Marie McDonald

Active - 1941 - 1963  |   Born - Jul 6, 1923   |   Died - Oct 21, 1965   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Drama, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Curvaceous model Marie McDonald entered films in 1942, floundering in bit roles until a savvy press agent found an appropriate "tag" for her. Promoted as Marie "The Body" McDonald, she appeared in a number of decorative movie and TV roles that made few demands on her histrionic talents but emphasized her physical attributes to the Nth degree. Unlike such sex symbols as Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, who managed to temper their overt eroticism with a touch of little-girl vulnerability, McDonald always seemed a bit hard and calculating on screen. Perhaps this is why we all laughed unashamedly when McDonald, cast as a Monroe-like starlet in The Geisha Boy (1958), was publicly humiliated by bumbling Jerry Lewis. When her film career dried up, McDonald began to indulge in some rather desperate publicity stunts; at one point, she ripped a page from the repertoire of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, claiming that she'd been kidnapped and bundled off to the desert. Even when her unorthodox behavior didn't make the headlines, McDonald could count upon her seven marriages to keep her name in print. Marie McDonald died of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 42.

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