Marion Shilling - Rotten Tomatoes

Marion Shilling

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One of the best heroines of 1930s B-Westerns, Marion Schilling was the daughter of a theatrical producer who had brought the stage version of Dracula to Los Angeles, a production that featured the young Marion in various bit parts. Signed by MGM in the early days of sound, Schilling was unfortunate enough to star in one of the era's worst flops, a screen version of the Broadway musical Lord Byron of Broadway (1930). Less than encouraging reviews caused the studio to drop her option but she quickly recovered and signed a personal contract with Poverty Row producer Phil Goldstone, a collaboration that, in turn, led to a stint with the Pathé organization. She changed the spelling of her last name to the less Germanic Shilling and played Lew Cody's girlfriend in the World War I drama Beyond Victory (1931). Shilling was voted a 1931 WAMPAS Baby Star by motion picture advertisers -- and due to her pleasant personality became the spokesperson for the group, which also included Joan Blondell, Frances Dee, and Karen Morley -- but Pathé was in trouble and that combined with sudden death of her agent left Shilling out in the cold once again.Although stardom eluded her, Marion Shilling found a new outlet for her energies in Poverty Row productions, mostly Westerns. Between 1931 and 1936, she appeared in no less than 13 budget oaters and two serials starring the likes of Hoot Gibson, Tim McCoy, Tom Tyler, Rex Bell, and Fred Scott, all of whom considered her a favorite among available leading ladies. Although, as the later stated, Shilling had never ridden anything bigger than a burro, she had no problem with horses and was willing to try everything at least once. In a complete departure from her screen work, she was cast as Helena in Max Rheinhardt's famous touring version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1934-1935). Unfortunately, when Warner Bros. bought the screen rights to the production, the studio replaced Shilling with contract actress Jean Muir.Marion Shilling continued to appear in low-budget Westerns and melodramas through 1936 and also did her fair share of commercials, some even filmed in Technicolor. All this activity, however, came to an end when she married socially prominent Edward Cook, a union that would last a lifetime. Contacted in early 2002, the 91-year-old former leading lady could look back on a life of "adventure, travel, and one rich with love. I've acquired such a deep appreciation of true values, I feel that this is the best, the happiest time of all."

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet I'll Name the Murderer
  • Smitty
1936
No Score Yet Cavalcade of the West
  • Mary Chrisman
1936
No Score Yet Romance Rides the Range
  • Actor
1936
No Score Yet Gun Smoke
  • Jean Culverson
1936
No Score Yet Clutching Hand
  • Verna Gironda
1936
No Score Yet Rio Rattler
  • Mary Adams
1935
No Score Yet Stone of Silver Creek
  • Martha Mason
1935
No Score Yet Blazing Guns
  • Actor
1935
No Score Yet A Shot in the Dark
  • Jean Coates
1935
No Score Yet Captured in Chinatown
  • Ann Parker
1935
No Score Yet Thunder over Texas
  • Helen Mason
1934
No Score Yet Curtain at Eight
  • Anice
1934
No Score Yet Forgotten Women
  • Patricia Young
1932
No Score Yet A Parisian Romance
  • Claudette
1932
No Score Yet A Man's Land
  • Peggy Turner
1932
No Score Yet Shop Angel
  • Actor
1932
No Score Yet Sundown Trail
  • Dorothy Beal
1931
No Score Yet Common Clay
  • Stephanie
1930
No Score Yet Lord Byron Of Broadway
  • Nancy Clover
1930
No Score Yet Wise Girls
  • Ruth Bence
1929

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