Marie was born in Kentucky, the daughter of a former Ziegfeld Girl and granddaughter of opera singer. At the age of 15, Marie became a Powers model and dropped out of school so she could enter beauty pageants, winning the title of “Miss Yonkers” and “The Queen of Coney Island” on the way to becoming “Miss New York” in 1939. Soon after, she moved to Hollywood and became a singer with Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra, but could only land movie roles in the chorus line or small one line parts. Lacking the talent to really make it in Hollywood, she sought attention through scandal. She eventually turned to drinking and drugs, and suffered from several nervous breakdowns. Never able to find the notoriety that she longed for, she ended her life at the age of 42 with an overdose of pills.
Marie McDonald Gallery