Mimi Forsythe Profile

Mimi Forsythe
Mimi Forsythe
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(Marie C. Armstrong)
13 December 21 is born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Arthur W. Armstrong, a steel executive and one-time associate of industrial magnate Andrew Mellon, making her heiress to the Armstrong coal and coke millions. Her mother's maiden name is Debosque.
she will later say about the “advantages” of her family’s wealth: "They were drawbacks when it came to getting what I really wanted. I always wanted to act. Used to write, direct, and act the top roles when I was a kid. It was fine. You could cast your own plays and then trample on all the other kids because you had written their parts, directed them—and were starring, too. So I always wanted to be an actress. And for a long time it looked as if complete frustration had set in and I'd never break through it. No one would take me seriously. I got the social-butterfly treatment, and the quick brush-off. That went on a long, long time.”
February 39 marries Chicago real estate man-turned-producer Benedict Earl Bogeaus in Newport, Connecticut. He's 34; she's 17.
September 40 leaves New York for Hollywood. She will later say: "I started working on ways of breaking into the movies. I hired myself a press agent, too. But that did no good. All I found was that my name was getting into the papers and they were always having me engaged to someone new each time. In itself that was silly. There I was, sitting at home, with a perfectly nice husband and a bouncing baby! Then there are the nine dogs—Great Danes and French Poodles. So how would a gal have time to get engaged to anyone?"
the fact that her husband got into the producing end of pictures just adds to her frustration. "I want to work for Bogeaus some time, but naturally I couldn't have done it at first. I had to get established first on my very own. Otherwise, can't you just see what they'd say—'Mimi got into the movies just because her husband helped her.' He'd been in defense work out here, running a factory in the beginning and then he decided he wanted to make movies. But I had to go on along my own lines."
41 remarries Bogeaus for sentimental reasons in Arizona
3 June 41 her son, Geoffrey Forsythe, is born in Los Angeles. "You should see Jeff—he’s huge. We call him Monster most of the time and Moppet at other moments.”
October 42 columnist Jimmy Fidler tells: "Mimi Forsythe, film-contracted by Gregory Ratoff, and currently getting a high-pressure build-up as an unwed eastern socialite, is really Mrs. Ben Bogeaus, wife of the president of General Service studios, and mama of a year-old-child."
August 43 columnist Louella Parsons reports that Oona O'Neil, Charlie Chaplin's bride, was on the set of The Girl from Leningrad, watching Mimi Forsythe, who plays the role she was to have had before she became Mrs. Chaplin..."
makes an amateur 16-mm movie, Mimi, Queen of the Crap Shooters, which catches the eyes of the producers of Three Russian Girls, who decide to cast her for the film. "Now," she says, “I'm competing on an equal basis with other actresses. It's grand to know you got a part because you had a fair and square screen test for it and won over other actresses. It's fine to know that you can forget all the old bilge about family and traveling and schools. You see, usually the breaks are on the side of Susie Glutz. Just let her be an unknown and discovered and you've got a cinch for stardom. But if you start out by ever having been heard of before, there are all those advance strikes against you. After all, if you have talent and energy and are willing, you can make the grade."
March 44 says about her husband: "He's Russian and French but he looks like a Syrian, with eyebrows like the devil. There's a bit of devil in him anyway, more than just in his eyebrows," she asserts. "We like a lot of the same things, traveling, working, seeing people. We fight a lot - wonderful screaming battles, I tell him what I think about his work, and he sues on to me about mine. Every so often, I make noises about a divorce, think of filing suits and so on. But Bogeaus is just as crazy as I am and I think it might be hard to find as good a match anywhere else!"
can’t get over her luck in films: "I'm having the most amazing luck. First I get to play a mean, flirtatious ninny of a girl in Three Russian Girls, and also get a death scene in the film. Then, the cast weeps over my death for half an hour—which would make any actress glow all over at the mere thought. Then comes the Eleanor Powell film, and another second lead for me. This time I will be a pistol-packin' momma who's Eleanor's best friend. I am mad, mad, mad all the way through the film. Pretty good luck, don't you think?"
admits she is slightly “wacky,” rewording the opinion of her best friends. She has a tendency toward being unstable, though "flighty" is the better word for it. The core of the matter is that she does not take herself seriously. "As it is, I can see myself getting to be the most awful ham. I love hamming, and getting into the movies gives you such a wonderful chance to ham everything up!"
