MARIE MCDONALD BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Marie McDonald was born on July 6th, 1923 in Burgin, Kentucky with the birth name Cora Marie Frye. Her mother was a Ziegfeld girl and her father was employed as a prison warden. At the age of six her parents divorced and she moved with her mother and her step-father to New York. While studying at Roosevelt High School she developed an interest in music and excelled as a piano player.
After quitting high school, she was offered a scholarship to further her studies at Columbia University in journalism, however, McDonald chose to pursue a career first as a model entering a number of beauty contests and then beginning to act as a stage actress in such plays as, "George White's Scandals" (1939).
McDonald then relocated to Los Angeles and while auditioning for movie roles she found work as a chorus dancer. She then began singing on the radio with, Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra. Soon she was signed to a contract with universal and began getting cast in small parts such as on the films, "It Started with Eve" (1941), "You're Telling Me" (1942) and "Pardon My Sarong" (1942) starring Abbott and Costello.
Although she had exquisite beauty her acting talents were not as extraordinary, however she did manage to get cast in a couple more substantial films such as, "Guest in the House" (1944), "Living in a Big Way" (1947) and "Tell It to the Judge" (1949).
Her career was not really heading in the direction she had hoped for an neither was her personal life. She had seven failed marriages and often had the media attention on her for all the wrong reasons. She turned to drugs and alcohol and suffered a number of nervous breakdowns and issues with the law.
She did however, use her beauty to her advantage and during World War II she was a favorite pinup girl and posed for a number of magazines. She also continued to share of singing talents recording an LP for RCA Victor in 1957 and also toured with a night club act.
Some of her latest roles were on the films, "Once a Thief" (1950), "Hit Parade of 1951" (1950), "The Geisha Boy" (1958) and "Promises! Promises!" (1963). At the age of forty two she decided to take her own life and over dosed on pills passing away on October 21st, 1965 in Calabasas, California.
Marie McDonald's remains were interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Her three children were raised by her ex husband Harry Karl and his wife Debbie Reynolds.
Her other seven failed marriages were to, Richard Allord from 1940 through 1941 before his marriage was annulled, she then married Victor M. Orsatti from 1943 through 1947. Her third husband was Harry Karl whom she married and divorced twice and had three children with. She then married Louis Bass in 1959 through 1960. Her fifth husband was Edward F. Callahan in 1962 and another marriage was annulled in 1963. Her final husband was Donald F. Taylor whom she wed in 1963 and they were together until she took her own life. Three months after she passed away, her surviving sixth husband, Taylor took his own life.
1963 Promises! Promises!
1959 The Red Skelton Hour
1958 The Geisha Boy
1954 The Danny Thomas Show
1950 Hit Parade of 1951
1950 All Star Revue
1950 Once a Thief
1949 Tell It to the Judge
1947 Living in a Big Way
1945 Getting Gertie's Garter
1945 It's a Pleasure
1944 Guest in the House
1944 Our Hearts Were Young and Gay
1944 I Love a Soldier
1944 Standing Room Only
1943 Caribbean Romance
1943 Riding High
1943 A Scream in the Dark
1942 Lucky Jordan
1942 Pardon My Sarong
1942 Trumpet Serenade
1942 You're Telling Me
1941 It Started with Eve