Marion Davies, via Hedda Hopper's The Whole Truth and Nothing But
Though they never married, Marion Davies was the love of William Randolph Hearst's life. They met in 1918 and remained together until his death in 1951. Of their relationship, she, in her endearing stammer, told Eleanor Boardman (Mrs. King Vidor), “I started out a g-g-gold digger and I ended up in love.” The newspaper titan made Marion rich in her own right, and when his empire neared collapse, Marion unblinkingly used her fortune to save the him from ruin. [See: The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst.]
To those who never had the pleasure of meeting her, Marion might have seemed common. She was a live-in girlfriend of a married man in an era when that was outrageously taboo. In theory, she might was like many of her peers—a parvenu actress with little formal education and no training in social etiquette. Yet, she had the natural good manners and affability that appeals to the best people in all social classes. Even a blue-blood like Winston Churchill was enchanted. In a letter to his wife, Clementine, he said of Marion, “She is not strikingly beautiful nor impressive in any way. But her personality is most attractive; naïve childlike, bon enfant.”
Even after William Randolph Hearst died, Joseph P. Kennedy remained devoted to his old pal's longtime mistress. Davies was invited to and attended Kennedy family events, including the 1953 marriage of John F. Kennedy to Jacqueline Bouvier and the JFK presidential inauguration in 1961.