On the Set: Miss Marion Sproul

I recently came across an article that revealed (to me anyway) the identity of the well dressed languid beauty who orders coffee from Buster in The Cook : Miss Marion Sproul.

(San Francisco Chronicle, May 17, 1918)

The article also does a good job illustrating how relaxed filming must have been in those days. Two bystanders just blithely hopped into a scene. If they’d pursued it, they might have become full blown stars.

(Pittsburgh Daily Post, July 7, 1918)

It’s pretty obvious to me they’re describing this scene with Miss Sproul in her enviable evening gown.

Marion and Buster in The Cook

And here’s a little more of her acting a bit later in the film.

I wonder what she’s shocked about

Marion Sproul was a society girl and heiress. Her father died when she was young and despite the fact that her mother was still alive, his partner F.C. Lusk adopted her and her brother in order to legally and financially care for them. Lusk was a Chico California lawyer and financier who died in 1913 leaving Marion and her brother “the major portion of an estate valued at more than $200,000.” (The Sacramento Bee, Feb. 27, 1913). Today that would be something like $5,700,000 and was comprised of “town lots in Chico and ranch property in Butte county.” The money was put into a trust controlled by her mother until she turned thirty. (The Chico Enterprise. February 27, 1913). Another article interestingly mentions Marion was an accomplished basketball player on her school team. (Oroville Daily Register, Oct. 19, 1911).

(The Sacramento Bee, Aug. 30, 1919)

In early 1918 it seems she moved from Chico to Los Angeles and struck up a short friendship with Roscoe, along with her society friend Doris Smith. She had a bit of bad luck at the beginning of the year – someone stole an expensive suitcase full of expensive things out of her car, (Oroville Daily Register, Feb. 6, 1918). But I think we can all agree life soon started looking up. Marion didn’t pursue acting, but was married in August 1919 to Maurice V. Kelly of Winnipeg Canada.

(Los Angeles Evening Express, Mar. 6, 1918)

Have any additional thoughts or information on Miss Marion Sproul? Love to hear it!