Thursday, August 17, 2017

Maryon Aye's Story

Maryon Aye (sometimes credited as Marion Aye) was a promising star during the 1920s but her life ended in tragedy. She was born Maryon Eloise Aye on April 5, 1903 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father, James Aye Sr, was a wealthy attorney and her mother, Eloise, was a housewife. She had a younger brother named James. The family lived at 148 Gale Avenue in River Forest, Ilinois. They moved to Los Angeles, California in 1911. Maryon was discovered by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle who helped her get a contract at Balboa Studios. She made several films with comedian Frank Kingsley. One month before her fifteenth birthday, on March 11, 1918, she eloped with Sherman William Plaskett. She lied on her marriage license and said she was eighteen. Sherman was a twenty-five year old cameraman and member of the Army's Signal Corps.

Maryon and Sherman's marriage license                                                                                                          

Sadly he passed away just seven months after the wedding from Spanish Influenza. In 1919 Maryon met Hollywood producer Mack Sennett and became one of his bathing beauties, She appeared in some of Sennett's comedies and toured the country making personal appearances with the other bathing beauties. Maryon moved to New York City and was briefly engaged to a wealthy banker. She was offered a job singing and dancing in Bothwell Browne's Revue. On January 23, 1920 she married Harry D. Wilson, the manager of the revue. Harry started working for First National Pictures and became a successful press agent. Maryon was offered a long term movie contract in 1921. She became the first actress to sign a contract with a morality clause in it.

Maryon costarred with Larry Semon in The Hick and made a series of Westerns with Bob Reeves. She filed for divorce from Harry in August of 1924. Maryon claimed he had deserted her and the judge granted her spousal support of $50 dollars a week. After their divorce she began dating Bryant Washburn, her costar in The Meanest Man In The World. When she wasn't making movies Maryon performed in vaudeville with a jazz band. She also starred in a song and dance revue with Leo White. Maryon was becoming a popular actress and was offered a new five year contract with Truart Pictures. She starred in the comedy The Last Man On Earth and had a supporting role in the drama The Eternal Three. Unfortunately she wasn't given any other good parts and her movie career stalled.

In 1926 she had a supporting role the comedy Irene with Colleen Moore. Maryon continued to work in the theater and on the radio. She went to San Francisco in 1929 to star in the play Flat Tire. After one performance the entire cast were arrested for putting on an "indecent show". She had a small part in the 1930 comedy Up The River. This would be her final film. In 1931 Maryon returned to the stage appearing in the play Bad Girl. The following year she got rave reviews when she starred in The Married Virgin at The Moulin Rouge in Oakland, California.  Unfortunately Maryon suffered from depression and in 1935 she attempted suicide. She married actor Ross Wilson Forrester on September 22, 1936.

The couple worked together on several radio shows. Maryon and Ross moved in with her parents in Burbank. They never had children. Ross quit show business and began working as an aircraft inspector. In February of 1951 her beloved mother Eloise died. Maryon wanted to make a comeback so she auditioned for a role on television. When she didn't get the part she became very depressed. On July 10, 1951 Maryon and her husband checked into a motel in Culver City. That evening she swallowed a large amount of bi-chloride of mercury and collapsed. Eleven days later, on July 21, she died at the age of forty-eight. She was buried next to her mother at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California. Maryon Aye was a beautiful and talented performer who sadly never found the success or happiness she wanted.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Maryon's Death & Final Resting Place

As Maryon grew older she began suffering from severe depression. In 1935 she attempted suicide by swallowing poison. She recovered but often talked about taking her own life. Maryon and her husband Ross lived with her parents at 1818 S. 2nd Street in Alhambra, California. Sadly in February of 1951 her beloved mother Eloise Aye died. Maryon had numerous health problems but she dreamed of acting again. She became despondent when she did not get a television role she auditioned for. On July 10,1951 Maryon, her husband Ross, and their dog went house hunting. That evening they checked into a Culver City motel. Maryon was very depressed and swallowed a handful of bi-chloride of mercury tablets. Her last words to her husband were "I dropped one of the tablets on the floor and I'm afraid the dog will get it". She collapsed and was taken in an ambulance to LA's General Hospital. Maryon spent eleven days unconscious in the hospital and passed away on July 21. She was only forty-eight years old.

The official cause of her death was suicide. Her father, James Aye, told police that she was suffering from uremic poisoning. Maryon's husband Ross said that she had a "chronic illness" but that he never took her threats of suicide seriously. In an interview Maryon had said "Friends console me by talking about what I used to be but I'm sick of living in the past." Maryon was buried next to her mother Eloise at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. The epitaph on her headstone says "Maryon Eloise Aye Our Beloved Daughter". Her grave is located in the Tranquility section. Many other stars are buried at Forest Lawn including Elizabeth Taylor, Carole Landis, and Jean Harlow. Maryon's father James H. Aye died on January 12, 1961 at the age of 80. He was buried at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills. Her widower Ross Forrester died on December 22, 1964 at the age of 66.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

1935 Interview About Suicide

In May of 1935 thirty-two year old Maryon attempted suicide by swallowing poison. At the time she was unemployed and was living with her parents at 6370 Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles. She was deeply depressed about her failed movie career and the death of her second husband Harry Wilson. A few days after her suicide attempt Maryon gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times. She said "Friends console me by talking about what I used to be but I'm sick of living in the past."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bathing Beauty Pin-Ups

Maryon became one Hollywood's legendary bathing beauties when she was just sixteen years old. Producer Mack Sennett said he was intrigued by her "personal charm and individuality". Maryon posed for countless pin-up pictures and appeared in the Mack Sennett comedies Hearts and Roses and Yankee Doodle In Berlin. In the Summer of 1919 Maryon went on a tour across the country to promote Yankee Doodle In Berlin. She and the other bathing beauties made personal appearances at movie theaters where they sang, danced, and posed for photos.

Maryon is on the right

                                                                       Phylis Haver (left) and  Maryon (in the middle) 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Would I Marry An Actor? Written By Maryon

Maryon wrote this article for Motion Picture magazine in 1926 ....

Maryon & The Regulars

Maryon was part of a group of young actresses who called themselves The Regulars. The group met once a week and said their goal was to bring "cultural benefit and uplift". They gave parties for orphaned children and donated clothes to charity. Maryon was the group's unofficial cook. In 1923 there were more than a dozen members including Mary Philbin, Marion Nixon, Priscilla Bonner, Dorothy Devore, and Pauline Garon. Maryon and Pauline Garon became close friends. After Maryon's death her husband, Ross Forrester, married Pauline.

Maryon's Radio Shows

During the 1930s Maryon appeared in numerous Lux radio broadcasts. Her husband, Ross Forrester, worked on many of these shows with her. You can listen to some of Maryon's radio shows here ...

March 19, 1939 ~ It Happened One Night starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, and Maryon (telephone operator)

February 6, 1939 ~ The Count Of Monte Cristo starring Robert Montgomery, Lewis Stone, Josephine Hutchinson, Lloyd Nolan, Ross Forrester, and Maryon

September 7, 1936 ~ Is Zat So starring James Cagney, Robert Armstrong, Boots Mallory, Ross Forrester (commercial spokesman), and Maryon