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As we head into Halloween and ideas for costumes begin to formulate, it seemed fitting to post about the consummate Old Hollywood costume party thrower Marion Davies.  This silver screen actress and lover to publishing giant William Randolph Hearst threw nearly 100 lavish costume parties that were attended by the toast of celebrity and publishing figures of the time.

To get the full effect of how big these parties were, check out this archival CBS film clip of Davies’ ‘Circus’ party  – some photos from that party are below.


Marion Davies on Merry-Go-Round at “Circus” party in 1937 (Photo: Bison Archives/Marc Wanamaker

L-to-R: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Director Mervyn Le Roy and William Randolph Hearst (Photo: Bison Archives/Marc Wanamaker

L-to-R: actress Eileen Percy, actress Kay English, costume designer Gilbert Adrian, director Richard Boleslawski, business magnate Howard Hughes, Marion Davies and studio excec Jack Warner (Photo: Bison Archives/Marc Wanamaker

L-to-R: actresses Gloria Swanson, Marion Davies, Constance Bennett and Jean Harlow (Photo: Bison Archives/Marc Wanamaker

actress Joan Crawford and then actor husband Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (Photo: Bison Archives/Marc Wanamaker

William Randolph Hearst with actress  Barbara Stanwyck (Photo: Bison Archives/Marc Wanamaker

actress Norma Shearer and producer husband Irving Thalberg

actor Charlie Chaplin (Photo: Wikepedia)

I became aware of the history of this actress via a film project I was involved with my friends Kimberly Truhler of GlamAmor, Sinclaire Chase of Beverly Hills Bohemian and her husband Leandro Fornasir of Cheap Plastic Goodness. If you’d like to know more about Marion Davies and her estate, which is now the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica, be sure to watch the film below.

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