Marie McDonald Profile

Marie McDonald
Marie McDonald
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(Cora Marie Frye)
6 July 23 is born in Burgin, Kentucky, to Mr. and Mrs. Everett Frye. Under the name of Marie McDonald, her mother was a former showgirl with Florenz Ziegfeld.
29 her parents divorce. Her father becomes a warden at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. She and her mother move to Westchester, New York, to live with her grandparents.
? attends St. Anne's Elementary School in Westchester
attends Roosevelt High School
? is offered a scholarship by the Columbia University School of Journalism
? is crowned "Miss Yonkers"
? is crowned "Miss Loew's Paradise"
? is crowned "Queen of Coney Island"
38 wins the national jitterbug contest at the Harvest Moon Ball at Madison Square Garden
leaves school to become a model for John Robert Powers
39 is crowned "Miss New York"
28 August 39 opens at the Alvin Theater with George White's Scandals of 1939
models for illustrator Alex Raymond in Los Angeles as Dale Arden and Princess Aura in the Flash Gordon comic strip
is fired after two weeks as a chorus girl at Earl Carroll's Theater Restaurant
she and fellow showgirl Yvonne De Carlo join the chorus of N.T. Granlund's Florentine Gardens for $35 a week
40 elopes with and marries part-time actor Richard Allord and moves with him into the Hollywood Plaza Hotel. The marriage is annulled three weeks later. Allord will later marry Marie's friend, Goldwyn Girl Diana Mumby.
31 October 40 meets band leader Tommy Dorsey on Halloween night and joins his weekly radio show
December 40 tests for 20th Century-Fox, but without success
sings with the Charlie Barnet, Johnny Long, and Richard Himber Orchestras
is courted by English theatrical entrepreneur Sir Charles Frederick Bernard, who helps her to promote her career. They become more than just friends.
41 is put under contract by Universal and takes her mother's theatrical name
42 replaces Maria Montez in Pardon My Sarong
? has a studio-arranged publicity date with actor Forrest Tucker
? is romantically linked to Bruce Cabot
her new agent, Vic Orsatti, obtains a contract with Paramount for her
10 January 43 marries wealthy booking agent Victor M. Orsatti, the ex of actress June Lang
25 August 44 is on the cover of Yank, The Army Weekly
September 44 a Collier's magazine interview falsely gives her birthplace as Vienna, Austria
8 September 44 is on the cover of Yank, The Army Weekly
46 is to star in Young Widow, but her part goes to Marie Wilson
breaks off her contract with producer Hunt Stromberg
47 is considered for Nightmare Alley, but her part goes to Coleen Gray
May 47 is booked for a six-week stay in Las Vegas to get a divorce from Orsatti, who will later marry model-actress Dolores Donlon. Bugsy Siegel's girlfriend, Virgina Hill, asks her to ride in the Heldorado Days parade as Queen of the Flamingo Hotel float. When she refuses the companionship of gangsters and murderers, Siegel has to cuff her once or twice to convince her.
spends an occasional hour at Siegel's bedroom at the Flamingo penthouse
17 May 47 rides the Flamingo Hotel float in the Heldorado Days parade and makes Siegel win. Her maid and secretary, Jerri Mason, starts an affair with Chick Hill, Virginia Hill's 19-year-old brother, which she will recall later as a year of hell.
c. 47 marries wealthy "philanthropic" shoe manufacturer Harry Karl
49 Columbia boss Harry Cohn tests her for his upcoming Born Yesterday, but the part goes to Judy Holliday
is considered for The Good Humor Man, but the part goes to Jean Wallace
November 50 is on stage with Born Yesterday at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
51 - 54 loses several babies prematurely and finally adopts two children, Denise and Harrison
54 is charged with driving under the influence of drugs and hit-and-run driving. Her husband is charged with felonious assault when trying to run down two cameramen with his car outside the courthouse.
has one illness after the other, and Karl spends a quarter million dollars trying to improve her health
Karl presents her with a Le Mans Cadillac roadster, specially customized by Barris. The car boasts a television set, radio-telephone, tape recorder, and cocktail bar. The hubcaps are done in a combination of gold and chrome; the thirty individually inserted "spokes" and the protruding center are gold, with the remainder in chrome. The paint is 30 coats of "platinum dust."
divorces Karl in Nevada, testifying that she is allergic to him. He will start dating actress Rhonda Fleming.
55 the Karls sail for Europe and try, unsuccessfully, to remarry in Paris, London, Tangiers, Zurich, and Liechtenstein
remarries Karl in Yuma, Arizona, but they seperate soon afterwards. She claims he beat her when she was four months pregnant.
12 September 56 her daughter Tina Marie is born
? the Karls reconcile
January 57 disappears from her home in Encino and is found 24 hours later, 40 miles away, in her pajamas, on a desert road near Indio, California. She claims she was kidnapped from her house by two men. This affair turns out to be a publicity stunt to boost her sagging career.
May 57 is the new interest of Michael Wilding after his divorce from Liz Taylor
58 charges Karl with having hired the kidnappers. Months later, she admitts that she made up the story because Karl was suing her for divorce.
57 records an album called "The Body Sings" for RCA Records
October 57 Sheila Graham doesn't believe reports she will remarry Harry Karl
March 58 sues for divorce from Karl and is awarded a million-dollar settlement. He will later marry the widow of Columbia boss Harry Cohn, actress Joan Perry, and actress Debbie Reynolds.
58 returns to Frank Sennes's Moulin Rouge, the former Earl Carroll Theater Restaurant. Harry Karl attends the opening with his mother and presents her with a $10,000 mink coat and a Cartier watch.
58 - 59 is treated for an accidental overdose of sleeping pills while appearing at the Desert Inn Hotel, Las Vegas
falls from the Venetian Room stage at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel and files a lawsuit for damages
? the ex of Liz Taylor, Michael Wilding, also receives some publicity in her company, until he has to leave for theatrical assignment in England. She claims she considered marrying him.
59 marries William Morris agent Louis Bass
60 divorces Bass
62 marries Edward F. Callahan, a Los Angeles lawyer and banker. The marriage is annulled after 48 hours.
63 divorces Callahan
suffers a nervous breakdown while on tour in Australia and has to be treated in a psychiatric clinic in Sydney
is arrested for forging Percodan prescriptions
replaces Mamie Van Doren in Promises, Promises. There are squabbles on the set between her and the starring Jayne Mansfield.
starts dating the co-producer of Promises, Promises, Donald F. Taylor
64 marries Taylor
her heart stops beating for a while on the operating table for ulcer surgery in a Florida hospital
June 64 she and latest hubby, Don Taylor, continue to worry pals
21 October 65 is found dead at age 41 from an overdose of Percodan sleeping pills at her dressing table by her husband in their Calabasas Hidden Hills ranch home in the San Fernando Valley. Medical investigators give her the benefit of the doubt and say she took the overdose accidentally.
2 January 66 about two months after her death, her husband, age 47, goes into the same bedroom where she died, writes a farewell note, and kills himself with the same lethal Seconal she used
? is interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, in the Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Heritage
? her three children go to live with Harry Karl and his wife, Debbie Reynolds
Fallen Angels by Kirk Crivello, We Only Kill Each Other: The True Story of Mobster Bugsy Siegel by Dean Jennings, Hollywood Babylon II by Kenneth Anger, Dream Cars, Photoplay, Screen Stories, Picture Show 1957, Screen World,,
Recommended Books:
Fallen Angels by Kirk Crivello
Find A Grave
Skylighters: Marie McDonald
Marie McDonald