March 31, 2010 Leave a comment
Marie McDonald (September 8, 1944 issue of YANK magazine)
July 6, 1923(1923-07-06)
Burgin, Kentucky, U.S.
Calabasas, California, U.S.
Victor M. Orsatti (m. 1943–1947) «start: (1943)–end+1: (1948)»”Marriage: Victor M. Orsatti to Marie McDonald” Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_McDonald)
Harry Karl (m. 1947–1954) «start: (1947)–end+1: (1955)»”Marriage: Harry Karl to Marie McDonald” Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_McDonald)
Harry Karl (m. 1955–1958) «start: (1955)–end+1: (1959)»”Marriage: Harry Karl to Marie McDonald” Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_McDonald)
Louis Bass (m. 1959–1960) «start: (1959)–end+1: (1961)»”Marriage: Louis Bass to Marie McDonald” Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_McDonald)
Edward F. Callahan (m. 1962–1963) «start: (1962)–end+1: (1964)»”Marriage: Edward F. Callahan to Marie McDonald” Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_McDonald)
Donald F. Taylor (m. 1963–1965) «start: (1963)–end+1: (1966)»”Marriage: Donald F. Taylor to Marie McDonald” Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_McDonald)
Marie McDonald (July 6, 1923 – October 21, 1965) was an American singer and actress known as “The Body Beautiful” and later nicknamed “The Body”.
Born Cora Marie Frye in Burgin, Kentucky, she was the daughter of a Ziegfeld Follies girl. After her parents divorced, she eventually moved with her mother and stepfather to Yonkers, New York. At the age of 15, McDonald began modeling and competed in numerous beauty pageants and was crowned Miss New York in 1939. At 17, she landed a showgirl role in a 1940 Broadway production at the Earl Carroll Theatre called Earl Carroll’s Vanities. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Hollywood hoping to develop a career in show business. She continued to work for the owner of the Broadway theatre as a showgirl at his Sunset Boulevard nightclub.
Marie McDonald’s singing voice brought work with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra on his radio show and she later performed with other Big bands. In 1942, she was put under contract by Universal Studios and immediately appeared in several minor roles. That year, she appeared in three motion pictures, most notably, Pardon My Sarong, which earned her the nickname “The Body” for her shapely physique. The following year she co-starred in A Scream in the Dark, a “B” detective mystery for Republic Pictures that met with reasonable success. However, that would be it as far as starring roles until 1945 when she worked for a small independent production company in another “B” film called Getting Gertie’s Garter. She costarred with Gene Kelly in MGM‘s Living in a Big Way (1947). Despite her talent she would become more known for her figure than for any of film roles.
Marie McDonald re-enacts scene from her story of kidnaping at home in Encino.During World War II, McDonald became one of Hollywood’s most popular pin-up girls and she posed for the United States military magazine, YANK. She had married for the first time in 1940 but this marriage quickly ended. Her second marriage, to her agent Vic Orsatti, lasted four years. She was also one of Bugsy Siegel‘s mistresses at the time. In all, she married seven times, including twice to millionaire Harry Karl, who later married Debbie Reynolds. There were also romances with Eddie Fisher and Michael Wilding. McDonald’s tumultuous personal life soon overshadowed her career. Tabloids regularly reported on her rocky romances, car accidents, and an escape from an Australian psychiatric clinic. She also made headlines when, in 1957, she claimed she was kidnapped by two men.Despite various personal problems, McDonald recorded an LP for RCA Victor in 1957, The Body Sings, backed by Hal Borne and His Orchestra, which consisted of twelve standard ballads. She also toured the world in a very successful nightclub act. Between 1945 and 1950 she appeared in only two films and then again not until 1958 when she was cast in a slapstick comedy opposite Jerry Lewis in The Geisha Boy. In 1963, she made her last appearance in the film, Promises! Promises!, opposite a naked Jayne Mansfield.
In 1965, McDonald was found dead of a drug overdose in her Calabasas, California home. She was laid to rest in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.Three months after McDonald’s death, her sixth husband Donald F. Taylor, who was a producer had occasionally acted under the name Don Taylor, committed suicide in January 1966. McDonald’s three surviving children were raised by Harry Karl and his wife, Debbie Reynolds.
|1941||It Started with Eve||Cigarette girl||Uncredited|
|1942||You’re Telling Me||Girl||Uncredited|
|Pardon My Sarong||Ferna|
|Lucky Jordan||Pearl (Secretary)|
in the Dark
|Riding High||Bit part||Uncredited
Alternative title: Melody Inn
|Caribbean Romance||Alternative title: Musical Parade: Caribbean Romance|
|1944||Standing Room Only||Opal||Uncredited|
|I Love a Soldier||Gracie|
|Our Hearts Were Young and Gay||Blonde||Uncredited|
|Guest in the House||Miriam||Alternative title: Satan in Skirts|
|1945||Getting Gertie’s Garter||Gertie|
|It’s a Pleasure||Gale Fletcher|
|1947||Living in a Big Way||Margo Morgan|
|1949||Tell It to the Judge||Ginger Simmons|
|1950||Once a Thief||Flo|
|Hit Parade of 1951||Michele|
|1958||The Geisha Boy||Lola Livingston|
|1963||Promises! Promises!||Claire Banner|
|1954||The Danny Thomas Show||1 episode|
|1957-1959||The Steve Allen Show||Herself||4 episodes|
|1959||The Red Skelton Show||Lil||1 episode|
|1961||Here’s Hollywood||Herself||1 episode|