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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 24 October 1875Richmond, Virginia, USA
Date of Death 2 October 1970Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameMarion Neiswanger

Mini Bio (1)

Marion Fairfax, movie screenwriter and Broadway playwright, was born Marion Neiswanger in Richmond, Virginia, on October 25, 1875. After graduating from Chicago's South Division High School she went on to Emerson College in Boston. She went on the boards briefly as an actress before focusing her theatrical ambitions on writing.

In 1899 Fairfax married actor Tully Marshall, who was born Tully Marshall Phillips. Although she was known as Mrs. Tully Marshall and Marion Fairfax Marshall Phillips, she wrote under the name Marion Fairfax. She made her Broadway debut as an actress at the Criterion Theatre in "The Triumph of Love," which opened and closed on February 8, 1904, after one performance. Her first produced Broadway play was "The Builders," which was produced by her husband's Tully Marshall Company and featured him in the cast. It opened at the Astor Theatre on May 20, 1907, and ran a total of 16 performances.

Her next play, "The Chaperon", was more successful. It opened at Maxine Elliott's Theatre on December 30, 1908, and racked up a total of 62 performances. Her next play, "The Talker", was more successful still, with more than twice as many performance as her previous effort. Marion herself directed "The Talker", which featured her husband in the cast. Opening at the Harris Theatre on January 8, 1912, the play had a run of 144 performances.

Her next play, "A Modern Girl", written in collaboration with Ruth C. Mitchell and produced by the Messrs. Shubert (Lee and J. J.), was a flop, closing after 17 performances after opening at the Comedy Theatre on September 12, 1914. Her next play would duplicate the run of of its predecessor, as well as the venue: "Mrs. Boltay's Daughters" lasted but 17 performances at the Comedy after opening on Oct 23, 1915.

Fairfax moved to California and became a screenwriter at the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co. The first movie made from script of hers appeared in 1915, The Chorus Lady (1915), and was followed that year by two others made from her scenarios, Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo (1915) and The Immigrant (1915). In 1916 she began a short collaboration with director William C. de Mille with The Blacklist (1916), which he co-wrote with Fairfax as well as directed. From 1916 through 1918 they collaborated on nine other films.

In 1917 Fairfax wrote the screenplay for the Jack Pickford picture Freckles (1917), directed by Marshall Neilan. Three years later she left Lasky after writing the Wallace Reid vehicle The Valley of the Giants (1919) and hooked up again with Neilan, working on his The River's End (1920). The movie was made by Neilan's own production company, and released through First National. They followed it up with another six films in 1920 and 1921, including Don't Ever Marry (1920) and The Lotus Eater (1921) starring John Barrymore. Their last film together was Fools First (1922).

After helping adapt William Gillette's play based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories for Sherlock Holmes (1922) for Goldwyn Pictures, with John Barrymore playing the famed detective, Fairfax directed her first and only film, from her own script, The Lying Truth (1922), starring husband Tully Marhsall. The movie was produced by her own Marion Fairfax Productions, of which she was president, for the Eagle Producing Co. and it was distributed by American Releasing Co.

Her greatest accomplishment as a screenwriter was the script for the classic The Lost World (1925), adapted from the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle. She adapted her own Broadway play The Talker (1925) for First National. Her last credited screenplay was for the romance The Blonde Saint (1926), directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Lewis Stone, who headlined four other of her First National pictures.

Tully Marshall passed away on March 10, 1943. Marion Fairfax died on Otober 2, 1970, and was laid to rest in an unmarked grave next to her husband at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (1)

Tully Marshall (1899 - 10 March 1943) (his death)

Trivia (1)

Her body lies in an unmarked grave next to husband Tully Marshall at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

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