Corinne Griffith

Corinne Griffith
Corinne Mae Griffin

(1894-11-21)November 21, 1894
Died July 13, 1979(1979-07-13) (aged 84)
Nationality American
Education Sacred Heart Convent
Occupation Actress, producer, author
Years active 1916–1932
Webster Campbell
( m. 1920; div. 1923)

Walter Morosco
( m. 1924; div. 1934)

George Preston Marshall
( m. 1936; div. 1958)

Danny Scholl
( m. 1965; div. 1965)

Corinne Mae Griffith (November 21, 1894 – July 13, 1979) was an American film actress, producer and author. Dubbed The Orchid Lady of the Screen,[1] she was one of the most popular film actresses of the 1920s and widely considered the most beautiful actress of the silent screen. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Divine Lady.

Shortly after the advent of sound film, Griffith retired from acting and became a successful author and businesswoman. A biographical film about her life was released in 1963 titled Papa's Delicate Condition, based on her memoir and focusing on the relationship between her and her father.

Early life and career

An early starring feature, The Climbers.

Griffith was born in Texarkana, Texas to John Lewis Griffin and Ambolina (Ambolyn) Ghio. She attended Sacred Heart Convent school in New Orleans and worked as a dancer before she began her acting career.[2]

Griffith began her screen career at the Vitagraph Studios in 1916. She later moved to First National, where she became one of their most popular stars.[3] In 1928, she had the starring role in The Garden of Eden. The next year, in 1929, Griffith received an Academy Award nomination for her role in The Divine Lady.

Griffith's first sound film, Lilies of the Field, was released in 1930. Griffith's voice did not record well (The New York Times stated that she "talked through her nose"),[1] and the film was a box office flop.[4] After appearing in one more Hollywood picture, Back Pay in 1930, and a British film Lily Christine in 1932, she retired from acting. She returned to the screen in 1962 in the low-budget melodrama Paradise Alley, which received scant release.

Later career

Griffith was one of the few film stars to move successfully into new careers once her stardom had ended. She was an accomplished writer who published eleven books including two best sellers, My Life with the Redskins and the memoir Papa's Delicate Condition, which was made into a 1963 film starring Jackie Gleason about the Ghio and Griffin family. Her actual family names were used in the film.

Her ventures into real estate were particularly successful (at one point she owned four different major office buildings in Los Angeles, each of them named after her).

Personal life

Griffith was a member of the Christian Science religion.[5]

While married to Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall, she introduced NFL Commissioner Bert Bell to his future wife. She also introduced Curly Lambeau to his second and third wives. All were old friends from her film career.

She was a California Republican Committee Woman and an early advocate for the career of Richard Nixon. She was also an old friend of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

She was the long time consort to Curly Lambeau, who recommended various methods for operating a pro football team. Lambeau recommended Sammy Baugh as quarterback and the T formation. She later arranged for her husband to hire Lambeau as coach.


Griffith was married four times and produced no children but adopted two girls, Pamela and Cynthia. She was married to actor and frequent co-star Webster Campbell from 1920 to 1923, producer Walter Morosco from 1924 to 1934, and George Preston Marshall from 1936 to 1958. During her marriage to Marshall, she composed the lyrics to the Redskins fight song "Hail to the Redskins" which became one of the most famous football anthems.[6]

In 1965, she married and divorced her fourth husband, Broadway actor Danny Scholl (Call Me Mister). Scholl was 45, more than 25 years Griffith's junior. In court she testified that she was not Corinne Griffith. She claimed that she was the actress's younger (by twenty years) sister who had taken her place upon the famous sister's death. Contradictory testimony by actresses Betty Blythe and Claire Windsor, who had both known her since the 1920s, did not shake her story.[7][8] In 1974, Adele Whitely Fletcher, editor of Photoplay, said Griffith was still claiming that she was her own younger sister.


On July 13, 1979, Griffith died of heart failure in Santa Monica, California, aged 84.[5]


For her contributions to the motion picture industry, Griffith has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.[9]

Tom Tryon wrote a novella, Fedora, based on Griffith's claim that she had taken the place of the real actress.[5]


