Tuesday, March 6, 2012

RIP Don Marion

Don Marion (October 9, 1917 - March 2, 2012)

From the early years of silent films there have come a colorful assortment of children actors who brightened the screen for young audiences one decade after another. During the silent film era of the 1920s there was a handful of child stars who brightened the screen and one of the most popular child stars of that decade was the actor Don Marion who passed away at age 94 in his birthplace of Hollywood. Born in Tinsel Town near the end of World War One he entered films while a baby at the age of 2 under the name "John Henry Jr." in the short film Cupid's Day Off. He would appear in 21 films under the name John Henry Jr. until 1925 when he began going by his given name. During the 1920s he was considered one of the periods most popular child stars next to Mickey Rooney and the many Our Gang actors.

With the arrival of the 1930s Marion made a humble transition to sound films took six years away from film to further complete his educational endeavors at Hollywood High School from which he graduated in 1935. At 19 he returned to films in It's All Yours (1937) but due to his screen absence for so long decent roles were difficult to find and for the remainder of his career the former silent child star was demoted to mundane roles and appeared in such films as Expensive Husbands (1938), The Cowboy and The Lady (1938), The Big Broadcast of 1938, Passport Husband (1938) and, in his final role, She Knew All The Answers (1941). After his leave for films he began appearing in uncredited speaking parts on radio in such programs as The Lux Radio Theatre, Screen Guild Theatre, Ellery Queen, Suspense!, Linda's First Love, and The Hallmark Playhouse. He made his last radio appearance in 1953 and officially completed 34 year career in acting. A devout Methodist he served faithfully as the lay leader at his church for several years. He was also an avid gardener and loved to play the French horn. In 1939 he married a homemaker type named Gladys Cape and were happily married until her death in 1991. He fathered two sons and a daughter. He died at his home in Hollywood with his family by his side at age 94. In keeping with his wishes, he will be interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Wednesday, March 7 in a private family only ceremony.

MARION, Don (Don Marion Davis)
Born: 10/9/1917, Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
Died: 3/2/2012, Hollywood, California, U.S.A.

Don Marion's westerns - actor:
The Golden Princess - 1925 (Tennessee Hunter)
Frontier Town - 1938 (Bob Hawthorne)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the information. I've changed the photo to the John Henry Jr.