|Was||Actor Film actor Singer Musician Conferencier Television actor|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music|
|Birth||3 August 1921, Clarinda, USA|
|Death||20 March 1972, Beverly Hills, USA (aged 50 years)|
Marvel Marilyn Maxwell (August 3, 1921 – March 20, 1972) was an American actress and entertainer. In a career that spanned the 1940s and 1950s, 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.
Maxwell was a native of Clarinda, Iowa. During the 1930s, she worked as an usher in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Rialto Theater located at 2616 South Calhoun Street. 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.
She started her professional entertaining career as a radio singer and also singing on stage with Ted Weems' big band while still a teenager, before signing with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1942 as a contract player. Among the radio programs in which she appeared were Beat the Band and The Abbott and Costello Show. The head of MGM, Louis B. Mayer, insisted she change the "Marvel" part of her real name. She dropped her first name and kept the middle one. Some of her film roles included Lost in a Harem (1944), Champion (1949), The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), film noir classic New York Confidential (1955) and Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958). The eventual popular Christmas carol "Silver Bells" made its debut in The Lemon Drop Kid, sung by Maxwell and Hope.
Maxwell appeared twice as a singer in the second season (1955–56) of NBC's The Jimmy Durante Show.
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 until March 23, 1951. 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.
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 relocated from New Jersey to Beverly Hills in the early 1940s. By 1945 the friendship had progressed into an extra-marital affair. Seeing evidence that could lead her to no other conclusion than infidelity, Frank's then wife Nancy (Marilyn was wearing expensive diamond bracelet Nancy had earlier seen in Frank's car and assumed was for her) 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.
Between 1950-1954 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 many in Hollywood referred to her as "Mrs. Bob Hope".
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 Wilson, 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 Ms Maxwell and Mr Hudson ever actually existed however.
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.
|1946||Stars over Hollywood||A Woman's Touch|
|1949||The Martin and Lewis Show||episode 10|