New York City
Died at age 64 in 1961
Marion began her career as a chorus girl in New York City and eventually found herself in the famed Ziegfeld Follies. But acting, to Marion, was the epitome of show business and she aimed her sights in that direction. Her first film was Runaway, Romany (1917) when she was 20, written by Marion and directed by her brother-in-law. The following year Marion starred in three films, the third of which was backed by newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, with whom Marion would continue a long-term romantic relationship for the next 30 years.
Because of Hearst's newspaper empire, Marion would be promoted as no actress before her. In 1922, Marion appeared in the historical romantic epic, "When Knighthood Was in Flower" (1922). It was a film into which Hearst poured in millions of dollars as a showcase for her. Time after time, film after film, Marion turned in masterful performances. By the early 30s, Marion had lost her box office appeal and the downward slide began.
Had she been without Hearst's backing, she possibly could have been more successful. He was more of a hindrance than a help. Hearst was suffering financial reversals and it was Marion who bailed him out by selling off $1 million of her jewelry. Hearst's financial problems also spelled the end to her career. Although she had made the transition to sound, other stars fared better and her roles became fewer and further between. By 1937, out of films and with the intense pressures of her relationship with Hearst, Marion turned to more and more to alcohol.
Enjoy photos and movies from her younger acting days from 1915 to 1932
"The Most Beautiful Woman In Film"
"Baby" or "The Platinum Blonde"
1940s movie star
"The Love Goddess"
1950s movie star
The Profane Angel, The Hoosier Tornado
"LuLu" or "Brooksie"
Attila the Nun, Saint Loretta
1940s iconic actress
The "It" Girl
"Billie" or "Cranberry"
1940s beautiful actress
Queen of Hollywood, The Perfect Wife
"The British Open"
Baby Gladys, The Glad Girl
The Queen of Scream
"The Peek-a-boo Girl"
Hot Toddy, The Ice Cream Blonde
1920s film comedienne and philanthropist
"The Fifth Warner Brother," or "The First Lady of Film"
"The First Lady of American Cinema"
"Hollywood's Number One party girl"
"The Pin-Up Girl" or "The Girl With the Million Dollar Legs"
"The Siren of Swindon" or "Hurricane in Mink"
"Baby" or "The Look"
1930s movie star
"Kate" and "First Lady of Cinema"
"Queen of the B's"
"The 'Ping' Girl"
The "Oomph" Girl
"The Hungarian Rhapsody"
1930s sexy wisecracker
"The Beautiful One" or "Dottie"
1930s winsome blonde
1930s B-movie starlet
Queen of Ra-Ta-Taps
1930s comic cutie
The First Lady of MGM, Queen Norma
"The Cameo Girl" or "Rusty"
1930s pale-eyed blonde
1930s fashion star
1930s "nice girl" actress
1930s actress, novelist, and early aviator
Queen of Warner Brothers
1920s silent film actress