Marilyn Maxwell was a figure from Hollywood’s Golden Age that was often referred to as “the other Marilyn”. Marilyn Maxwell may not have risen to the same level of prominence as Marilyn Monroe. But she got around as much and died nearly as young and tragically. Although Marilyn married several times over the course of her life, it seems that her most prominent romance was actually an affair that she carried on with Bob Hope. Join Facts Verse as we explore why Marilyn Maxwell called Mrs. Bob Hope.
The Marvelous Marilyn Maxwell
Marilyn Maxwell was born on August 3, 1921. At the time of her birth, she named Marvel Maxwell, with Marilyn being her middle name. Marilyn’s father was a farmer, but her mother was a piano teacher who seemed to have grand aspirations for her daughter. The young girl pushed into dance practice at the age of only three. During her teenage years, Marilyn was able to begin a professional career working as a radio singer. From there, she signed with MGM in 1942, becoming one of the studio’s contract players.
It was the head of MGM who suggested to Marilyn that she trade in her first name of Marvel for her middle name of Marilyn. Or, perhaps more accurately, he demanded it. Marilyn began appearing in films for the studio. Also in the later 1940s, she found continued radio success and could heard performing alongside Bing Crosby on his program. Some of the pictures that Marilyn could seen in over the remainder of the 1940s include 1944’s Lost in a Harem.
Marilyn’s Disparate Hollywood Work
Other features that Marilyn Maxwell appeared in during her Hollywood career include 1951’s The Lemon Drop Kid and 1958’s Rock-A-Bye Baby. The prior feature was the film that brought the world the classic Christmas carol “Silver Bells”, while the latter feature saw Marilyn appear alongside legendary comedic performer Jerry Lewis. In The Lemon Drop Kid, “Silver Bells” can heard being performed by Marilyn and Bob Hope, who also her lover in real life.
Despite this handful of iconic film appearances, Marilyn Maxwell didn’t have a whole lot of luck on the big screen in comparison to some of her contemporaries, with the other Marilyn being one example. Marilyn Monroe had appeared in numerous classic films, while it seems that Marilyn Maxwell is best remembered for the roles that she played in real life. It is including the time she spent as a lover to the aforementioned Bob Hope. While Marilyn married several times over the course of her lifetime. It was her romance with comedian Bob Hope that the most prominent one she ever held.
Marilyn’s Work on Television
Besides Marilyn’s appearances on the big screen, she could also be seen sporadically on television over the course of her career. She made two separate appearances as a singer on The Jimmy Durante Show. Meanwhile, she appeared as a guest star on The Ford Show, which was the starring vehicle of singer Tennessee Ernie Ford, and performed as a supporting cast member on the ABC series Bus Stop.
Marilyn’s Personal Life
In Marilyn’s personal life, she had just as hard of a time making things stick as she did during her career. The actress was married three times over the course of her life, and none of those husbands were the aforementioned Bob Hope. Marilyn’s first husband was a man by the name of John Conte, who was a fellow star at MGM. The two married in New York City in 1944, but were divorced by 1946. Just a few years later, Marilyn Maxwell would try her hand at marriage yet again to even sadder results. Marilyn’s second husband was a restaurant owner by the name of Anders McIntyre. The two married in 1950, and the marriage so tumultuous that they divorced by 1951.
Marilyn Misses Her Parents’ Funerals
Perhaps the reason that Marilyn Maxwell couldn’t make her marriage to restaurateur Anders McIntyre work is because she was busy performing in USO shows with Bob Hope, whom she was also having an extramarital affair with. It was Marilyn’s constant USO touring that caused her to have to miss the funerals of her father and mother, who died in 1950 and 1951, respectively. Marilyn’s father passed away at his farm in 1950, while her mother followed suit a year later.
The Birth of Matthew
Marilyn Maxwell’s third and final marriage was to a writer and producer by the name of Jerry Davis, whom she married in 1954. Marilyn’s marriage to Jerry ended up being the most successful of her lifetime in more ways than one. Not only did the marriage yield the actress a son, but it also lasted for more than two years. Marilyn and Jerry welcomed son Mathew in 1956, and the two remained married until 1960.
