murdoch having a publicly known, decades long affair with some burgeoning starlet. Let's go with Mila Kunis...only because I just saw a trailer for No Strings Attached 2...I mean, Friends With Benefits.

Hearst played a huge part in her career as well as her personal life. He pretty much started Cosmopolitan Pictures as a vehicle for movies staring Davies. There was one problem. Marion really liked, and was really good at, playing comedic roles. Hearst wanted her to play dramatic roles. It is said that Hearst's meddling in Davies career is what held her back from critical success.

It is also said that Marion Davies was the inspiration for the character of Susan Alexander in the film Citizen Kane, which is loosely based on Hearst's life.

Davies starred in many films and saved her money wisely. She even bailed out Hearst during some financial trouble by writing him a 1.9 million dollar check. Dang. She was also known for her philanthropic work. She donated a lot of money to various children's hospitals in California.

One more juicy tidbit: after Davies' death and the death of her "niece," Patricia Lake, Lake's family revealed that Patricia was indeed the child of Davies and Hearst, but had been raised by Marion's sister, Rosemary. Mmm Hmm. Told you it was scandalous.

So, there's a brief description on Marion Davies. Want more? How about a necklace:

1 comment:

  1. Love the post, and the necklace. WhiskeyDarling I dont know if you have the time or the inclination, but a great venue for selling your art would be tattoo conventions!! Hubby and I have been finding that art sells at these things. We brought a few paintings just to jazz up our booth last weekend people snapped them up (we hadn't even considered them for sale but we sold em!). Lots of hot little vintage-loving girlies milling around, and art lovers. Just wanted to mention it! :-)