She was the inspiration for perhaps the most famously kept woman in film history. She was — despite what you may have heard — an amazingly talented actress/comedienne as well.

Marion Davies, as mentioned, has been the subject of one of our previous Monday Quizzes. But we were so inspired by her very personal memoir — 1975’s The Times We Had: Life With William Randolph Hearst —  that we’ve returned to Davies territory. She lived a lot, saw a lot and recalled it vividly.

So here we go with the answers to our latest Monday Quiz.  To review the questions, just scroll down to the blog below.

1) Answer:  a) and c).  Marion Davies was the one with the pronounced stutter generating understandable nervousness about the coming of talking pictures.  She soldiered on and did just fine, thank you.  Charlie Chaplin regarded himself as a pantomimist who flourished best in silent movies.

2) Answer:  Hearst won the wager he made with Chaplin, who declared that he was against the whole idea of talking pictures. And talkies won’t last a year, he added. Hearst begged to differ, and backed up his stand with $100.

3) Answer:  b) False. Davies much admired Clark Gable (pictured with her above) and pushed to have him as her costar in 1932’s Polly of the Circus and perhaps most memorably in 1936’s Cain and Mabel.

4) Answer: b) His wife. She was described by Marion as “forty and rather fat” in contrast to her younger husband with a playful nature, the dashing British-born Leslie Howard. Leslie was like a naughty boy and his wife (Ruth) would yell at him…she treated him like a child.

5) Answer:  c) Howard Hughes, like Marion herself, was “addicted” to ice cream.  She could consume more than he, she claimed.

6) Answer:  a) and b).  Marion was really impressed by how shy and reserved Greta Garbo was at the few social functions she attended with Davies.  Also, she was under the impression that Garbo was NOT in love with costar John Gilbert despite their steamy onscreen lovemaking.

7) Answer:  b) Playwright George Bernard Shaw made quite a splash when he visited the set of Marion’s movie (Peg o’ My Heart). Hollywood has always catered to outside cultural figures who would occasionally visit.  Not surprising Shaw regarded what he saw with scathing wit.  Thus the crack about “they are all stupid.”

8) Answer:  Marion enjoyed the company of Gloria Swanson at the huge San Simeon spread in northern California she shared with Hearst because Swanson had a playful personality with a bit of a mean streak.  For example, Gloria loved to orchestrate games in which men with mustaches would be blindfolded, and find themselves dipping their noses into bowls of molasses (don’t ask!). We both loved it, but some of the men didn’t like it, remembered Marion.

9) Answer:  b) False.  Davies, backed by Hearst, got along well with studio heads, particularly Louis B. Mayer and Jack Warner.

10) Answer:  b) False.  Davies admired Gable, Gary Cooper, Robert Montgomery and Bing Crosby because they were NOT scene-stealers.

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