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Doris Merrick Profile

Doris Merrick
Doris Merrick
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(Doris Simpson)
? is born in Chicago, Illinois, to Joseph and Nellie Simpson, one of four girls and six boys
? attends Hyde Park High School in Chicago
? makes her first public appearance with three singing sisters
? takes vocal lessons and becomes an NBC soloist
? is heralded "Chicago's Playsuit Girl"
c. 36 marries Maximilian "Max" Marek, Chicago Golden Gloves champion-turned-liquor salesman. Marek's of Polish descent and earned a Notre Dame football scholarship in 1933, the same year he beat Joe Louis in the Golden Gloves finals in Boston, billing himself ever since as "The Man Who Beat Joe Louis."
? her first daughter, Doris "Dee," is born
41 is Chicago's number one blond model
November 41 as Doris Simpson, she is tested by Warner Brothers
December 41 Warner Brothers put her under contract
42 films Time to Kill opposite Lloyd Nolan. It will become her favorite movie.
January 42 as Beth Drake, she is groomed for stardom with a walk-on in The Male Animal
the press reports: "'And what do you do to protect your good looks?' model Beth Drake was asked, when she signed a Warner contract. Answered Beth: 'Stay out of night clubs.'"
April 42 will have her first featured role at Warner Brothers in The Hard Way
May 42 is reported married and having two ambitions: to be a great actress and to have three children
June 42 she and fellow Warner starlet Alice Talton are pictured collecting waste paper as part of their defense work
will be in Yankee Doodle Dandy
is reported wearing glasses. "But she makes sure that the frames are the newest and the most becoming style for her..."
c. summer 42 changes her name to Doris Merrick
October 42 a newspaper photo shows her with four blonde puppies, Higgle, Piggle, Wiggle, and Squiggle, recent "costars" in one of her films
War Years is among the celebrities helping the war effort with the Cavalcade of Stars
April 43 she and fellow newcomer Rhonda Fleming are pictured enhancing a Southern California beach
30 April 43 is on the cover of Yank, The Army Weekly
May 43 promotes her upcoming part in Jane Eyre by presenting a new dress, cut like a suit, but fashioned all in one piece
March 44 her Doberman-Pinscher pup Smokey is reported the seventh member of her family who has joined the WAGS. “The screen star’s husband and two brothers and three sisters are all in the service.”
? divorces Marek. He will become a renowned Southside restaurateur and die at age 62 in 1977 in Chicago.
? has a crush on producer Raymond Hakim
? meets John M. Knoll while at a private party with her agent, Phil Berg. She is dancing with Vince Orsatti when Knoll interrupts them to ask for a dance. Later he asks her if he can take her home, even though he is with "Miss America" and has to take her home first. They will be together from then on.
February 46 marries John Meagher Knoll, a Lancaster, California, rancher and lumberman. Knoll is the great-grandson of Irish-born Thomas Francis Meagher, who was a general in the civil war and later territorial governor of Montana.
? her daughter Elizabeth Ann is born
? her daughter Kathleen Susan is born
50 her son, John Meagher, is born at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica
? her daughter Charla Michael is born
22 May 55 she and Knoll separate
4 June 55 she and Knoll are in Los Angeles Domestic Relations Court to talk about a divorce. They confer for half an hour with Judge Elmer D. Doyle. When they emerge, they plan a second honeymoon in Hawaii. Their case is continued until June 24.
13 November 56 files for divorce from Knoll in Los Angeles
62 divorces Knoll, who will die of cancer in 1982
31 December 64 marries Los Angeles lawyer Matthew Lawton Hatfield in Los Angeles
April 86 becomes the widow of Hatfield, who dies at age 58 in Los Angeles
08 resides in Rancho Mirage, California
Sources:
Kathleen Susan Hewitt, "The Notre Dame Man Who Beat Joe Louis" by Bob Walsh, Oakland Tribune, Winnipeg Free Press, The Port Arthur News, The Evening Capital, The Charleston Gazette, The Portsmouth Herald, Nebraska State Journal, The Sunday Times-Signal, Burlington Daily Times-News, Mansfield News-Journal, Long Beach Independent, www.Ancestry.com
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Filmography