I was watching a Ziegfeld Follies compilation a few years back and while I want nothing more for myself than to be able to time travel back to the 1920’s so I could be a Ziegfeld Follies girl so I find them all to be quite pretty, this girl caught my attention. She is the epitome of gorgeous. So I looked at the credits did some searching and found out her name was Marion Benda. Wikipedia here I come right? Nope, there is nothing on wikipedia about her. Like I said; tragic. But I’m an internet digger, I thought surely I could find some stuff. This is all I’ve managed to dig up on her though.
-For a while she was thought to possibly have been the infamous Woman in Black…the woman who would go to Rudolph Valentino’s tomb on the anniversary of his death each year.
-She also claimed to have had two illegitimate children with Rudolph Valentino. Both claims have been proven false.
-She is not to be confused with Zeppo Marx’s first wife who changed her name to Marion Benda as well right around the same time period as this Marion was charming the world
-She went through a slew of husbands
-She killed herself….all the tragic and beautiful ones do
-She had attempted suicide 7 times and was stated as saying “He (Valentino) always said I was too beautiful to live…”
Where did I find that info on her? Other people’s blogs. There is little to no info on her, I used those anecdotes because they appeared across a few blogs, but no one showed where they found that info. And that is what I love about Benda. The mystery. She lived in a time where it was completely possible to have a semi-public life…a Ziegfeld Girl, the last girl seen with Valentino…but still remain a complete mystery to us here in the year 2016. I’ve created my own story for Marion in my head anyways so it doesn’t really matter what info may or may not be floating around out there concerning her. All I know is she was tragically sad and overwhelmingly gorgeous and I want to be her.