Corinne Griffith (Corinne Mae Griffith)

Corinne Griffith

Corinne Griffith was born in Texarkana, Texas to John Lewis Griffin and Ambolina (Ambolyn) Ghio. She attended Sacred Heart Convent school in New Orleans and worked as a dancer before she began her acting career. Griffith began her screen career at the Vitagraph Studios in 1916. She later moved to First National, where she became one of their most popular stars. In 1928, she had the starring role in The Garden of Eden. The next year, in 1929, Griffith received an Academy Award nomination for her role in The Divine Lady. Griffith’s first sound film, Lilies of the Field, was released in 1930. Griffith’s voice did not record well (The New York Times stated that she “talked through her nose”), and the film was a box office flop. After appearing in one more Hollywood picture, Back Pay in 1930 and a British film Lily Christine in 1932, she retired from acting. She returned to the screen in 1962 in the low-budget melodrama Paradise Alley, which received scant release. Griffith was one of the few film stars to move successfully into new careers once her stardom had ended. She was an accomplished writer who published eleven books including two best sellers, My Life with the Redskins and the memoir Papa’s Delicate Condition, which was made into a 1963 film starring Jackie Gleason about the Ghio and Griffin family. Her actual family names were used in the film. Her ventures into real estate were particularly successful (at one point she owned four different major office buildings in Los Angeles, each of them named after her).

Griffith was a member of the Christian Science religion. While married to Marshall, she introduced NFL Commissioner Bert Bell to his future wife. She also introduced Curly Lambeau to his second and third wives. All were old friends from her film career. She was a California Republican Committee Woman and an early advocate for the career of Richard Nixon. She was also an old friend of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. She was the long time consort to Curly Lambeau, who recommended various methods for operating a pro football team. Lambeau recommended Sammy Baugh as quarterback and the T formation. She later arranged for her husband to hire Lambeau as coach. Griffith was married four times and produced no children. She married actor and frequent co-star Webster Campbell from 1920 to 1923, producer Walter Morosco from 1924 to 1934, and the owner of the Washington Redskins football team George Preston Marshall from 1936 to 1958. During her marriage to Marshall, she composed the lyrics to the Redskins fight song “Hail to the Redskins” which became one of the most famous football anthems. In 1966, within a few days, she married and divorced her fourth husband, Broadway actor Danny Scholl (Call Me Mister). Scholl was 45, more than 25 years Griffith’s junior. In court she testified that she was not Corinne Griffith. She claimed that she was the actress’s younger (by twenty years) sister who had taken her place upon the famous sister’s death. Contradicting testimony by actresses Betty Blythe and Claire Windsor, who had both known her since the 1920s, did not shake her story. In 1974, Adele Whitely Fletcher, editor of Photoplay, said Griffith was still claiming that she was her own younger sister. On July 13, 1979, Griffith died of heart failure in Santa Monica, California, aged 84. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Corinne Griffith has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.

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Born

  • November, 21, 1894
  • USA
  • Texarkana, Texas

Died

  • July, 13, 1979
  • USA
  • Santa Monica, California

Cause of Death

  • heart failure

Other

  • Cremated

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