Marion Cecilia Davies (born Marion Cecilia Elizabeth Brooklyn Douras; January 3, 1897 – September 22, 1961) was an American film actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. Davies appeared in several Broadway musicals and one film, Runaway Romany (1917), and then became the mistress of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. He then took over management of her career. Hearst financed Davies' pictures and promoted her heavily through his newspapers and Hearst Newsreels. He founded Cosmopolitan Pictures to produce her films. Hearst preferred to see her in historical dramas, but her real talent was in comedy. Today Davies is remembered mainly as Hearst's mistress until his death, and as the hostess of many lavish events for the Hollywood elite. In particular, her name is linked with the 1924 scandal aboard Hearst's yacht when one of his guests, film producer Thomas Ince, died. In the film Citizen Kane (1941), the title character's second wife—an untalented singer whom he tries to promote—was widely assumed to be based on Davies. But many commentators, including Citizen Kane writer/director Orson Welles himself, have defended Davies' record as a gifted actress, to whom Hearst's patronage did more harm than good. She retired from the screen in 1937, choosing to devote herself to Hearst and charitable work.
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