Corinne Griffith

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Corinne Griffith
Corinne-griffith.jpg
Born Corinne Mae Griffin
(1894-11-21)November 21, 1894
Texarkana, Texas, U.S.
Died July 13, 1979(1979-07-13) (aged 84)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Heart failure
Nationality American
Education Sacred Heart Convent
Occupation Actress, producer, author
Years active 1916–32
Spouse(s) Webster Campbell (m.1920–23)
Walter Morosco (m.1924–34)
George Preston Marshall (m.1936–1958)
Danny Scholl (m.1965-65)

Corinne Mae Griffith (November 21, 1894 – July 13, 1979) was an American film actress, producer and author. Dubbed "The Orchid Lady of the Screen",[1] she was one of the most popular film actresses of the 1920s and widely considered the most beautiful actress of the silent screen. Shortly after the advent of sound film, Griffith retired from acting and became a successful author.

Early life and career[edit]

An early starring feature, The Climbers.

Griffith was born in Texarkana, Texas to John Lewis Griffin and Ambolina (Ambolyn) Ghio. She attended Sacred Heart Convent school in New Orleans and worked as a dancer before she began her acting career.[2]

Griffith began her screen career at the Vitagraph Studios in 1916. She later moved to First National, where she became one of their most popular stars.[3] In 1928, she had the starring role in The Garden of Eden. The next year, in 1929, Griffith received an Academy Award nomination for her role in The Divine Lady.

Griffith's first sound film, Lilies of the Field, was released in 1930. Griffith's voice did not record well (The New York Times stated that she "talked through her nose"),[1] and the film was a box office flop.[4] After appearing in one more Hollywood picture, Back Pay in 1930 and a British film Lily Christine in 1932, she retired from acting. She returned to the screen in 1962 in the low-budget melodrama Paradise Alley, which received scant release.

Later career[edit]

Griffith was one of the few film stars to move successfully into new careers once her stardom had ended. She was an accomplished writer who published eleven books including two best sellers, My Life with the Redskins and the memoir Papa's Delicate Condition, which was made into a 1963 film starring Jackie Gleason about the Ghio and Griffin family. Her actual family names were used in the film.

Her ventures into real estate were particularly successful (at one point she owned four different major office buildings in Los Angeles, each of them named after her).

Personal life[edit]

Griffith was a member of the Christian Science religion.[5]

Marriages[edit]

Griffith was married four times and produced no children. She married actor and frequent co-star Webster Campbell from 1920 to 1923, producer Walter Morosco from 1924 to 1934, and the owner of the Washington Redskins football team George Preston Marshall from 1936 to 1958. During her marriage to Marshall, she composed the lyrics to the Redskins fight song "Hail to the Redskins" which became one of the most famous football anthems.[6]

In 1966, within a few days, she married and divorced her fourth husband, Broadway actor Danny Scholl (Call Me Mister). Scholl was 45, more than 25 years Griffith's junior. In court she testified that she was not Corinne Griffith. She claimed that she was the actress's younger (by twenty years) sister who had taken her place upon the famous sister's death. Contradicting testimony by actresses Betty Blythe and Claire Windsor, who had both known her since the 1920s, did not shake her story. In 1974, Adele Whitely Fletcher, editor of Photoplay, said Griffith was still claiming that she was her own younger sister.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

On July 13, 1979, Griffith died of heart failure in Santa Monica, California, aged 84. At the time of her death, her personal estate was worth over $150,000,000.[citation needed]

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Corinne Griffith has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.

Selected filmography[edit]

