Corinne Griffith (1895 – 1979) was a Hollywood actress who is believed to have been born in Texarkana, Texas, on November 24, 1895.
Always one of the more private and mysterious of stars, Griffith's actual year and even birthday are widely disputed with conflicting information throughout her career. 1894 and 1898 are often cited, as is the birthdate of November 21. She was one of the most popular film actresses of the 1920s and widely considered the most beautiful actress of the silent screen. Most of her films were romantic dramas or soap operas but she proved equally adept at romantic comedy when given the chance.
She was educated in a convent school in New Orleans. 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. The nickname the studios gave her in her heyday was "The Orchid Lady of the Screen". Films of special note for Corinne were "Black Oxen" (1924), "DeClassée" (1925 - in which a young extra named Clark Gable appeared), and "The Garden of Eden" (1928 - surviving). Griffith received an Academy Award nomination for her role in "The Divine Lady" (1929), in which she played Emma Hart, the English Lady Hamilton. This film has recently been restored. Fewer than a dozen of her 66 films are known to still survive.
Griffith's last major Hollywood film, Back Pay was released in 1930. Her voice was pleasant but unmemorable and a new generation of film stars quickly overtook her in popularity. After appearing in one more motion picture, the British film Lily Christine in 1932, she considered an occasional film offer over the years and even made a screen test to play Elizabeth Taylor's mother for a 1950 film but the only time she returned to the screen was in a low-budget melodrama Paradise Alley which received scant release in 1962.
Griffith was married four times. She married actor and frequent co-star Webster Campbell (1920 - 1923), producer Walter Morosco (1924-1934), and the owner of the Washington Redskins football team George Preston Marshall (1936 - 1958). In a 1955 cook book Eggs I Have Known, Griffith referred to him as "The Marshall without a plan."
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 actresses' 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.
Griffith has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.
Corinne 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 movie starring Jackie Gleason. 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) and she was one of the major forces in Republican politics in California for decades.
During her marriage to Marshall, Corinne composed the lyrics to the Redskins "fight" song Hail to the Redskins which became one of the most famous football anthems.
At the time of her death from heart failure, on July 13, 1979, her personal estate was worth over one hundred and fifty million dollars.
... aka Stars in the Back Yard
... aka Modern Madness (UK)
... aka The Social Exile
... aka A Woman's Sacrifice
... aka Bab's Candidate