She can still throw a great party. Santa Monica Conservancy Docents celebrated the birthday of famed 1920s movie star Marion Davies on Sunday Jan 6 by bringing to life the beach cottage that’s named in her honor.
Docents dressed in period clothes from the 1920s welcomed visitors to the Marion Davies Guest House, which had originally been part of the beach house mansion built for Davies by William Randolph Hearst, who was widely known for his involvement with Davies despite an ongoing marriage.
The mansion at the time was a hot spot on Santa Monica’s “gold coast,” with the couple entertaining Hollywood stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable.
The site now hosts The Annenberg Community Beach House, which opened in 2009, and the guest house is all that remains of the original structures. Visitors on Sunday came as if attending one of Davies’ famed costume parties, complete with a little swing dancing. For more on the Conservancy click here. For more on the history of the beach house click here.
Robin Venturelli welcomes guests with a story about Marion Davies.
Justin Cram and Chryss Terry
Leslie Paxton, Glenn Paxton and Sheila Raznick
Marlene St. Peter played Heda Hopper, a gossip columnist at the time, as she regaled visitors with juicy tales from the upstairs bedroom.
George Wilkin talks about his father John Wilkin who worked for William Randolph Hearst from 1928 to 1951.
Mary Adamson, Gabriel Adamson and Katie Hutchinson
Maureen Murphy, Morris Kushner and Shirley Arconti
Ruthann Lehrer, Patty Tann and Pyllis Bernard
Eva Breumair and Michael Ontiveros
Margie and Richard Posey
The Marion Davies Guest House, once part of a great beach-side mansion built by William Randolph Hearst, now sits alongside the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.