5 July 44 is injured when the Santa Fe Chief, a fast streamlined passenger train, tears itself from the tracks and furrows its way into the high mountain plateau of northern Arizona. She suffers a broken wrist and possible internal injuries.
Early August 44 she and Bogeaus are reported giving their marriage another chance
August 44 leaves "the mansion of Benedict Bogeaus, movie producer, zipper inventor and her husband of several years. She said she'd sue for divorce on a terribly amicable basis."
September 44 Parsons notes her at the fights "the other night with Seymour Chotiner, attorney..."
October 44 columnist Jimmy Fidler asks "Wotzis anent Venita Varden (Mrs. Jack Oakie) and Mimi Forsythe trading left hooks at a party?..."
Mid-October 44 files for divorce from Bogeaus in Los Angeles. She claims mental cruelty and asks custody of their son, Geoffrey, 3.
5 June 45 divorces Bogeaus after five years of marriage. She testifies he threatened to kill her if she left on a vacation. She claims "I am a great deal younger than Mr. Bogeaus and have an affinity for people my own age."
July 46 columnist Walter Winchell notes her "whispering with Guy McCandles..."
September 46 marries husband number two, Warren Leslie McCanless, son of a very well-known Kansas City family, in Kansas. He's 30; she's 24.
3 November 46 becomes the widow of McCanless, who's killed instantly when his car runs into a telephone pole in Los Angeles
20 November 47 announces she’ll marry Chicago auto dealer James Parnell Turner November 23
? marries Turner
1 August 49 files for divorce form Turner
3 August 49 concerning her divorce, she's reported having used "a gal's prerogative by changing her mind and deciding they loved each other truly, after all"
11 June 50 gets an interlocutory divorce decree from Turner in Los Angeles
26 June 51 wins her final divorce decree from Turner in Los Angeles. Turner says they were reconciled after she won an interlocutory decree in June 1950. They lived together in a Chicago apartment in the same manner they did during 'the happiest days of their married life," he says. Mimi says they had occasional dates, but there was no real reconciliation. She had broken her leg in three places, she says, and was using a wheelchair at the time. She contends that a legal reconciliation would mean setting up housekeeping like any other married couple, but that her injury was proof she was unable to do that.
17 August 52 as Marie Forsythe Turner, age 30, she is pronounced dead on arrival, "presumably of natural causes," on Sunday morning at Santa Monica Hospital. She was taken to the hospital from a hotel where she had been living for a short time with a maid. Relatives order a private post mortem examination.
22 August 52 her funeral services take place at night in Santa Monica. The press reports that the "30-year-old steel heiress, socialite and actress, who had forsaken the glitter of the theater and society to live quietly here in recent years, died at her home four days ago. Her death did not become known, however, until it was disclosed in a funeral service announcement yesterday. She died of a blood ailment."
25 August 52 columnist Dorothy Manners reports: "Mimi Forsythe must have had a premonition of how desperately ill she was. Just two days before she died she turned over the custody of her adored little four-year-old son to his father, Ben Bogeaus. Since their divorce - and during two subsequent marriages, the little boy had been with Mimi. She hadn't talked to Ben in several months when she unexpectedly called him and said: 'I want you to take little Ben now - and keep him.'"
The New York Times, Mansfield News-Journal, Nevada State Journal, Middletown Times Herald, Oakland Tribune, The Chronicle-Telegram, The Modesto Bee, Olean Times Herald, Burlington Daily Times-News, Long Beach Press-Independent, Long Beach Press-Independent, The Charleston Gazette, San Mateo Times, Albuquerque Journal,
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