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Marshal in House on Haunted Hill (1959)
|Died||9 July 1961 (aged 52)|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Grace Borel (1938–1948) (divorced)|
Alan Marshal (29 January 1909 – 9 July 1961) was an actor who performed on stage in the United States and in Hollywood films. He was sometimes billed as Alan Marshall or Alan Willey.
Born Alan M Willey in Sydney, Australia, he was the son of popular Queensland stage actress Irby (Agnes) Marshal and English actor-producer Leonard Willey. The family left Australia in mid 1914, when he was five years old.
Irby and Leonard continued their successful careers on the stage in the United States, first in San Francisco then in New York.
Early acting career
As "Alan Marshal", he had roles on Broadway in Foolscap (1933), Going Gay (1934), While Parents Sleep (1934), Lady Jane (1934), The Bishop Misbehaves (1935) and On Stage (1935).
According to his son, Kit, Marshal was spotted by a studio scout while performing in a play in New York and was asked to do a screen test for Selznick International Studios.
Marshal was used by MGM for key roles in prestige pictures: Parnell (1937), playing William O'Shea who was cuckolded by Clark Gable and Myrna Loy; and Conquest (1937) with Greta Garbo and Boyer, playing Philippe Antoine d'Ornano.
Marshal's first lead role was in a B picture at Republic Films, Invisible Enemy (1938). He went back to support parts for The Road to Reno (1938) at Universal, then was the romantic male lead in Dramatic School (1938) with Luise Rainer at MGM, a big flop.
At RKO Marshal had a support part in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) and the lead in a B picture, Married and in Love (1940), directed by John Farrow. He supported Anna Neagle in Irene (1940) at RKO and Loretta Young in He Stayed for Breakfast (1940) at Columbia.
Marshal stayed at Columbia for The Howards of Virginia (1940) with Cary Grant then went back to RKO to play one of Ginger Rogers's suitors in Tom, Dick and Harry (1940), a big hit. He was second billed to Merle Oberon in Lydia (1941). In 1942 Selznick sold many of his contracts to 20th Century Fox including Marshal's.
Marshal was second billed to Irene Dunne in The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) at MGM, a huge hit. He was top billed in Bride by Mistake (1944) with Laraine Day, another box office success. "It's the third time I've been discovered", said Marshall, who was set to star in Claudia (1945).
However Marshal had a nervous breakdown and did not act for a number of years.
Marshal concentrated on television in the 1950s, appearing in episodes of Lights Out (1950) ("The Dark Corner"), The Clock (1951) ("Last Adventure"), Robert Montgomery Presents (1952) ("Claire Ambler"), and Climax! (1956) ("The Hanging Judge", directed by John Frankenheimer).
Marshal returned to movies with a small role in The Opposite Sex (1956). He was more commonly found on TV, such as in Playhouse 90 (1957, "The Greer Case"), Perry Mason (1958, "The Case of the Terrified Typist"), Buckskin (1958, "The Ghost of Balaclava"), General Electric Theatre (1958, "Battle for a Soul", directed by Ray Milland), Wagon Train (1958, "The Doctor Willoughby Story", with Jane Wyman), The Ann Sothern Show (1958, "The Countess of Bartley"), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1958, "Murder Me Twice"), Rawhide (1959, "Incident on the Edge of Madness", with Lon Chaney Jr), 77 Sunset Strip (1959)("In Memoriam"), M Squad (1959) ("Ghost Town"), Sugarfoot (1959, "The Vultures"), Bourbon Street Beat (1959, "Invitation to a Murder") and Surfside 6 (1960, "Spinout at Sebrin").
