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Don Marion Davis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Don Marion Davis
Silent film juvenile John Henry, Jr (SAYRE 3196).jpg
Don Marion Davis c. 1922
Born(1917-10-09)October 9, 1917
DiedDecember 10, 2020(2020-12-10) (aged 103)
OccupationChild actor of silent films, radio performer
Years active1918–1925 (as a child actor)
FamilyBilly Armstrong (uncle)

Don Marion Davis (October 9, 1917 – December 10, 2020), professionally known as John Henry Jr. and Don Marion, was an American child actor of the silent film era, who during a brief career in show business appeared in several feature roles and comedy shorts in Hollywood screened between 1919 and 1925. He also had uncredited parts in radio. He was one of the last surviving actors who worked in the silent film era.


Entertainment career

He was born in Hollywood, California, on October 9, 1917, to Henry G. Davis and Helen Davis.[2] He was discovered by studio entrepreneur and director Mack Sennett while he and his mother were visiting his uncle, British-born American actor and comedian Billy Armstrong around 1919. He was visiting the set of a film when the baby who was originally cast was not performing well. Davis then replaced him successfully.[3][4]

In a 1920 newspaper article, he was described as one of the most famous child actors in the world.[3] His feature-length films included Down on the Farm (1920) and A Small Town Idol (1921). He was often cast alongside the dog Teddy, who was one of the most well-known film animals of the era. By 1921, his films reportedly had to adjust to the fact that he was continuously growing.[1]

Don Marion aka John Henry Jr.
Don Marion aka John Henry Jr.

Post-entertainment career

After leaving the entertainment industry in 1925, he attended the University of Oregon and joined the U.S. Army in 1940, shortly prior to the United States entering World War II. He was stationed in Europe during this time as an infantry officer. After the war, he remained with the American military and held various positions in different countries, such as South Africa and South Korea. He graduated from University of Arizona with a degree in Master of Public Administration.[2]

He resided in Tucson, Arizona. At the age of 99, he was said to take daily bike rides for 40 minutes.[5][6]

He was falsely reported as having died on March 2, 2012, in the 2013 book Obituaries in the Performing Arts, published by McFarland & Company and authored by Harris M. Lentz.[7]

Marion in The Love Egg (1921)
Marion in The Love Egg (1921)

Marion died of a brief illness at the Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona on December 10, 2020 at the age of 103.[8]

Filmography (selected)

Year Title Role
1919 Back to the Kitchen The Baby
His Last False Step Minor role
1920 The Star Boarder The boarding house owner's son
Down on the Farm The Baby
Let 'er Go The country girl's little brother
By Golly! Minor role
Married Life Child
The Quack Doctor The rich father's son
It's a Boy The child
Bungalow Troubles The son
1921 A Small Town Idol Baby
The Unhappy Finish
Made in the Kitchen The Son
Officer Cupid The cook's son
Astray from the Steerage The immigrant child
The Love Egg
Wanted, a Girl
A Rural Cinderella
1922 Bow Wow The country girl's baby brother
1925 Percy Percival Rogeen, as a boy
The Golden Princess Tennessee Hunter (age 10)
The Golden Bed[2]


  1. ^ a b "Amusements". Kansas City Kansan. December 27, 1921. p. 8. Retrieved October 3, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c Walker, Brent E. (2013). Mack Sennett's Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786477111.
  3. ^ a b "World Famous Youngsters in the Public Eye". The Ithaca Journal. September 9, 1920. p. 6. Retrieved October 3, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Among the Movie Stars". The Salina Evening Journal. January 1, 1921. p. 8. Retrieved October 3, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Tucson's centenarians are an optimistic, active and growing group". May 5, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Pima Council on Aging, TMC host Salute to Centenarians". KOLD. May 3, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2013). Obituaries in the performing arts, 2012. McFarland (April 24, 2013). p. 183. ISBN 978-0786470631.
  8. ^ "Don Davis Obituary - AZ". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved December 19, 2020 – via


  • John Holmstrom, The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995, Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, p. 81.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 March 2021, at 20:42
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