The Girl Problem (1919)
Year Title Role Notes
1916 La Paloma Stella Short
Lost film
Bitter Sweet Ruth Slatter - John's Wife Short
Lost film
When Hubby Forgot The Maid Short
Lost film
Sin's Penalty Lola Wilson Short
Lost film
Miss Adventure Gloria Short
Lost film
The Cost of High Living Jack's Sister Short
The Rich Idler Marion- Mary's Friend Short
Lost film
Ashes The Nurse Short
Lost film
The Waters of Lethe Joyce Denton Short
Lost film
The Yellow Girl Corinne Short
A Fool and His Friend Short
Lost film
Through the Wall Pussy Wimott Lost film
The Last Man Lorna Lost film
His Wife's Allowance Short
Lost film
1917 The Mystery of Lake Lethe Short
Lost film
The Stolen Treaty Irene Mitchell Lost film
Transgression Marion Hayward Lost film
The Love Doctor Blanche Hildreth Lost film
I Will Repay Virginia Rodney Lost film
Who Goes There? Karen Girard Lost film
1918 The Menace Virginia Denton Lost film
Love Watches Jacqueline Cartaret Lost film
The Clutch of Circumstance Ruth Lawson Lost film
The Girl of Today Leslie Selden Lost film
Miss Ambition Marta Lost film
1919 The Adventure Shop Phyllis Blake Lost film
The Girl Problem Erminie Foster Lost film
The Unknown Quantity Mary Boyne Lost film
Thin Ice Alice Winton
A Girl at Bay Mary Allen Lost film
The Bramble Bush Kaly Dial Lost film
The Climbers Blanche Sterling
1920 The Tower of Jewels Emily Cottrell Lost film
Human Collateral Patricia Langdon Lost film
Deadline at Eleven Helen Stevens Lost film
The Garter Girl Rosalie Ray Lost film
Babs Barbara Marvin; "Babs" Lost film
The Whisper Market Erminie North Lost film
The Broadway Bubble Adrienne Landreth/Drina Lynn Lost film
1921 It Isn't Being Done This Season Marcia Ventnor Lost film
What's Your Reputation Worth? Cara Deene Lost film
Moral Fibre Marion Wolcott Lost film
The Single Track Janette Gildersleeve Lost film
1922 Received Payment Lost film
A Virgin's Sacrifice Lost film
Island Wives Elsa Melton Lost film
Divorce Coupons Linda Catherton Lost film
The Common Law Valerie West Lost film
1923 Black Oxen Madame Zatianny/Mary Ogden
Six Days Laline Kingston
1924 Single Wives Betty Jordan Executive producer
Love's Wilderness Linda Lou Heath Executive producer
Lilies of the Field Mildred Harker Executive producer
Lost film
1925 Declassee Lady Helen Haden Producer
Classified Babs Comet Producer
Infatuation Violet Bancroft Executive producer
Lost film
The Marriage Whirl Marian Hale Executive producer
Lost film
1926 Mademoiselle Modiste Fifi Executive producer
Lost film
Into Her Kingdom Grand Duchess Tatiana (at 12 and 20) Executive producer
Lost film
Syncopating Sue Susan Adams Executive producer
Lost film
1927 The Lady in Ermine Mariana Beltrami Executive producer
Lost film
Three Hours Madeline Durkin Executive producer
1928 The Garden of Eden Toni LeBrun
Outcast Miriam
1929 Saturday's Children Bobby Halevy Lost film
Prisoners Riza Riga Lost film
The Divine Lady Lady Emma Hart Hamilton
1930 Lilies of the Field Mildred Harker Lost film
Back Pay Hester Bevins
1932 Lily Christine Lily Christine Summerset
1962 Paradise Alley Mrs. Wilson Alternative title: Stars in the Backyard

Books by Corinne Griffith

  • 1947 My Life with the Redskins – history of the Washington Redskins football team, owned by her husband, George Marshall
  • 1952 Papa's Delicate Condition – memoir of her childhood
  • 1955 Eggs I Have Known – collection of recipes
  • 1961 Antiques I Have Known – book about her interest in antiques
  • 1962 Taxation Without Representation – Griffith's argument against taxes.
  • 1963 I Can't Boil Water – collection of recipes she obtained from famous restaurants
  • 1963 Hollywood Stories – collection of short fiction written by Griffith
  • 1964 Truth is Stranger – collection of true stories and anecdotes told by Griffith that struck her as stranger than any fiction
  • 1969 Not For Men Only – But Almost – a book on sports and its lack of appeal for most women
  • 1972 This You Won't Believe – another collection similar to "Truth is Stranger"
  • 1974 I'm Lucky at Cards – a book of various essays by Griffith


See also



  1. ^ a b Porter, Darwin (2005). Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel. Blood Moon Productions, Ltd. pp. 301. ISBN 0-9748118-1-5.
  2. ^ Who's Who in America. Marquis-Who's Who. 1954. p. 1427.
  3. ^ Lowe, Denise (2004). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American Films, 1895–1930: 1895–1930. Haworth Press. p. 258. ISBN 0-7890-1843-8.
  4. ^ Barrios, Richard (1995). A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film. Oxford University Press US. pp. 317. ISBN 0-19-508811-5.
  5. ^ a b c Slide, Anthony (2002). Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. University Press of Kentucky. p. 169. ISBN 0-8131-2249-X.
  6. ^ Richman, Michael (2007). The Redskins Encyclopedia. Temple University Press. p. 15. ISBN 1-59213-542-0.
  7. ^ Pylant, James (2014). Texas Gothic: Fame, Crime and Crazy Water. Stephenville, TX: Jacobus Books. p. 207.
  8. ^ Higham, Charles (2004). Murder in Hollywood: Solving a Silent Screen Mystery. Madison, WI: Terrace Books. p. 14.
  9. ^ Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved January 19, 2017


  • Dallas Morning News, "Griffin-Ghio: Notable Social Event at Texarkana Presents Numerous and Costly.", July 8, 1887.
  • Dallas Morning News, "Texarkana Girl Joins Movies: Miss Corinne Griffin Becomes Prominent in Picture While in California.", November 20, 1915.
  • 1900 United States Federal Census, Waco Ward 4, McLennan, Texas, June 7, 1900, Enumeration District 78, Sheet 18A.
  • 1910 United States Federal Census, Texarkana Ward 1, Bowie, Texas, April 30, 1910, Enumeration District 4, Sheet 2B.
  • California Death Index 1940–1997,
  • Charleston Daily Mail, "Star Gazing at Corinne Griffith", August 25, 1929, p. 21.

External links