Marion Davies

January 3, 1897 – September 22, 1961

Marion Cecilia Elizabeth Brooklyn Douras was born in…well…Brooklyn. From an early age, young Marion wanted to perform. She found herself on the Broadway stage in chorus roles and eventually landed a coveted spot as a Ziegfeld girl. A jump to the screen was inevitably next. Her looks and comedic talent led to a budding career in the silent comedies and other top films of the day. As talented and successful as she was, history most remembers Davies for her relationship to powerful newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst. Hearst was enamored – some would say obsessed – with Davies. He bankrolled many of her films and dictated much of what she was able to do. He specifically preferred her in elaborate historical dramas and kept her away from her more natural lighter, comedic roles. It wasn’t all bad for Davies, though. She got to play hostess to extravagant parties at Hearst’s mansions and enjoyed numerous box office hits. And, by most accounts, they truly loved each other. Despite some anxiety, Davies made the transition to sound pictures with little trouble. Hearst’s continued control over her career led to disagreements and burned bridges in Hollywood and, tiring of jumping from studio to studio, she retired from acting at the age of 40. She remained with Hearst until his death…though the two were never married as Hearst’s wife refused to divorce him. In her later years, Davies spent most of her time using her career earnings and a more-than-generous inheritance from Hearst to work on charity and philanthropic causes. She married after Hearst’s death. It was not a happy marriage, but it was her only one and she remained in it until she died at he age of 64 from stomach cancer.

Burial

Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

Garden of Legends – On the eastern edge of the lake, Marion is interred in the DOURAS family mausoleum

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