|Born||December 26, 1910|
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||January 9, 2000 (aged 89)|
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, U.S.
(m. 1933; div. 1948)
(m. 1954; div. 19??)
|Children||3, including Darcy and Orin O'Brien|
Marguerite Churchill (December 26, 1910 – January 9, 2000) was an American film actress with a film career spanning from 1929 to 1952. She is best known today as John Wayne's first leading lady, in The Big Trail (1930).
She was the daughter of Edward Paycen Churchill, a producer who owned a chain of theaters, and Marguerite N. Graham. Her father died when she was ten years old. She was educated in New York City at the Professional Children's School and the Theatre Guild Dramatic School.
Churchill appeared on stage and was applauded on Broadway as a leading lady when just sixteen years old. An official of Fox Film saw her acting and gave her a contract which shortly afterwards led her to debut on screen in The Diplomats.
Churchill appeared in more than 25 films. She played leading lady to John Wayne in Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail (1930), an early widescreen epic and Wayne's first leading role. She appeared with Wayne the following year in Girls Demand Excitement (1931), with Spencer Tracy and George Raft in Quick Millions (1931), with Will Rogers in Ambassador Bill (1931), with Warner Oland in Charlie Chan Carries On (1931), with George O'Brien in Riders of the Purple Sage (1931), with Charles Farrell in Girl Without a Room (1933), with Ralph Bellamy in The Final Hour (1936), with Boris Karloff in The Walking Dead (1936), and with Edward Van Sloan in Dracula's Daughter (1936).
On Broadway, Churchill performed in And Now Good-bye (1937), Dinner at Eight (1932), The Inside Story (1932), Skidding (1928), The Wild Man of Borneo (1927), House of Shadows (1927), and Why Not? (1922).
Churchill was married for 15 years to her one-time costar George O'Brien from July 15, 1933, until their divorce in 1948. They had three children, one of whom was novelist Darcy O'Brien, whom she outlived by two years. Her daughter Orin has played double bass for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra since 1966. A third child, Brian, died in infancy in 1934.
After her divorce from O'Brien, she appeared in one movie and a few television plays. In 1954, she announced her engagement to Peter Ganine, a sculptor. In the "California Marriage Index, 1949–1959", there is a record of marriage and file date of June 5, 1954, for Peter Ganine and Marguerite Churchill.
She died on January 9, 2000, aged 89, from natural causes in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She was survived by her daughter, Orin.
- The Valiant (1929) (co-starred with Paul Muni in his film debut) as Mary Douglas
- Pleasure Crazed (1929) as Nora Westby
- They Had to See Paris (1929) (with Will Rogers) as Opal Peters
- Seven Faces (1929) as Hélène Berthelot
- Harmony at Home (1930) (with Rex Bell) as Louise Haller
- Born Reckless (1930) (with Edmund Lowe) as Rosa Beretti
- Good Intentions (1930) as Helen Rankin
- The Big Trail (1930) (with John Wayne) as Ruth Cameron
- Girls Demand Excitement (1931) (with John Wayne) as Miriam
- Charlie Chan Carries On (1931) (with Warner Oland) as Pamela Potter
- Quick Millions (1931) (with Spencer Tracy and George Raft) as Dorothy Stone
- Riders of the Purple Sage (1931) (with future husband George O'Brien) as Jane Withersteen
- Ambassador Bill (1931) (with Will Rogers) as Queen Vanya
- Forgotten Commandments (1932) as Marya Ossipoff
- Girl Without a Room (1933) (with Charles Farrell and Charlie Ruggles) as Kay Loring
- Without Children (1935) as Sue Cole
- Speed Devils (1935) as Pat Corey
- Man Hunt (1936) as Jane Carpenter
- The Walking Dead (1936) (with Boris Karloff) as Nancy
- Dracula's Daughter (1936) (with Edward Van Sloan) as Janet
- Murder by an Aristocrat (1936) (with Lyle Talbot) as Sally Keating
- The Final Hour (1936) (with Ralph Bellamy) as Flo Russell
- Alibi for Murder (1936) (with William Gargan) as Lois Allen
- Legion of Terror (1936) as Nancy Foster
- Bunco Squad (1950) as Barbara Madison
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-05-19. Retrieved 2020-10-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Ancestry Library Edition". Search.ancestrylibrary.com. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- "Marguerite Churchill, 90, Movie Actress". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 15, 2000. p. B 7. Retrieved October 28, 2020 – via ProQuest.
- "Marguerite Churchill". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
- California Marriage Index, 1949–1959
- Hopper, Hedda (June 5, 1954). "Marguerite Churchill to Be Wed – Former film star Marguerite Churchill will marry Peter Ganine at the Russian Orthodox Church here". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. A1.
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