Partner Dorothy Arzner

Queer Places:
Yale University (Ivy League), 38 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven, CT 06520
Arzner-Morgan House, 2249 Mountain Oak Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA
Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries, 1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205, Stati Uniti

Marion Morgan (January 4, 1881, New Jersey – November 10, 1971, Los Angeles, CA) was a choreographer and motion picture screenwriter and the longtime companion of motion picture director Dorothy Arzner. Arzner lived for the last 40 years of her life with Morgan.

Marion R. Cahill was born on January 4, 1881 in Paterson, New Jersey,[1] to Emily and John F. Cahill, who was an attorney.[2] [3] She married Matthew A. Morgan in 1900.[4] The couple had a son, Roderick in 1901, before separating by 1905.[5] By 1910, Morgan and her son had relocated to Long Beach, California,[6] where Morgan was employed at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, as a physical education teacher. When she was hired for the summer program at the University of California, Berkeley, as a dance instructor, she began recruiting girls for a dance troupe to work the Orpheum Circuit and in 1915 staged a publicity dance in the snow in Manhattan′s Central Park.[7] Initially, Morgan featured six young women who had studied together in California. The group then grew to up to twenty-five members, and at times would employ a male dancer. They performed interpretive dances, bare-armed and sometimes bare-footed, in filmy costumes, with a repertoire based on Egyptian and classical Greek and Roman themes.

Morgan had specific requirements for her dancers to remain fit. They were required to be vegetarians, at one point all were practicing Christian Scientists, and they all had to study classic literature to understand their roles.[8] The group toured all over the country, creating a sensation whenever they appeared.[9] [10] [11] In 1921, Morgan met Dorothy Arzner on the set of the movie ''Man-Woman-Marriage'' directed by Allen Holubar. The meeting prompted a passionate personal relationship which would later blossom into a business relationship as well. After more than a decade of performances on the vaudeville stage, Morgan began to create choreography for movies, such as ''Paris at Midnight'' (1926).[12] She also created choreography for movies like ''A Night of Love'' (1926), ''The Masked Woman'' (1927), and ''Up in Mabel’s Room'' (1926), in which the Mabel Morgan Dancers performed.

by Arnold Genthe

2249 Mountain Oak Dr, Los Angeles, CA

Yale University, New Haven, CT

Azner and Morgan first worked together in 1927 on the set of ''Fashions for Women'', when Azner in her directorial debut film, hired Morgan to choreograph the fashion show. That same year in Azner’s ''Get Your Man'', Morgan created a tableaux featuring her dancers in a wax museum, which ''Variety'' called the highlight of the film. In ''Manhattan Cocktail'' (1928) the couple paired again, with Morgan choreographing the opening prologue with the tale of Ariadne and Theseus, which her dancers had previously performed on stage.

In 1930, the couple moved into a house they named "Armor", giving nod to Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbank's "Pickfair", which was located on Mountain Oak Drive in the Hollywood Hills.

During the 1930s, Morgan frequently traveled to the East Coast and Europe and in 1934, she graduated from the Yale School of Drama. George Brendan Dowell, a classmate of Marion's, would recall Dorothy's visits, particularly one night when they all went to see Billy Rose's "Jumbo" at the Hyppodrome in New York. "You were in a lovely relaxed mood and Marion was so anxious that you see and do everything! I can hear you saying now, "Dearie."" In the mid 1930s, Morgan teamed with George Brendan Dowell and wrote several short stories. Mae West co-scripted both ''Goin' to Town'' (1935) and ''Klondike Annie'' (1936) with the duo.[13]

In Hollywood, they weren't part of the crowd at the Vendome or the Brown Derby, but correspondence reveals they did socialize with a chosen few: the actor David Manners and his male partner; George Cukor; the landscape gardener Florence Yoch. There were others, too, obsviously lesbian: after Marion's death, one couple, Beth and Ann, wrote they could appreciate Dorothy's grief "knowing what anguish it would be if one of us were to lose the other."

In 1951, the pair moved to the desert of Palm Springs, where they lived until Morgan's death. Morgan died on November 10, 1971, at Los Angeles.[14] Marion's friend George Brendan Dowell would write to Dorothy: "You understood her, you loved her so dearly. What a monument to your own love was that princely house, Armor is marked in the cornerstone and you shared so much of its beauty with others." Morgan is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) together with her son, Roderick D. Morgan (1901–1929).

Her dance archives are preserved at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

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