Don Marion Davis (born October 9, 1917), professionally known as Don Marion and also credited as John Henry Jr., is an American former child actor of the silent film era, who during a brief career in show business appeared in several feature roles and comedy shorts in Hollywood screened between 1919 and 1925. He also had uncredited parts in radio. Along with Baby Peggy, he is one of the last surviving child performers of the Hollywood silent film era.

Don Marion Davis
Silent film juvenile John Henry, Jr (SAYRE 3196).jpg
Born (1917-10-09) October 9, 1917 (age 102)
OccupationChild actor of silent films, radio performer
Years active1918–1924; 2019

BiographyEdit

Entertainment careerEdit

He was born in Hollywood, California, on October 9, 1917, to Henry G. Davis and Helen Davis.[2] He was discovered by studio entrepreneur and director Mack Sennett while he and his mother were visiting his comedian uncle Billy Armstrong around 1919.[3][4]

In a 1920 newspaper article, he was described as one of the most famous child actors in the world.[3] His feature-length films included Down on the Farm (1920) and A Small Town Idol (1921).

 
Don Marion aka John Henry Jr.

Post-entertainment careerEdit

After leaving the entertainment industry in 1925, he attended the University of Oregon and joined the U.S. Army in 1940, shortly prior to the United States entering World War II. After the war, he remained with the American military and held various positions in different countries, such as South Africa and South Korea.[5]

As of May 2017, he resides in Tucson, Arizona.[6][7]

He was falsely reported as having died on March 2, 2012, in the 2013 book Obituaries in the Performing Arts, published by McFarland & Company and authored by Harris M. Lentz.[8]

 
Marion in The Love Egg 1921

Filmography (selected)Edit

Year Title Role
1919 Back to the Kitchen The Baby
His Last False Step Minor role
1920 The Star Boarder The boarding house owner's son
Down on the Farm The Baby
Let 'er Go The country girl's little brother
By Golly! Minor role
Married Life Child
The Quack Doctor The rich father's son
It's a Boy The child
Bungalow Troubles The son
1921 A Small Town Idol Baby
The Unhappy Finish
Made in the Kitchen The Son
Officer Cupid The cook's son
Astray from the Steerage The immigrant child
The Love Egg
Wanted, a Girl
A Rural Cinderella
1922 Bow Wow The country girl's baby brother
1925 Percy Percival Rogeen, as a boy
The Golden Princess Tennessee Hunter (age 10)
The Golden Bed [5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Amusements". Kansas City Kansan. December 27, 1921. p. 8. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  2. ^ "Two Sennett Comedies". Los Angeles Times. November 9, 1919. p. 43. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "World Famous Youngsters in the Public Eye". The Ithaca Journal. September 9, 1920. p. 6. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "Among the Movie Stars". The Salina Evening Journal. January 1, 1921. p. 8. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Walker, Brent E. (2013). Mack Sennett's Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786477111.
  6. ^ "Tucson's centenarians are an optimistic, active and growing group". Tucson.com. May 5, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  7. ^ "Pima Council on Aging, TMC host Salute to Centenarians". KOLD. May 3, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  8. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2013). Obituaries in the performing arts, 2012. McFarland (April 24, 2013). p. 183. ISBN 978-0786470631.

BibliographyEdit

  • John Holmstrom, The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995, Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, p. 81.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

List of surviving silent film actors