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      Connie Marshall

      • 68
      • April 28, 1933 in New York, New York City, USA
      • May 22, 2001

      A promising blue-to-gray-eyed, blonde-haired child actress of the post-WWII years who had more talent than she was given credit for, little Connie Marshall was born on April 28, 1938 (some sources list 1933) in New York City. Her parents were not of show business stock, her father being a lieutenant with the Allied Military Government in Europe. She was a direct descent of this country's first Chief Justice, John Marshall, and was also a descendant of Geradus Beekamn, who was the first colonial governor of New York. A strikingly sensitive-looking tyke with sad, beady eyes, she broke into the competitive side of show business quite young (age 5) as a pig-tailed model for commercial newspapers and magazines. Frequently used by New York photographers, artists and caricaturists, she began her acting career a year later quite by happenstance. A failed screen test taken in Hollywood was, by luck, seen by 20th Century-Fox director Lloyd Bacon who just happened to be casting the role of little Mary Osborne in the warm family comedy-drama Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (1944). The film went on to star the future husband and wife team of Anne Baxter and John Hodiak, who first met and fell in love while shooting this picture. Director Bacon stopped looking when he came across Connie. Educated at the Gardner School in New York, where she appeared in a few plays, and the Fox Studio School, Connie also studied ballet and ballroom dancing. She made a strong impression in her very first film, with a natural forlorn ease as one of the Osborne children that also included up-and-coming Bobby Driscoll. With Connie's second picture Sentimental Journey (1946), she was handed her best weepy-eyed showcase. Fatally ill actress Maureen O'Hara adopts an orphan girl (Connie) so her Broadway producer husband John Payne will have someone to care for after she passes away. The treacly plot follows the difficult adjustment between the grief-stricken two who are left behind, but eventually guided together by O'Hara's spirit. The pathetic storyline was a bit much but Connie held her own beautifully and received rave reviews. Connie continued to show precocious promise in the post-war years in both sentimental drama and lightweight comedy with Dragonwyck (1946) as the daughter of Vincent Price; Home, Sweet Homicide (1946) as an amateur young sleuth who tries to solve a neighborhood murder aided by brother and sister Peggy Ann Garner and Dean Stockwell; Mother Wore Tights (1947) as the daughter of song-and-dance team Betty Grable and Dan Dailey; and the noted comedy classic Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) as one of the Blandings offspring of Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. These subsequent film roles, however, didn't match in importance when compared to her first two films. Connie was to work with the silver screen's top movie stars over the years, including Gene Tierney and Joan Crawford, but once she outgrew her precociousness, her career began to fade away. She attempted TV with the short-lived series "Doc Corkle" (1952) and appeared as a feisty teen co-star opposite Gene Autry in his film oater Saginaw Trail (1953), but by 1954, after an un-billed part in Rogue Cop (1954), Connie was literally and figuratively out of the picture.

      Actor

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