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Much-married people

The December 3 1945 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained articles and pictures of famous people who had been married multiple times and were about to become married again.

The first pair of articles, grouped together, were about the latest marriages of some notoriously famous people:

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Tommy Manville (1894-1967) was the heir to the Johns-Manville asbestos fortune, and was famous during his lifetime for marrying a total of 13 times to 11 women. Before he met Ms. Campbell, he had been married seven previous times:

  • When he was 17, he married Florence Huber, a chorus girl, five days after meeting her. His father annulled the marriage, so he married her again. His father then cut him off financially, so he worked in his father’s company’s Pittsburgh factory to make ends meet. The couple separated in 1917 and divorced in 1922.
  • In 1925, he married his father’s stenographer, Lois Arline McCoin. One month later, his father died, he inherited $10 million, and he apparently took off: they were divorced in 1926 on the grounds of desertion.
  • He married Avonne Taylor in 1931, and they separated after 34 days.
  • He married Marcelle Edwards in 1933; they were divorced in 1937.
  • His marriage to Bonita Edwards in 1941 lasted two months.
  • His marriage to Wilhelemma Boze in 1942 lasted five months.
  • He married Sunny Ainsworth in August 1943; she had been married four times previously herself. They were separated after eight hours, and divorced in October 1943.

By now, Mr. Manville’s modus operandi was entrenched: he would meet an attractive young woman and propose marriage to her right away. He continued this with Ms. Campbell, proposing five minutes after meeting her. When she turned him down, he pursued her for six years before she finally agreed to marry him.

Sadly, Mr. Manville and Ms. Campbell may actually have had a marriage that would have lasted – they remained married until she was killed in a car accident in 1952. Her death caused him to go back to his routine of repeated marriages, as he married three more times after that. He is estimated to have spent a total of $1.25 million on marriage settlements.

Peggy Hopkins Joyce (1893-1957) was as notorious as Manville – she was famous enough that songwriters such as Cole Porter and Irving Berlin used her name in their lyrics. Before marrying Mr. Easton, she had married four previous times:

  • She married millionaire Everett Archer Jr. in 1910, but this marriage was annulled when he discovered that she was underage.
  • She married lawyer Shelburne Hopkins in 1913; she left him four years later.
  • She met J. Stanley Joyce in 1919; he paid for her divorce from Hopkins in 1920, and married her two days later. Apparently, she locked herself in the bathroom on her wedding night and refused to come out until he wrote her a cheque for $500,000. She left him later that year.
  • She married Gösta Mörner, a Swedish count, in 1924; she left him later that year and divorced him in 1926.

She remained single for the next nineteen years before agreeing to marry Mr. Easton. Unfortunately, their marriage didn’t last either – they were divorced sometime before 1953. She married again later that year, remaining married until her death four years later.

This paper also contained a photograph of movie star Bette Davis about to become married for the third time:

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Ms. Davis was apparently attracted to Mr. Sherry because he had never heard of her and was therefore not intimidated by her. The two had a daughter in 1949, and they divorced in 1950; she then married Gary Merrill, her co-star in the movie All About Eve.

There was one final marriage-related article in the paper. It was about people who were not famous, and it is very saddening:

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I could find out nothing about Mrs. Hemmerle on Google – I hope she had a good life after her divorce.

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