A Hollywood movie star who once called Fort Wayne home was honored by her hometown today.
Marilynn Maxwell was a Central High School sophomore when she launched her singing career.
She quickly ended up in Hollywood playing opposite some of the movie screen's biggest stars.
Today a bronze plaque honoring Maxwell was placed on the walk of recognition in front of the Embassy Theatre.
Marilyn Maxwell became a huge movie star, but she always carried her hometown with her in her heart.
They're honoring a star at the Embassy Theatre this week, a hometown girl who became the darling of Hollywood but never forgot her roots in 21Country.
Lori Lobsiger, with the Embassy Theatre says, "Even though she had the glamour, she had the talent. She never lost that wholesomeness, that corn-fed Midwest influence on her.
Marilyn Maxwell was one of the legendary blonde bombshells that drove the Hollywood box office in the 1940's and '50's, but she grew up in this house on Fort Wayne's West Washington Boulevard.
She attended Washington Elementary and Central High Schools.
She was a high school sophomore when she joined an Indianapolis band as a singer, and was discovered by big band legend Buddy Rogers.
Lobsiger says, "And Buddy Rogers took her at that time and put her into the Pasadena Acting School and gave her the opportunity to learn the dramatic acting that he thought she needed."
Marilyn Maxwell could do it all.sing, dance, act.
In 1942, she scored her first big movie role in 'Stand by for Action' with Robert Taylor.
Marilyn would play opposite all Hollywood's big leading men.Kirk Douglas, Van Johnson, Clark Gable.
But it was in a comedy, 'The Lemon Drop Kid' where Marilyn first teamed up with Bob Hope.
It was a partnership that would last through several pictures and numerous trips overseas to entertain American troops in Europe and Korea.
Unlike most stars of her Hollywood generation, Marilyn Maxwell never succumbed to the temptations of fame.
She remained always a devoted mother and fiercely loyal friend.
She died of a heart attack in 1972 at age 51.never quite receiving the recognition her multiple talents deserved.
Lobsiger says, "She had left MGM days before they submitted names for the Hollywood Walk of Fame and she was very disappointed she wouldn't be included there, so we're going to give her a little of that."
This is the bronze plaque that will grace the sidewalk in front of the Embassy Theatre for generations to come.the same theatre where her mother once played the organ to accompany silent films.
It is a long overdue tribute to Fort Wayne's favorite daughter...a dazzling movie star who never let the glitz and the glamour outshine the good she carried with her, from 21Country.
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