Tuesday, December 13, 2011
RIP Marilyn O'Connor
Davis, who moved to the Conejo Valley in 1965, died Nov. 13 at Simi Valley Hospital nine days after suffering a stroke.
She became ill at the United Church of Christ in Simi Valley while performing Nov. 4 in a fundraising cabaret of music and skits.
"It was pretty theatrical," said her daughter, Maripat Davis, who was also performing in the show.
"She was singing and dancing, and when she came offstage during one of her breaks, she complained of a headache. She went back onstage and did a tap dance, then came offstage, and her headache was worse, and she was feeling nauseous," Maripat Davis said.
Paramedics were called, and Marilyn Davis was taken to the hospital, where she died with her family at her bedside.
Born in Duluth, Minn., Davis made her Broadway debut as a teenager, her daughter said, and never stopped performing.
She appeared in the Broadway and National Touring Company productions of "South Pacific," "Miss Liberty" and "Finian's Rainbow," which is where she met her future husband, Charles Davis. They married in 1950.
She also performed in Las Vegas and in shows at the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, the Greek Theatre and the Sacramento Music Circus, her family said.
She was a frequent guest star on TV shows, including "ER," "Frasier," "7th Heaven," "In Living Color," "MAD TV," "Matlock" and "Joey." She had recently completed appearances on "Raising Hope" and "American Horror Story."
Charles and Marilyn Davis brought the first musical production to the Conejo Players Theatre in Thousand Oaks in 1966, when they performed in "Finian's Rainbow." Charles Davis directed a revival of the show in 2006 in which he, his wife and their daughter performed.
The couple also appeared with their daughter as part of the Actors and Singers Studio in Thousand Oaks, which Charles and Maripat Davis co-founded.
Maripat Davis said her mother always felt young, still drove to Los Angeles and was in touch with her agent up until her death.
"She was just an amazing person. She was very passionate about her art, and she loved to make people laugh," she said.
"She also was a huge humanitarian and animal lover, and she did a lot of volunteer work for people."
In addition to her daughter, Marilyn Davis is survived by her son-in-law, Jon Gordon; son, Blaine O'Connor; and grandson, Patrick Gordon-Davis, 13. Charles Davis — an actor, writer and director — died in December 2009 at age 84.
A celebration of her life and work will be held at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Christ, 370 Royal Ave. The service will feature a slide show of her life, video clips from her film and TV work as well as music and tributes.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations in Marilyn Davis' name be sent to the nonprofit animal rescue group Animal Resources, 682 Hacienda Drive, Camarillo, which is dedicated to saving shelter pets from euthanasia.
Born: 19??, Duluth, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Died: 11/13/2011, Simi Valley, California, U.S.A.
Marilyn O'Connor's western - actress:
Tombstone Territory (TV) - 1958