Silent comedienne Marion Davies made the transition to sound pictures with a bit of roughness, but still succeeded in a number of pictures that showed off her comedic skill. Backed by her lover, influential newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, she got to put out a number of pictures through MGM while spending her time on the weekends hosting lavish parties and being the social nexus of the most glamorous of the Hollywood set.

Davies eventually left MGM after Irving Thalberg refused to bow to Hearst’s pressure and allow her to star in Marie Antoinette over his wife, Norma Shearer. Davies’ career petered out and she took to working on charitable causes. Though some interpreted the character of Kane’s second wife, Susan, in Citizen Kane to be a play on Davies, even Orson Welles said that Davies was far more talented than Susan was. Davies passed away from stomach cancer in 1961.

Marion Davies’ Pre-Code Filmography

  • Not So Dumb (1930)
  • The Florodora Girl (1930)
  • The Bachelor Father (1931)
  • It’s a Wise Child (1931)
  • Five and Ten (1931)
  • The Christmas Party (1931)
  • Polly of the Circus (1932)
  • Blondie of the Follies (1932)
  • Peg o’ My Heart (1933)
  • Going Hollywood (1933)
  • Operator 13 (1934)


Videos of Marion Davies

A clip (none-too-friendly) about the relationship between Hearst and Davies:


Marion Davies Sites and Links

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