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Marilyn Nash: Our own Auntie Mame!

Marilyn Nash: Our own Auntie Mame!

Once in a lifetime a man meets a renaissance woman, and I was lucky enough to meet one.   Her name was Marilyn Nash.  I actually met her through her first husband, infamous screenwriter, Phil Yordan.

But our friendship lasted a lifetime.

When I met Marilyn, she was under contract to Charlie Chaplin.  Yes, she was in Monsieur Verdoux. Yes, she was the woman with the big hat.

But Marilyn wasn’t Hollywood glitz–no, she was the real deal. Her strength, her compassion, her joie de vivre were to be envied.

Although she might be caught smoking a cigarette in an ornate cigarette holder, Marilyn was the most down to earth actress I had ever met. How do I know this?  Well, I know this because my wife, Ellen, hated everything to do with Hollywood but loved Marilyn.  Marilyn would become one of Ellen’s very best friends.

When I proposed to Ellen, Marilyn insisted we get married at her home.  And we did.  She was very upset when my bride showed up to her own wedding wearing the same dress as her identical twin sister, Ruth. “That’s just not right,” Marilyn would say.  “This is YOUR day.” But the festivities began, and we toasted with the finest champagne in sparkling glasses and feasted on caviar. “To life!” I can almost hear her say.

After I passed thirty-four years ago, she stood by my wife and taught her how to live again without me.  I love her for that.  She was a true friend to me and an even truer friend to Ellen.

When she was fifty and was asked her age, Marilyn would unabashedly say, “I’m 64-years-old.”  Then she would wink as she was complimented for looking so good for her age.

Marilyn built her own house, traveled the world, had adventures in countries most people just dream about visiting.  Her kids loved to call her Auntie Mame!  “Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

Marilyn didn’t starve, she drank up life.  But she also cared deeply for those she loved.  She kept her friends close and for forever. She was the most loyal person I have ever met.

The world lost Marilyn today.  But just like me, she will live on.  Her sons Douglas, Dennis, David, and Dan will make sure of it.  So will her adopted daughter Terry.

Forever

WC

8 Comments

  1. Dave Lunsford says:

    I watched “Unknown World” because it was the first promotion of the ‘Hollow Earth’ theory, which has caught my attention for the day…poorly made film and in worse condition today yet Marilyn Nash captivated my attention in many ways. She had a presences in her scenes unlike the others around her and beautiful as she was, she had an incredible modern look as well – she was stunning and it led me to do a bit of research and I ended here.

    It was so pleasing to learn what a wonderful lady she was.

  2. Geoff Nolan says:

    I watched Monsieur Verdoux for the first time last night and frankly I was captivated by Marilyn. I had no idea who she was, but, in looks, she reminded me of Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. I was very pleased when Charlie Chaplin refrained from treating her as he did the other women in the movie..! Having read about her tonight, I’m pleased that, in real life, she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

    Best regards from Ireland

  3. T.F. Hurley says:

    She made the world a better place and the world shall dearly miss her !

  4. Dennis says:

    I first saw her in “Unknown World” a movie I apparently I liked more then many. But Marilyn Nash really made an imprint on me. Not necessarily the acting but merely by her presence. I was sad to see her go, however, she outlived practically everyone involved with “Unknown World by more then a decade. The screenplay writer was the only other person from that movie to reach the 21st century. “Unknown World” does have a cult following and I’m sure she has her share of fans. I was born (in 1955) just about the time she finished her short acting career. But she was one actress I’d have loved to meet in person. I was pleased to see her in the Spine Tingler The William Castle Story.

    I actually pulled out the I-pod last night (on which I have “Unknown World” recorded) and watched it in her honer.

    Her passing closes a small but significant chapter in early Science Fiction cinema.

    Thank you, Marilyn, for sharing YOUR “15 minutes of fame” with the rest of us.

  5. This is a very touching tribute… May we all be this fondly remembered when our time comes.

  6. Timothy Kerley says:

    Rest in Peace, Marilyn. It was only last week that I watched Monsieur Verdoux, and again marvelled at how Ms Nash held her own with the great Chaplin. Rest in peace, wonderful, beautiful lady…

  7. Dan Yordan says:

    Thanks so much Bill for such a beautiful and thoughtful tribute to Mom. She was truely ‘Auntie Mame’, always on the go, always keeping things ‘in motion’!
    She will be remembered and missed by us all.
    Blessings Always–Dan

    • William Castle says:

      It is such a loss. She will always be remembered! Others on facebook are remembering your mom today!

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