|1936||The Garden of Allah||Capt. De Trevignac||(film debut)|
|1936||After the Thin Man||Robert Landis|
|1937||Night Must Fall||Justin|
|1938||I Met My Love Again||Michael Shaw|
|1938||Invisible Enemy||Jeffrey Clavering|
|1938||The Road to Reno||Walter Crawford|
|1938||Dramatic School||Marquis Andre D'Abbencourt|
|1939||Four Girls in White||Dr. Stephen Melford|
|1939||Exile Express||Steve Reynolds|
|1939||The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes||Jerrold Hunter|
|1939||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||Captain Phoebus|
|1940||Married and in Love||Dr. Leslie Yates|
|1940||He Stayed for Breakfast||Andre Dorlay|
|1940||The Howards of Virginia||Roger Peyton|
|1941||Tom, Dick and Harry||Dick|
|1944||The White Cliffs of Dover||Sir John Ashwood|
|1944||Bride by Mistake||Captain Anthony Travis|
|1956||The Opposite Sex||Ted|
|1959||House on Haunted Hill||Dr. David Trent|
|1959||Day of the Outlaw||Hal Crane||(final film)|
Marshal eloped with socialite Mary Grace Borel (1915–1998) in November 1938. The couple had one son, Christopher ("Kit"), who also became an actor. Borel sued for divorce in August 1947. Marshal did not remarry.
Marshal died after suffering a heart attack while appearing in Chicago with Mae West in a production of her play "Sextette" at the Edgewater Beach Playhouse on 9 July 1961. He was 52. He finished the performance but was later found dead in his bed at the Edgewater Beach Hotel. His son Kit was also performing in the show.
- Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900–1954), 27 September 1914 Page 2 "In and Out of Society" Accessed 12 January 2017
- "Another Discovery". The Telegraph. Brisbane. 15 August 1936. p. 15. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- Andrew Pike & Ross Cooper (1980) Australian Film 1900–1977 pp. .43-45. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0 19 554213 4
- "Australian Conquests in Hollywood". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 28 November 1936. p. 13. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
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- "Actor From Australia". The News. XXXII (4, 875). Adelaide. 9 March 1939. p. 14. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- Alan Marshal Biography. Kit Marshal Archived 13 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 12 January 2017
- "Film Notes". The West Australian. 61 (18, 373) (Second ed.). Western Australia. 1 June 1945. p. 9. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Hollywood Parade". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 12 November 1938. p. 13. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- ""I'll Be Back Someday"... Says Australian Alan Marshal from Hollywood". The Australian Women's Weekly. 7 (35). 3 February 1940. p. 2 (The Movie World). Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "The life story of Alan Marshal". Picture Show. London. 44 (1133): 16. 11 January 1941. ProQuest 1880299562.
- "20th in Deal With Selznick: Independent Producer's Story Properties and Players Taken Over". Los Angeles Times. 16 November 1942. p. A1. ProQuest 165380047.
- Glancy, H. Mark "When Hollywood Loved Britain: The Hollywood 'British' Film 1939–1945" (Manchester University Press, 1999)
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study
- Richard B. Jewell, Slow Fade to Black: The Decline of RKO Radio Pictures, Uni of California, 2016
- "Australians Win Film Fame". Sunday Times (Perth) (2426). Western Australia. 13 August 1944. p. 4 (Supplement to the Sunday Times). Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Biography". Alan Marshall. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- Schallert, Edwin (31 March 1949). "Alan Marshal to Star With Claudette Colbert; Kazan Takes Over 'Pinky'". Los Angeles Times. p. B13. ProQuest 165916155.
- Schallert, Edwin (13 May 1949). "Wilding Deal Settled; Lundigan 'Doctor' Lead; Hope, Ball Duo Favored". Los Angeles Times. p. 23. ProQuest 165968489.
- Scheuer, Philip K (6 November 1958). "Nick of All Parts---That's Persoff!: Films' Only Nehemiah Joins Unusual 'Day of Outlaw' Cast". Los Angeles Times. p. B11. ProQuest 167419383.
- "Actor and Bride on Honeymoon". Los Angeles Times. 20 November 1938. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com.
- Moffat, Frances (11 July 1961). "Inside Society". San Francisco Examiner. p. 20 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Mary Borel Sues For Divorce Second Time". San Mateo County Times. 16 August 1947. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
- "ALAN MARSHAL, ACTOR, 52, DEAD; Stage and Film Performer Appeared in 'Wagon Train'". The New York Times. 10 July 1961. ProQuest 115422123.
- West, John C (16 October 1966). "An Understudy Is Always On Stage: How to succeed in show business without really acting". Chicago Tribune. p. i32. ProQuest 179094840.
- Tuska, Jon (1992). The Complete Films of Mae West. Carol Publishing Group. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-8065-1359-1.
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