Marian Nixon

Active - 1923 - 1938  |   Born - Oct 20, 1904   |   Died - Feb 13, 1983   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Western, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A vaudeville chorus dancer in her early teens, actress Marian Nixon entered films in 1922. Two years later, she was chosen by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers as a WAMPAS Baby Star, along with such other hopefuls as Clara Bow and Dorothy Mackaill. After serving an apprenticeship as a Western ingénue, she was given leading-lady assignments opposite such popular male stars as Raymond Griffith, Reginald Denny, John Barrymore, Richard Barthelmess, and Al Jolson. She made a successful transition to talkies, but her peaches-and-cream screen image -- exemplified by her appearance as the title character in 1932's Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm -- was growing out of fashion. In 1934, she tried in vain to change her image with a Grace Allen-type scatterbrain role in We're Rich Again. While the film wasn't a howling success, in one respect it turned out to be beneficial to Nixon: She married the film's director, William Seiter, a union that lasted until Seiter's death in 1964 (it was her third marriage, his second). In 1974, the long-retired Marian Nixon married actor/producer Ben Lyon, the widower of actress Bebe Daniels.

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