Starred with Chaplin in 'Monsieur Verdoux'
Marilyn Nash Hill, who starred with Charlie Chaplin in the latter’s 1947 dark comedy “Monsieur Verdoux,” died on Oct. 6, 2011. She was 84.The film, whose title character robs and murders the rich women he marries to keep his wife, who’s disabled, in middle-class comfort, was not well received by American critics, and Nash made only other pic, the undistinguished sci-fier “Unknown World,” in which she played a doctor. She also made a couple of appearances on television in the 1950s, in “Hopalong Cassidy” in 1952 and “Medic” in 1955. Through her first husband, screenwriter Philip Yordan (“Detective Story,” “Johnny Guitar”), she met William Castle, and her friendship with Castle lasted longer than her marriage to Yordan. In 2007, she appeared as an interviewee in Jeffrey Schwarz’s documentary “Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story.” Born in Flint, Mich., she was a student at the U. of Arizona planning on a career in medicine when she visited Los Angeles with her mother and met Chaplin on the tennis court at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He signed her to a contract with Chaplin Studios. Nash also acted onstage. Thanks to her marriage to Yordan (later an Oscar winner), she quickly found herself among Hollywood royalty, but the couple divorced in the early ’50s. She married Dr. Donald P. Franks, and the couple later relocated to Oroville, Calif., where she served as a casting director for films shot in that area, including “The Klansman,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “The Great Smokey Roadblock.” She later married Mack Hill, who predeceased her. Nash is survived by four sons and six grandchildren. A memorial will be held Thursday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. at St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church, 228 Salem St., Chico, CA 95928. Donations may be made at Nationalfragilexfoundation.org
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