Marion Davies (who is Marion Davies?)

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Marion Davies was an American film actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. She was born Marion Cecilia Douras on January 3, 1897, in Brooklyn, New York. Davies was one of five children in a show business family; her sisters also entered the entertainment industry.

Early Career: Marion Davies began her career as a chorus girl in New York City, working her way up to starring roles on Broadway. With her striking looks and charisma, she caught the attention of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who became her lover and played a crucial role in both promoting and managing her career as a film actress.

Silent Film Era: Davies' film career took off during the silent film era. Her first film appearance was in the 1917 comedy "Runaway Romany", directed and written by herself. Her talent for comedy became apparent with her performance in "When Knighthood Was in Flower" (1922), which was one of the highest-grossing films of the silent era. Hearst formed Cosmopolitan Productions to promote Davies' career, and her films were distributed by major studios like Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

Sound Films and Later Career: With the advent of sound films, Davies transitioned smoothly, continuing to showcase her talent for light comedies and dramas. Her first talkie was "Marianne" in 1929, and she went on to make films like "Polly of the Circus" (1932) and the comedy "Going Hollywood" (1933) co-starring Bing Crosby.

Although a talented comedienne, Hearst's insistence on casting Davies in more dramatic roles, which he felt were more prestigious, is often cited as a reason why she didn't become as big a star in sound films as she might have. Nevertheless, she continued to work throughout the 1930s.

Relationship with William Randolph Hearst: Marion Davies is perhaps as well-known for her relationship with Hearst as she is for her acting. Though Hearst was married, their affair was an open secret in Hollywood. He lavished upon her a luxurious life, including hosting grand parties at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. Their relationship endured until his death in 1951.

Philanthropy and Later Life: Davies was also known for her philanthropy; during the Great Depression, she was very generous to those in need, providing food and aid. She also established children's clinics and donated to hospitals.

In the 1940s, her film career slowed, and she retired from the screen after "Ever Since Venus" (1944). After Hearst's death, Davies married Horace G. Brown in 1951.

Death: Marion Davies passed away on September 22, 1961, in Hollywood, California, from cancer, aged 64.

Legacy: Despite a successful career that spanned over 20 years and included over 40 films, Davies' legacy has been somewhat overshadowed by her association with Hearst and the colossal flop "Citizen Kane" (1941), loosely based on Hearst's life. The character of Susan Alexander Kane, a talentless singer whose career is pushed by the main character, has often been misinterpreted as a dig at Davies, though those who knew her and have studied her work insist that Davies was genuinely talented, particularly in comedy.

Marion Davies' contributions to cinema, especially during the silent film era, as well as her philanthropic work, have been recognized in recent years, and she has been the subject of various biographies and documentaries exploring her life and career in depth.

For further information, here's a link to her IMDb profile and a comprehensive biography can often be found within established cinema history texts or dedicated biographical works.

We've pulled together this article with a mix of research and AI - it's always worth double checking facts.