Marilyn’s marriage to Jerry Davis was the most successful of the three that she had over the course of her lifetime and even yielded her a kid, but it was her aforementioned extramarital affair with Bob Hope that would go on to define the actress’ personal life. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
The Long-Standing Bob Hope Affair
While it’s certain that Marilyn Maxwell had a long-term affair going on with comedian Bob Hope during her lifetime, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the affair had begun and when it ended. The comedian kept Marilyn routinely employed over the course of much of her career, and one can surmise that anytime the two were working together, they were also sleeping together behind the scenes. Their work together had begun in the 1940s, and their most prominent work together was their aforementioned series of USO shows.
Marilyn’s affair with Bob Hope certainly overlapped with her marriage to second husband Anders McIntyre, and it also likely overlapped with her other two marriages. Marilyn and Bob’s romance became somewhat of an open secret in the entertainment industry. And Marilyn soon found herself being referred to as “Mrs. Bob Hope” behind her back.
The Frank Sinatra Connection
While Marilyn’s affair with Bob Hope was the most prominent of the actress’s affairs, it certainly wasn’t the only one. Perhaps in an effort to compete with the other Marilyn, Marilyn Maxwell found herself romantically involved with Frank Sinatra. This affair even briefly mentioned in the made-for-television feature Sinatra, which premiered in 1992. Following their affair, Marilyn and Frank remained good friends in the years leading up to her tragic death.
Marilyn Loved Being Rock Hudson’s Beard
Besides being incredibly close with entertainment luminaries Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Maxwell was also incredibly close with famed Golden Age actor Rock Hudson. In fact, Marilyn often willingly allowed herself to used as a beard by the actor in his continued efforts to convince the public that he wasn’t a homosexual. As with her aforementioned relationships with Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra, this relationship with Rock Hudson would last until the tragic end of Marilyn Maxwell’s short life.
Marilyn’s Close Friends Adored Her to the End
Although Marilyn Maxwell beloved by her close friends, there were many demons that plagued the actress over the course of her life. She had regretted being pushed into entertainment by her mother at an early age. It which is perhaps why she hadn’t gone out of her way to attend her parents’ funerals during the early part of the 1950s. When Marilyn did eventually go on to find a modicum of show-business success, it wasn’t enough for her and she was constantly feeling as if there wasn’t a place for her in the industry. Marilyn’s most prominent professional works came as a result of her personal relationships, with her being forever intrinsically tied to comedian Bob Hope.
Marilyn’s Battle with Alcoholism
As a result of the numerous personal struggles that Marilyn experienced over her relatively short lifetime, she found herself seeking escape through means of alcoholism early on. Marilyn developed a propensity for drinking at a young age, and this habit slowly worsened as a result of her numerous personal struggles over the course of the 1950s. By the 1960s, Marilyn Maxwell was a shell of her former self as a result of her years and years of alcohol abuse. When work began to dry up, Marilyn found solace in increased alcohol consumption, and her increased alcohol consumption only made the work dry up even more.
From Hollywood to the Strip Club
Marilyn Maxwell said to have reached her absolute lowest point in 1967. And when the former Hollywood star could allegedly found performing as a stripper in a burlesque show at a location in Queens, New York. Queens was certainly a long way from Hollywood, though Marilyn tried to keep her personal struggles as secret as possible from her closest friends. It remains uncertain how much Marilyn’s Hollywood peers knew about how far the actress had sunken, though Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby would all act as pallbearers at her funeral.
Marilyn’s Tragic 1972 Passing
It was in March of 1972 that Marilyn Maxwell found deceased. Her aforementioned son, who was 15 years old by that point, came home from school one day and found that the fallen star had passed away. Matthew quickly called the authorities, though it was far too late by the time that emergency services got to the house. Marilyn quickly pronounced dead, with the cause of death being an apparent heart attack. The actress had suffered heart issues during her later years, which exacerbated by her alcoholism.
Following Marilyn Maxwell’s tragic 1972 passing, all of the aforementioned entertainment luminaries readily jumped at the chance to act as pallbearers at her funeral. In addition, beloved friend Rock Hudson gave a memorable eulogy, and went on to take care of Marilyn’s son until his coming of age.
While Marilyn Maxwell didn’t get quite as much attention as the other Marilyn, she was still something special in her own right and arguably deserved more than she got during her 50 years of life. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Marilyn Maxwell had affairs with Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope during her life. And that she said to have worked as a stripper after her work dried up in Hollywood? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!