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Corinne Mae Griffith
(1894-11-21)November 21, 1894
Texarkana, Texas, U.S.
|Died||July 13, 1979(1979-07-13) (aged 84)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Education||Sacred Heart Convent|
|Occupation||Actress, producer, author|
|Spouse(s)||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, 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
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.
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. 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"), and the film was a box office flop. 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.
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).
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 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.
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. In 1974, Adele Whitely Fletcher, editor of Photoplay, said Griffith was still claiming that she was her own younger sister.
|1916||Bitter Sweet||Ruth Slatter - John's Wife||short|
|1916||When Hubby Forgot||The Maid||short|
|1916||Sin's Penalty||Lola Wilson||short|
|1916||The Cost of High Living||Jack's Sister||short|
|1916||The Rich Idler||Marion- Mary's Friend||short|
|1916||The Waters of Lethe||Joyce Denton||short|
|1916||The Yellow Girl||Corinne||short|
|1916||A Fool and His Friend||short|
|1916||Through the Wall||Pussy Wimott|
|1916||The Last Man||Lorna|
|1916||His Wife's Allowance||short|
|1917||The Mystery of Lake Lethe||short|
|1917||The Stolen Treaty||Irene Mitchell|
|1917||The Love Doctor||Blanche Hildreth|
|1917||I Will Repay||Virginia Rodney|
|1917||Who Goes There?||Karen Girard|
|1918||The Menace||Virginia Denton|
|1918||Love Watches||Jacqueline Cartaret|
|1918||The Clutch of Circumstance||Ruth Lawson|
|1918||The Girl of Today||Leslie Selden|
|1919||The Adventure Shop||Phyllis Blake|
|1919||The Girl Problem||Erminie Foster|
|1919||The Unknown Quantity||Mary Boyne|
|1919||Thin Ice||Alice Winton|
|1919||A Girl at Bay||Mary Allen|
|1919||The Bramble Bush||Kaly Dial|
|1919||The Climbers||Blanche Sterling|
|1920||The Tower of Jewels||Emily Cottrell|
|1920||Human Collateral||Patricia Langdon|
|1920||Deadline at Eleven||Helen Stevens|
|1920||The Garter Girl||Rosalie Ray|
|1920||Babs||Barbara Marvin; "Babs"|
|1920||The Whisper Market||Erminie North|
|1920||The Broadway Bubble||Adrienne Landreth/Drina Lynn|
|1921||It Isn't Being Done This Season||Marcia Ventnor|
|1921||What's Your Reputation Worth?||Cara Deene|
|1921||Moral Fibre||Marion Wolcott|
|1921||The Single Track||Janette Gildersleeve|
|1922||A Virgin's Sacrifice|
|1922||Island Wives||Elsa Melton|
|1922||Divorce Coupons||Linda Catherton|
|1922||The Common Law||Valerie West|
|1923||Black Oxen||Madame Zatianny/Mary Ogden|
|1923||Six Days||Laline Kingston|
|1924||Single Wives||Betty Jordan||Executive producer|
|1924||Love's Wilderness||Linda Lou Heath||Executive producer|
|1924||Lilies of the Field||Mildred Harker||Executive producer|
|1925||Declassee||Lady Helen Haden||Producer|
|1925||Infatuation||Violet Bancroft||Executive producer
|1925||The Marriage Whirl||Marian Hale||Executive producer
|1926||Mademoiselle Modiste||Fifi||Executive producer
|1926||Into Her Kingdom||Grand Duchess Tatiana (at 12 and 20)||Executive producer
|1926||Syncopating Sue||Susan Adams||Executive producer
|1927||The Lady in Ermine||Mariana Beltrami||Executive producer
|1927||Three Hours||Madeline Durkin||Executive producer|
|1928||The Garden of Eden||Toni LeBrun|
|1929||Saturday's Children||Bobby Halevy|
|1929||The Divine Lady||Lady Emma Hart Hamilton|
|1930||Lilies of the Field||Mildred Harker||Lost film|
|1930||Back Pay||Hester Bevins|
|1932||Lily Christine||Lily Christine Summerset||Survival Status Unknown|
|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
- Porter, Darwin (2005). Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel. Blood Moon Productions, Ltd. p. 301. ISBN 0-9748118-1-5.
- Who's Who in America. Marquis-Who's Who. 1954. p. 1427.
- 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.
- Barrios, Richard (1995). A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film. Oxford University Press US. p. 317. ISBN 0-19-508811-5.
- 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.
- Richman, Michael (2007). The Redskins Encyclopedia. Temple University Press. p. 15. ISBN 1-59213-542-0.
- Pylant, James (2014). Texas Gothic: Fame, Crime and Crazy Water. Stephenville, TX: Jacobus Books. p. 207.
- Higham, Charles (2004). Murder in Hollywood: Solving a Silent Screen Mystery. Madison, WI: Terrace Books. p. 14.
- 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, Ancestry.com.
- Charleston Daily Mail, "Star Gazing at Corinne Griffith", August 25, 1929, p. 21.
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