The Girl Problem (1919)
Year Title Role Notes
1916 The High Cost of Living
1916 La Paloma Stella
1916 The Waters of Lethe Joyce Denton
1916 The Yellow Girl Corinne
1916 Through the Wall Pussy Wimott
1916 The Last Man Lorna
1917 The Stolen Treaty Irene Mitchell
1917 Transgression Marion Hayward
1917 The Love Doctor Blanche Hildreth
1917 I Will Repay Virginia Rodney
1917 Who Goes There? Karen Girard
1918 Love Watches Jacqueline Cartaret
1918 The Clutch of Circumstance Ruth Lawson
1918 The Girl of Today Leslie Selden
1918 Miss Ambition Marta
1919 The Adventure Shop Phyllis Blake
1919 The Girl Problem Erminie Foster
1919 The Unknown Quantity Mary Boyne
1919 Thin Ice Alice Winton
1919 A Girl at Bay Mary Allen
1919 The Bramble Bush Kaly Dial
1919 The Climbers Blanche Sterling
1920 The Tower of Jewels Emily Cottrell
1920 Human Collateral Patricia Langdon
1920 Deadline at Eleven Helen Stevens
1920 The Garter Girl Rosalie Ray
1920 The Whisper Market Erminie North
1920 The Broadway Bubble Adrienne Landreth/Drina Lynn
1921 It Isn't Being Done This Season Marcia Ventnor
1921 What's Your Reputation Worth? Cara Deene
1921 Moral Fibre Marion Wolcott
1921 The Single Track Janette Gildersleeve
1922 Received Payment
1922 A Virgin's Sacrifice
1922 Island Wives Elsa Melton
1922 Divorce Coupons Linda Catherton
1922 The Common Law Valerie West
1923 Black Oxen Madame Zatianny/Mary Ogden
1923 Six Days Laline Kingston
1924 Single Wives Betty Jordan Executive producer
1924 Love's Wilderness Linda Lou Heath Executive producer
1924 Lilies of the Field Mildred Harker Executive producer
1925 Declassee Lady Helen Haden Producer
1925 Classified Babs Comet Producer
1925 Infatuation Violet Bancroft Executive producer
Lost film
1925 The Marriage Whirl Marian Hale Executive producer
Lost film
1926 Madamoiselle Modiste Fifi Executive producer
Lost film
1926 Into Her Kingdom Grand Duchess Tatiana (at 12 and 20) Executive producer
Lost film
1926 Syncopating Sue Susan Adams Executive producer
Lost film
1927 The Lady in Ermine Mariana Beltrami Executive producer
Lost film
1927 Three Hours Madeline Durkin Executive producer
1928 The Garden of Eden Toni LeBrun
1928 Outcast Miriam Lost film
1929 Saturday's Children Bobby Halevy
1929 Prisoners Riza Riga
1929 The Divine Lady Lady Emma Hart Hamilton
1930 Lilies of the Field Mildred Harker Lost film
1930 Back Pay Hester Bevins
1932 Lily Christine Lily Christine Summerset
1962 Paradise Alley Mrs. Wilson Alternative title: Stars in the Backyard

Books by Corinne Griffith[edit]

  • 1947 My Life with the Redskins – history of the Washington Redskins football team, owned by her husband, George Marshall
  • 1952 Papa's Delicate Condition – memoir of her childhood
  • 1955 Eggs I Have Known – collection of recipes
  • 1961 Antiques I Have Known – book about her interest in antiques
  • 1962 Taxation Without Representation – Griffith's argument against taxes.
  • 1963 I Can't Boil Water – collection of recipes she obtained from famous restaurants
  • 1963 Hollywood Stories – collection of short fiction written by Griffith
  • 1965 Truth is Stranger – collection of articles collected by Griffith that struck her as unusual with their information
  • 1969 Not For Men Only – But Almost – a book on sports and its lack of appeal for most women
  • 1972 This You Won't Believe – another collection similar to "Truth is Stranger"
  • 1974 I'm Lucky at Cards – a book of various essays by Griffith

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b Porter, Darwin (2005). Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel. Blood Moon Productions, Ltd. p. 301. ISBN 0-9748118-1-5. 
  2. ^ Who's Who in America. Marquis-Who's Who. 1954. p. 1427. 
  3. ^ Lowe, Denise (2004). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American Films, 1895–1930: 1895–1930. Haworth Press. p. 258. ISBN 0-7890-1843-8. 
  4. ^ Barrios, Richard (1995). A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film. Oxford University Press US. p. 317. ISBN 0-19-508811-5. 
  5. ^ Slide, Anthony (2002). Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. University Press of Kentucky. p. 169. ISBN 0-8131-2249-X. 
  6. ^ Richman, Michael (2007). The Redskins Encyclopedia. Temple University Press. p. 15. ISBN 1-59213-542-0. 
Bibliography
  • Dallas Morning News, "Griffin-Ghio: Notable Social Event at Texarkana Presents Numerous and Costly.", July 8, 1887.
  • Dallas Morning News, "Texarkana Girl Joins Movies: Miss Corinne Griffin Becomes Prominent in Picture While in California.", November 20, 1915.
  • 1900 United States Federal Census, Waco Ward 4, McLennan, Texas, June 7, 1900, Enumeration District 78, Sheet 18A.
  • 1910 United States Federal Census, Texarkana Ward 1, Bowie, Texas, April 30, 1910, Enumeration District 4, Sheet 2B.
  • California Death Index 1940–1997, Ancestry.com.
  • Charleston Daily Mail, "Star Gazing at Corinne Griffith", August 25, 1929, p. 21.

External links[edit]