Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies

Marion Davies, born Marion Cecilia Douras, was a talented actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. She appeared in films as well as on stage and television throughout her career, beginning as a chorus girl to becoming a featured Ziegfeld Follies performer.

Her life both on- and off-screen was fascinating and multifaceted. During her time working in the Follies, she met William Randolph Hearst, a storied newspaper tycoon. He helped manage her career and promoted her work as an actress. While much has been written about Davies and her contemporaries, Lara Gabrielle’s Captain of her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies is an exciting, current, and meticulously well-researched biography about Davies.

Gabrielle’s work takes readers though Davies’ early life and discusses key individuals and moments that were impactful for Davies prior to any entertainment career. Gabrielle offer’s a delightful narrative that progresses through Davies’ professional life, while respectfully and factually discussing her contemporaries as well as personal and professional relationships. In addition to offering an engaging account of the life and career of Davies, this book is supplemented with several interesting photographs of Davies and other individuals of relevance to her life.

This book is highly recommended to fans of early film and to fans of Davies. It is an exceptional tribute to Davies.


Captain of her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies is available for purchase via University of California Press.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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