Marion Marlowe

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Marion Marlowe
Marion Townsend

(1929-03-07)March 7, 1929
DiedMarch 24, 2012(2012-03-24) (aged 83)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1946–1963

Marion Marlowe (born Marion Townsend; March 7, 1929[1] – March 24, 2012)[2] was an American singer and actress. She is best known for her recordings of "The Man in the Raincoat" and "Heartbeat". Marlowe worked with Frank Parker ("Moonlight and Roses") and was married to the television producer Larry Puck.[2]

Early years[edit]

Marlowe was born in St. Louis, Missouri,[3] and her father died several years later. At that point Marlowe and her mother (a ballerina who had danced with the Metropolitan Opera) moved in with her grandparents. Her initial public performance came at age 5 when she sang Ave Maria at the Moolah Temple in St. Louis. She had her own quarter-hour weekly radio program from age 9 until she was 13.[4]

According to Richard Lamparksi's 1975 book Whatever Became of...?, Marlowe began taking vocal lessons when she was 12 years old and studied at London's Royal Conservatory under Sir Thomas Beecham. Later, she roomed with Marilyn Monroe at Hollywood's Studio Club while being coached by Sigmund Romberg.


Marlowe is best known for her performances on the television variety series Arthur Godfrey and His Friends from 1950 to 1955, in which she sang duets with Frank Parker as the "Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy of the 1950s."[5]

In April 1955, she was dropped from CBS's roster, and the same month she was fired by Arthur Godfrey from his show along with fellow cast members Haleloke and the Mariners.[6] After being fired by Godfrey, she was signed by Ed Sullivan to make six appearances on his Toast of the Town program.[7] Her contract with Sullivan provided $18,000 for the six appearances, compared to $1,500 per week for six shows with Godfrey.[8]


She recorded for CBS Records in the mid-1950s, and had a hit single with "The Man in the Raincoat", which reached no. 14 on Billboard's chart of "Most Played by Jockeys" in 1955.[9]

Personal life[edit]

On May 6, 1955,[10] Marlowe married television producer Larry Puck, who also had been fired by Godfrey.[11][12]


Marlowe later pursued a career as a stage actress, most notably as the Baroness, Elsa Schraeder, in The Sound of Music, from 1959 to 1963.[13]


Marlowe died of natural causes in Tucson, Arizona on March 24, 2012, aged 83.[2]

Partial discography[edit]

  • Romance (with Frank Parker—1953, Columbia CL 6267)
  • Whatever Happens/Where Flamingos Fly (1956, Cadence 1300)
  • Sweethearts (with Frank Parker—1957, Harmony HL 7022)


  1. ^ IMDb article on Marion Marlowe
  2. ^ a b c - accessed March 27, 2012
  3. ^ March 7, 1939 entry on "Brainy History"
  4. ^ Cohen, Martin (December 1953). "Marion Marlowe" (PDF). Radio-TV Mirror. 41 (1): 27–29, 79–80. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  5. ^ Arthur Godfrey's shows
  6. ^ Arthur Godfrey on the St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture
  7. ^ "Sullivan signs dismissed Godfrey singer". The Kokomo Tribune. April 16, 1955. p. 17. Retrieved August 29, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ Everett, Arthur (April 16, 1955). "Godfrey Fires Six Vocalists". Altoona Tribune. p. 10. Retrieved August 29, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  9. ^ "The Billboard Music Popularity Charts", Billboard, August 6, 1955. p. 50. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  10. ^ Ewald, William (October 26, 1955). "Godfrey Fires Top Aide, Marion Marlowe's Hubby As Ax Hits Staff Again". Nevada State Journal. p. 1. Retrieved August 29, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  11. ^ Marion Marlowe to Wed Friday. New York Times, May 4, 1955. (subscription access required)
  12. ^ Time article on her marriage to Larry Puck, May 16, 1955
  13. ^ Marion Marlowe Gets Wish to Act on Stage. Los Angeles Times, December 25, 1959. (subscription access required)