I. Miller Shoe Company Building, 1552 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Woodlawn Cemetery, 4199 Webster Ave, The Bronx, NY 10470
Marilyn Miller (born Mary Ellen Reynolds; September 1, 1898 – April 7, 1936) was one of the most popular Broadway musical stars of the 1920s and early 1930s. Even if married, Elsie Janis also socialized independently, appearing at one gathering clad in male riding attire on the arm of the notoriously libidinous Marilyn Miller.
Miller was an accomplished tap dancer, singer and actress, and it was the combination of these talents that endeared her to audiences. On stage, she usually played rags-to-riches Cinderella characters who lived happily ever after. Her enormous popularity and famed image were in distinct contrast to her personal life, which was marred by disappointment, tragedy, frequent illness, and ultimately her sudden death due to complications of nasal surgery at age 37.
Miller was married to:
In 1930, Miller briefly was engaged to Michael Farmer, who later became a husband of Gloria Swanson. In 1932, she announced her intention to marry Don Alvarado, but the wedding did not take place.
Miller had a long history of sinus infections, and her health was compromised by an increasing dependence on alcohol. According to reports shortly before her death, she entered a New York hospital in early March 1936 to recover from a nervous breakdown. Three weeks later, however, she developed a toxic condition and died from complications following surgery on her nasal passages at age 37 in New York City on the morning of April 7, 1936.
Miller’s funeral was held at Saint Bartholomew Church on Park Avenue which drew 2,500 people, including former mayor Jimmy Walker, Beatrice Lillie, and Billie Burke. The procession led to Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, where Miller was buried alongside her first husband, Frank Carter, in a mausoleum she had constructed to house his remains.
A statue of Miller, in the title role of Sunny, can still be seen atop the former I. Miller (no relation) Shoe Company Building at 1552 Broadway, also addressed as 167 West 46th Street in Times Square, Manhattan. It is one of four sculpted by Alexander Stirling Calder between 1927 and 1929 for the building's facade, representing famous theatrical professionals of the time. In 2013, after years of neglect, the building and statues were restored.
One of the poems in Patti Smith's 1972 book Seventh Heaven is titled "Marilyn Miller".
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