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Marion Davies

Marion Davies (January 3, 1897 - September 23, 1961) was an actress, and mistress of William Randolph Hearst.

She was born Marion Douras in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents were Herbert Douras, a lawyer who moved in New York City political circles and Rose Reilly, formerly of Jersey City, New Jersey.

Marion was the youngest of five children. Her elder siblings included Rose, Reine, and Ethel. A brother, Charles, died at the age of 15 from drowning in 1906.

The Douras brood lived near Prospect Park in Brooklyn, but already the bright lights of Manhattan beckoned to the sisters. They all became showgirls on the Great White Way, where Florenz Ziegfeld[?] was beginning his spectacular annual "Follies" shows. These shows were considered the high end of vaudeville.

The girls changed their surname to Davies, which one of them spotted from a realtor's sign in the neighborhood. Even as New York was the melting pot for new immigrants, having a WASP surname greatly helped one's prospects.

Marion outshone her siblings with a 20-year movie career, playing light comedic roles well into the 1930s and giving generous financial assistance to her family and friends. These facts are still overshadowed by her relationship with William Randolph Hearst and her fabulous lifestyle as hostess at San Simeon[?] and Ocean House in Santa Monica.

Ten weeks after the death of William Randolph Hearst, Marion married for the first time, at the age of 54, on October 31, 1951, a former sea captain and policeman, and sometime actor, Horace G. Brown[?]. This was not a happy marriage: Marion filed divorce papers twice but no divorce was ever finalized.

Marion Davies died in Hollywood, California. Her funeral was attended by old-time Hollywood legends and President Herbert Hoover. She is buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery[?] in Hollywood.

During Patricia Van Cleeve's lifetime, she was said to be the daughter of Marion Davies's sister Rose Davies and her first husband, George Van Cleeve. Patricia married Arthur Lake[?], who played Dagwood[?] in numerous films. After Patricia's death it was announced that she was in fact the illegitimate daughter of Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst.

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