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Marilyn Maxwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marilyn Maxwell
Marilyn Maxwell 1961.JPG
Maxwell in 1961
Marvel Marilyn Maxwell

(1921-08-03)August 3, 1921
DiedMarch 20, 1972(1972-03-20) (aged 50)
Years active1942–71
Spouse(s)John Conte (1944–46)
Anders (Andy) McIntyre (1950–51)
Jerry Davis (1954–60)

Marvel Marilyn Maxwell[1] (August 3, 1921 – March 20, 1972) was an American actress and entertainer. In a career that spanned the 1940s and 1950s,[2] she appeared in several films and radio programs, and entertained the troops during World War II and the Korean War on USO tours with Bob Hope.[3]

Early years

Maxwell was a native of Clarinda, Iowa.[4] During the 1930s, she worked as an usher in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Rialto Theater located at 2616 South Calhoun Street.[5] In Fort Wayne, she attended Central High School. She dropped out of school in her sophomore year to join an Indianapolis band as a singer.[6]


From the trailer for Stand by for Action (1942)
From the trailer for Stand by for Action (1942)

She started her professional entertaining career as a radio singer and a singer on stage with Ted Weems' big band while still a teenager, then she signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1942 as a contract player.[7][8][9][10] Among the radio programs in which she appeared were Beat the Band[11] and The Abbott and Costello Show. Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM, insisted she change the Marvel part of her real name. She dropped her first name and kept the middle one.[3] Some of her film roles included Lost in a Harem (1944), Champion (1949), The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), New York Confidential (1955) and Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958). The popular Christmas song "Silver Bells" made its debut in The Lemon Drop Kid, sung by Maxwell and Hope.[12]

Maxwell appeared twice as a singer in the second season (1955–1956) of The Jimmy Durante Show.[13]

Personal life

Maxwell married three times; each ended in divorce. In September 1944, she married actor John Conte; the relationship was dissolved in June 1946. Her second marriage to restaurateur Anders McIntyre lasted just over a year from January 1, 1950[14] until March 23, 1951.[1] Maxwell's six-year marriage to writer/producer Jerry Davis ended in 1960. Her only child, Matthew, was born to Maxwell and Davis in 1956.[15]

Maxwell met and became friends with Frank Sinatra when they crossed paths, both of them in separate nationally renowned big bands in the late 1930s. Their friendship continued after Marilyn gave up singing for acting and moved to Hollywood and Frank had moved from New Jersey to Beverly Hills in the early 1940s. By 1945, the friendship had progressed into an extra-marital affair. Frank's then wife Nancy saw Marilyn wearing an expensive diamond bracelet Nancy had earlier seen in Frank's car and assumed was for her. Taking this as evidence of Frank's infidelity, Nancy ordered Marilyn and husband John Conte to immediately leave the Sinatra family Christmas gala of 1945. Confronted after the party by Nancy, Frank admitted to the affair but claimed it was only casual not serious. Soon after, Marilyn and Frank ended their sexual liaison.[16][17][10]

Between 1950 and 1954, Marilyn had an ongoing affair with actor/comedian Bob Hope. Although he was married at the time to singer Dolores Reade Hope, Bob and Marilyn's relationship was so open that many in Hollywood referred to her as Mrs. Bob Hope.[18]

During the 1950s, Marilyn became good friends with fellow actor Rock Hudson. After her marriage to Jerry Davis ended in 1960 at the arrangement of Hudson's agent Henry Willson, Marilyn became one of several women Hudson publicly "dated" to counter rumors (admitted true by him later in life) of the actor's homosexuality. No real romance between Maxwell and Hudson existed.[19]

On March 20, 1972, at age 50, Maxwell was found dead in her home by her 15-year-old son, who had arrived home from school. The cause was an apparent heart attack; she had been treated for hypertension and pulmonary disease. Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Jack Benny were honorary pallbearers at her funeral.[20]

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1946 Stars over Hollywood A Woman's Touch[21]
1949 The Martin and Lewis Show episode 10



Short subjects

  • Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Goes to Bat (1950) - Herself
  • Brooklyn Goes to Las Vegas (1956) - Herself


  1. ^ a b "Actress Gets Freedom". The Plain Speaker. Hazleton, Penn. March 23, 1951. p. 12. Retrieved September 13, 2015 – via open access
  2. ^ Hyams, Joe (March 1991). Flight of the Avenger: George Bush at War. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-15-131469-0.
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Earl (September 28, 1952). "Another Marilyn! Are There Two?". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
  4. ^ "Actress Marilyn Maxwell Dies". La Crosse Tribune. March 21, 1972. p. 14. Retrieved September 13, 2015 – via open access
  5. ^ Ankenbruck, John (1975). Twentieth Century History of Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne: Twentieth Century Historical Fort Wayne, Inc. p. 308.
  6. ^ Harter, Randolph (2015). Legendary Locals of Fort Wayne. Arcadia Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 9781439653067.
  7. ^ "Ted Weems and his Orchestra". RedHot Archived from the original on January 25, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  8. ^ Herzog, Buck (October 15, 1962). "Along Amusement Row". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
  9. ^ "On the Stage". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 21, 1939. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Frank The Voice", James Kaplan published by Anchor Books Nov. 2011.
  11. ^ "Say Hello to ..." (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror. 14 (2): 42. June 1940. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "People in the News-Hope Favors 'Silver Bells'". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 14, 1977. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
  13. ^ "The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show". Classic TV Archive. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  14. ^ "Marilyn Maxwell Seeking Divorce". The Oregon Statesman. Hazelton, Penn. February 17, 1951. p. 1. Retrieved September 13, 2015 – via open access
  15. ^ Hagen, Ray (January 28, 2015). Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames. McFarland. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-78-648073-9.
  16. ^ Hagen, Ray (2015). Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames. McFarland. p. 123. ISBN 9780786480739.
  17. ^ Taraborrelli, J. Randy (August 11, 2015). Sinatra: Behind the Legend (e-book ed.). Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-1-455-53058-8. Soon he was telling people that he and Marilyn belonged together and that he was going to -again- ask Nancy for a divorce.
  18. ^ Lou Lumenick, "Bob Hope Often Cheated During 69 Year Marriage?", NY Post, 31 October 2014.
  19. ^ John J O'Connor, "The Life, Death and Secrets of Rock Hudson", New York Times, 8 January 1990.
  20. ^ "Marilyn Maxwell Obituary". Eickemeyer Funeral Chapel. Archived from the original on January 23, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  21. ^ "Marilyn Maxwell Stars On WHP in "Stars Over Hollywood" Original". Harrisburg Telegraph. November 23, 1946. p. 19. Retrieved September 13, 2015 – via open access

Further reading

  • Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924–1984. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0351-9.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 23:47
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