Marjorie Steele

Pert blonde actress Marjorie Steele was in films for a very short time, making only four in all. She was born in Reno, Nevada on August 27, 1930 in a log cabin built by her father, a contractor. Her mother was part Russian and Swedish while her father came from German and Sioux Indian parentage. Marjorie’s family moved to San Francisco when she was 9. It was here that she took an interest in acting while still young. She started with acting lessons and eventually won a scholarship to the Actors Lab in Hollywood.

To support herself in the early days, she worked as a cigarette girl at Ciro’s, L.A.’s top nightclub. In what was to become a Cinderella story, the working teenager attracted the attention of multimillionaire Huntington Hartford. Smitten, Hartford not only signed her to a contract with a motion picture company he owned, he married her in 1949–shortly after her nineteenth birthday. She built up her reputation on stage and appeared in two films produced by her husband: Hello Out There (1949) and Face to Face (1952).

Her other two “B” films were Tough Assignment (1949) and No Escape (1953). Marjorie scored well in theater assignments, notably as the title role in “Sabrina Fair” in 1954, which played in London, and on Broadway when she took over the role of Maggie the Cat from Barbara Bel Geddes in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Shortly after this, she suddenly lost interest in her career and decided to retire and raise a family.

She married British actor Dudley Sutton following her 1961 divorce to Hartford, with whom she had two children,, but the marriage lasted only a few years. Her daughter by this marriage predeceased her mother, dying of a drug overdose at age 28. Steele’s third husband was American-born Irish author Major Constantine Robert Louis Lee-Dillon FitzGibbon, who wrote “When the Kissing Had to Stop” and “The Irish in Ireland,” and was the biographer of friend Dylan Thomas. Together the couple wrote “Teddy in the Tree”. He died in 1983 from cancer. Living in Ireland, Marjorie occupied her later years with painting and sculpting and has been commissioned for her work.

Related Posts