Marilyn Miller Gerold, a former legit actress who appeared in several Broadway shows during the late 1940s, died of undisclosed causes Oct. 3 near New Hope, Penn., She was 76.
Raised in Bogota, N.J., she first worked professionally on an NBC radio children’s show when she was 8 as Marilyn Miller. By 12 she had appeared on a bevy of radio shows including “Our Gal Sunday,” “The March of Time” and “Famous Jury Trials.” She also sang with the Guy Lombardo Orchestra for CBS.
She hit the road at 16 with Benny Davis in a vaudeville revue and toured as a singer with Johnny Lang’s big band when she was spotted by a talent scout who got her a contract with Universal.
While a contract player at the studio she roomed and became friends with actress Dorothy Malone. After graduation from University High School in L.A., she was signed by Mike Todd to appear in the Chicago production of “Star and Garter.”
Gerold then traveled east to Manhattan and opened Dec. 5, 1946, in “If The Shoe Fits,” a musical based on the Cinderella story. Show was produced by Leonard Sillman and the music was penned by David Raksin. It ran for 20 perfs.
She then appeared in “Small Wonder,” which opened Sept. 15, 1948, at the Coronet Theatre and ran for 134 performances.
She essayed the role of Lois Lane in the national tour of “Kiss Me, Kate,” which returned to Broadway Jan. 8, 1952 at the Broadway Theater.
She was married that same year and left show business to raise a family.
In 1961 she founded the Make Believe Players, a children’s theater group.
She is survived by her husband, Arthur Gerold; two daughters; a son and six grandchildren.
Family suggests donations in her name be made to Doylestown Hospital, 595 W. State St., Doylestown, PA 18901.