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Mae Murray

Mae Murray

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Also Known As: Marie Adrienne Koening Died: March 23, 1965
Born: May 10, 1889 Cause of Death: complications from a stroke
Birth Place: Portsmouth, Virginia, USA Profession: actor, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Dazzling blonde star of the silent screen, a self-described "golden dragonfly" who made "Sunset Boulevard"'s Norma Desmond seem as normal as apple pie. Brought up by her grandmother, Murray was dancing before she was a teenager, and in her 20s appeared in the "Ziegfeld Follies" of 1908, 1909 and 1915. She also jumped on the ballroom dancing bandwagon of the times and made a name for herself as a minor-league Irene Castle. Paramount's Adolph Zukor discovered her in 1915 and whisked her off to Hollywood, where he tried to make her into a second Mary Pickford in films like "To Have and to Hold" (her first, 1915), Cecil B. DeMille's "The Dream Girl" (1916), and "Princess Virtue" (1917). Several of her films were directed by Robert Z Leonard, whom Murray married in 1918. In 1917, she and Leonard joined Universal, where they opened their own production unit, Bluebird.

Dazzling blonde star of the silent screen, a self-described "golden dragonfly" who made "Sunset Boulevard"'s Norma Desmond seem as normal as apple pie. Brought up by her grandmother, Murray was dancing before she was a teenager, and in her 20s appeared in the "Ziegfeld Follies" of 1908, 1909 and 1915. She also jumped on the ballroom dancing bandwagon of the times and made a name for herself as a minor-league Irene Castle. Paramount's Adolph Zukor discovered her in 1915 and whisked her off to Hollywood, where he tried to make her into a second Mary Pickford in films like "To Have and to Hold" (her first, 1915), Cecil B. DeMille's "The Dream Girl" (1916), and "Princess Virtue" (1917). Several of her films were directed by Robert Z Leonard, whom Murray married in 1918. In 1917, she and Leonard joined Universal, where they opened their own production unit, Bluebird.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bachelor Apartment (1931) Agatha Carraway
2.
 High Stakes (1931) Dolly Jordan Lennon
3.
 Peacock Alley (1930) Claire Tree
4.
 Altars of Desire (1927) Claire Sutherland
5.
 Valencia (1926) Valencia
6.
 The Merry Widow (1925) Sally O'Hara
7.
 The Masked Bride (1925) Gaby
8.
 Mademoiselle Midnight (1924) Renée de Quiros
9.
 Mademoiselle Midnight (1924) Renée de Gontran
10.
 Circe the Enchantress (1924) Circe, mythical goddess/Cecilie Brunne
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1908:
Appeared in "The Ziegfeld Follies"
1916:
Made film debut in "To Have and to Hold"
1922:
Signed with Metro (later MGM)
1927:
Walked out on MGM contract
1931:
Last film, "High Stakes"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"Mae Murray danced through life as it if were a dream world and she its faraway princess. A romantic, she behaved as if reality simply didn't exist, and then was wounded to the quick when no one understood her butterfly nature ... She was not an actress: she was a dancer with a tantalizing image that the camera captured in a quicksilver flash. On the screen she came vividly alive. Unfortunately, her bright stardust personality depended on youth ... In the end, she escaped from her tangled web of self-deceit and took refuge in another dream world, a fantasy land where she ruled and gave royal commands that must be obeyed on the instant." --DeWitt Bodeen in Films in Review, December 1975.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
William Schwenker. Broker. Briefly married in the early 1910s.
husband:
Jay O'Brien. Married for one day in 1917; she claimed he kidnapped her.
husband:
Robert Z Leonard. Director. Third husband, married 1918-24.
husband:
David Mdivani. Married 1927-30.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Self-Enchanted"

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