Marion Burns

Marion Burns (August 9, 1907 December 22, 1993) was an American film actress of the 1930s. She is best known for having starred opposite John Wayne in the 1935 film The Dawn Rider and opposite him again that same year in Paradise Canyon.

Marion Burns
Marion Burns
Born(1907-08-09)August 9, 1907
DiedDecember 22, 1993(1993-12-22) (aged 86)
Years active1931 1961
Spouse(s)Bruce MacFarlane
Kane Richmond (1934-1973) (his death) 2 children


Early years

Burns was born in Los Angeles, California, making her way to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting. She earned a bachelor's degree in dramatics from the University of California.[1]


Burns was active in stock theater.[2] Her Broadway credits include Intimate Relations and They Don't Mean Any Harm, both in 1931.[3]


Burns received her first film role in 1931, starring opposite Bill Cody in Oklahoma Jim. That film started her on the path of starring in Western films as a heroine. In 1932, she starred opposite George O'Brien in The Golden West, followed by Me and My Gal that same year. In 1933, she starred in Sensation Hunters opposite Preston Foster; 1934 and 1935 were her biggest years, with her appearing in six films, three each year, two of which were uncredited, and the most notable being the two John Wayne films. Her first film in 1934 was The Devil Tiger.

In The Devil Tiger, Director Clyde E. Elliott allowed his hero, Kane Richmond, to fight a 25-foot python. Richmond hated doubles and had insisted. The actor, on his feet, on the ground, on his feet again, succeeded in holding the snake's snapping mouth away from his face, while struggling to free himself from the triple coils around his body. At the height of the struggle, the heroine, Marion Burns, runs in and saves the hero from the python. Miss Burns had to fight the snake, too, to get at Richmond's pistol, with which she was supposed to shoot the python. She played her own scene, as well.

In the 1934 film Born to Be Bad, Burns starred alongside Cary Grant and Loretta Young. In her last film of 1935, she starred opposite Lloyd Hughes in the crime drama Rip Roaring Riley. It was her last film for a span of 10 years.

She returned to acting three times and only briefly following 1935. The first time was in a stage appearance in Leaning on Letty in January 1936 at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. The second time was in 1945 alongside her husband in Brenda Starr, Reporter, which starred Kane Richmond and Joan Woodbury. The third time was in 1961, when she appeared on one episode of the television series My Three Sons.

Personal life

Burns married twice during her career. Her first marriage to actor Bruce MacFarlane ended in divorce. Her second marriage was in 1934 to actor Kane Richmond. (However, an item published in a January 30, 1934, newspaper reported that Burns and Richmond's marriage occurred the previous May and had been kept secret—indicating that they were married in 1933,[4] Burns and Richmond had two daughters.[5] And, an Associated Press story published January 26, 1934, referred to "the secret marriage of Kane Richmond and Marion Burns ... last May 22.")[6]

Later years

Burns eventually settled in Laguna Niguel, California, where she was living at the time of her death on December 22, 1993.


Year Title Role Notes
1931Oklahoma JimBetty Rankin
1932The Golden WestHelen Sheppard
1932For Me and My GalKate Riley
1933Sensation HuntersDale Jordan
1934Devil TigerMary Brewster
1934Born to Be BadMrs. Alyce Trevor
1934Flirting with DangerMarian Leslie
1935The Dawn RiderAlice Gordon
1935Paradise CanyonLinda Carter - aka Princess Natasha
1935Rip Roaring RileyAnne Baker
1938Dramatic SchoolWorking GirlUncredited
1945Brenda Starr, ReporterZeldaSerial, [Ch 9-10,12], Uncredited


  1. "Marion Burns Born to Be Screen Star". The Times Recorder. Ohio, Zanesville. July 28, 1935. p. 13. Retrieved August 31, 2016 via
  2. "Hollywood Actress Travels 12,000 Miles for Film Chance". The Times Recorder. Ohio, Zanesville. August 28, 1932. p. 17. Retrieved August 31, 2016 via
  3. "(Marion Burns search)". Playbill Vault. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  4. "Wed in Secret". The News-Herald. Pennsylvania, Franklin. January 30, 1934. p. 3. Retrieved August 31, 2016 via
  5. Boesen, Vic (October 1, 1941). "Meet the Stars". Big Spring Daily Herald. Texas, Big Spring. p. 11. Retrieved August 31, 2016 via
  6. "Film Couple in Secret Marriage". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. Associated Press. January 26, 1934. p. 2. Retrieved August 31, 2016 via
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