|arion Shockley (Oct 10. 1908* – Dec 14. 1981)|
Height: 5' 1" (1.55 m)
Sister: Eleanor Ione Shockley Udell
(Apr 28. 1919 - Jun 30. 1979)
(1) Gordon Barry Thomson, actor
(Feb 15. 1934 - Jan 1938, divorced)
(2) George Zachary
(Oct 5, 1939 - ca.1945, divorced)
(3) Bud Collyer (aka Clayton Johnson
(Oct 1946 - Sep 8. 1969, his dead).
Children (from Bud's first marriage to
Heloise Law Green):
Patricia Collyer (Mrs. John Zavitz) ('39-40)
Cynthia Ann Collyer ('40-41)
and Michael C. Collyer ('42-43).
Right: A picture of a young Marian Shockley (1930s)
|* Several sources mention either 1908 or 1911, however an official 1930 census report mentions Marian as being 21 years old... birthday confirmed by a newspaper clipping from 1908.|
Born Marion Metier Shockley
in Kansas City, Missouri on October 10. 1908 to Percy Ambrose Shockley, a lawyer, and Lottie
As graduate of Northeast High School
she started majoring in history at the University of Missouri where she was
proud possessor of a Kappa Alpha Theta pin.
In 1929 she received her A.B. degree. During her stay at the University of
Missouri, Miss Shockley was a familiar figure in Workshop productions. The
1929 Savitar, reviewing the Workshop play, The enchanted
cottage, relates: "Marion Shockley playing the feminine lead, was
instrumental in building up the play with her delightfully charming and
natural acting... she brought life into an otherwise poor first act... to
prove herself most worthy of the lead."
In the spring of 1930 went to Hollywood in the family car with her mother and a girl relative. She took crossing half the continent as a matter of course and drove almost the entire distance to California. Upon arriving a relative asked if she'd like to see a movie studio. So five days after she arrived she went into the Metropolitan studios as a sightseer. On the first sound stage she visited was Marshall Neilan directing Alice White in a scene for Sweethearts On Parade (1930) for Columbia. Neiland noticed Marion ("cute little blonde") and called her over.
"How would you like to work in the picture?” Neilan said point blank.
"Oh,” said little Marion, "all right, I guess—but the studio’s awfully far from our apartment in Santa Monica.”
"It’s half past three now,” he said. "I don’t believe we could move the studio by morning—but I’m not kidding—if you’d like to do a bit before the camera tomorrow, I’d be glad to have you.”
She laughed and said, "All right."
He bustled away to Al Christie's office. "Al," he said, "I've just seen the strangest thin that ever was in Hollywood. A good looking girl that doesn't want to get into the movies. She ought to be in. Take a look at her on the set tomorrow."
The next day at 8:30 o'clock Miss Shockley was on hand.
"How would you like to be the leading woman in 'The Freshman's Goat?' " the producer began portentously. "The what?"
" 'The Freshman's Goat' it's a college picture."
"But - you see- I've been to college - I don't believe I could qualify."
"I think," Mr. Christie said, smiling, "that Nat Ross can overcome that."
And so Marion became Little Fannie Campus in the movies and that why she claimed to be the only girl in Hollywood's history who walked into a movie studio with a pass on a sight-seeing tour and come out with a signed contract.
Above left: 1930 Add for Vanity comedies. "Watch 'em step! How those boys and girls can make whoopee! A Freshman-Sophomore battle isn't in it for action by comparison with these comedies of youth. With Ray Cooke and Marian Shockley supported by a big cast you'll find plenty to bring the laughs in The Freshman's Goat. Above right: A comedy short Twisted Tails for Culver Pictures, Marion Shockley and famous 'drunk' Arthur Housman.
Above left: Gyula Bartha and Zoltan Sulkowsja, who left Budapest two years ago to see the world from a motorcycle, as they paused in their travels at the RKO-Pathé studio, where Marion Shockley, comedienne, thus added charm to their stay. (Book Readers Image, May 30, 1931). Above right: Bob Steele and Marian Shockley in "Near the Trail's End" (1931)
From 1930 until 1934 she played in some 19 B-movies. She appeared in a number of Vanity two-reelers for Educational
which included her screen debut The Freshman's Goat
(1930). She co-starred as Tim McCoy's leading lady in
the serial Heroes
of the Flames and Bob Steele's in Near the Trail's End
(1931), directed by Wallace Fox.
the last of eight Westerns Steele did for low-budget company Tiffany
and the only feature film to co-star Marion Shockley. The
shorts were a series of Torchy movies... with titles such as Torchy's Two Toots
(1932) with Ray Cooke.
Offered an acting job with a Denver stock company
(Ketcham stock co. Denver, Colorado), she performed in plays as
Believe me, Mr. Xantippe (March 1934) and Three
Cornered Moon (1934) in which she played the role Claudette Colbert
played in the movie.
She took to theatre and was one of the chief attractions of the International Players at the Vancouver theatre (1934). She also played in and around theaters in Los Angeles.
Above: Back, left to right: Toshia Mori, Boots Mallory, Ruth Hall, Gloria Stuart, Patricia Ellis, Ginger Rogers, Lillian Bond, Evalyn Knapp, Marion Shockley. Front left to right: Dorothy Wilson, Mary Carlisle, Lona Andre, Eleanor Holm, Dorothy Layton.
Shockley was a 1932 WAMPAS baby star.
The WAMPAS Baby Stars was a promotional campaign sponsored by the Western
Association of Motion Picture Advertisers in the United States, which
honored thirteen young women each year who they believed to be on the
threshold of movie stardom. They were selected from 1922 to 1934 and honored
at a party called the WAMPAS Frolic. Those selected were given extensive
media coverage. The awards were not given in 1931 and 1933 and ended after
1934 due to objections from the movie studios because of its independence.
Miss Shockley and Gordon Barry Thomson married on Feb 5, 1934 in Whatcom, WA, divorcing soon afterwards.