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Subject: Wow, it seems his birthmother Silent Film actress Mae Murray was a hot mess as a mother, when she relinquished son Koran for adoption in 1936. She herself, had a crappy upbringing, and on her 4th marriage by 40. ...

I'm glad the little guy was finally raised by a stable adoptive family (but not w/o a fight), and seems to have done well in life after his teen years. …
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Date Posted: Thursday, January 03, 10:21:05pm
In reply to: Missing Link 's message, "Obit" on Thursday, January 03, 08:51:12pm

Personal Life of Mae Murray …
Murray was born in New York City, the second-oldest child of Joseph and Mary (née Miller) Koenig. Her maternal grandparents had emigrated from France while her paternal grandparents had emigrated from Germany. She had two brothers, William Robert (born November 1889) and Howard Joseph (born January 1884).

The family eventually moved to an apartment in the Lower East Side. In May 1896, Joseph Koenig, Murray's father, died from acute gastritis due to his alcoholism. To support the family, Mary Koenig took a job as a housekeeper for Harry Payne Whitney.

Later …
In September 1908, in Hoboken, New Jersey, while she was appearing in the Follies of 1908, Murray married William M. Schwenker, Jr. (born 1885), the unemployed son of a brewery-supply dealer, who cut off his son's allowance upon news of the wedding; they divorced in 1910. On December 18, 1916, she married former dancer and future Olympic bobsled champion Jay O'Brien.

After divorcing O'Brien in 1918, Murray wed movie director Robert Z. Leonard on August 18, 1918; they divorced on May 26, 1925.

Murray married her fourth husband, David Mdivani, on June 27, 1926.
The best man was Rudolph Valentino, and matron of honor was Pola Negri. …

Mae and David had one child, Koran David Mdivani (born January 1926), before divorcing in 1933. Koran was later raised by Sara Elizabeth "Bess" Cunning of Averill Park, New York, who began taking care of him in 1936, when the child was recovering from a double mastoid operation (Cunning's brother Dr. David Cunning was the surgeon). When Murray attempted to regain custody of her son in 1939, Cunning and her other brothers, John, Ambrose, and Cortland, refused, according to the New York Times, at which time Murray and her former husband, Mdivani, entered a bitter custody dispute. …

...It finally ended in 1940, with Murray being given legal custody of the child and the court ordering Mdivani to pay $400 a month maintenance. However, Koran Mdivani continued to live with Bess Cunning, who adopted him in 1940 under the name Daniel Michael Cunning. Reportedly, Mdivani had managed to siphon off most of Murray's money. David Mdivani would die in 1984.

...Murray's finances continued to collapse, and for most of her later life she lived in poverty. She was the subject of an authorized
biography, The Self-Enchanted (1959), written by Jane Ardmore, that has often been incorrectly called Murray's autobiography.

Mae Murray, seen here with actor Gilbert Roland,
at funeral of former film star Norma Talmadge in 1957. …

On the evening of February 19, 1964, 78-year-old Murray was found disoriented in St. Louis, thinking that she had completed a bus trip to New York. Murray explained to a Salvation Army officer that she had become lost trying to find her hotel, which she had forgotten the name of. She also refused bus fare back to Los Angeles as she claimed to have a ticket for the remainder of the journey in her purse, "if she could find it."

Death …
Many years later, Murray moved into the Motion Picture House in Woodland Hills,
a retirement community for Hollywood professionals. She died there on March 23, 1965
at the age of 79. She is interred in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery, North Hollywood, CA
-Though her birthdate is incorrect. …

...For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Mae Murray has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6318 Hollywood Blvd. She was one of three actresses (Pola Negri and Theda Bara were the others) whose eyes were combined to form the Chicago International Film Festival's logo, a stark, black and white close-up of the composite eyes set as repeated frames in a strip of film.

Read MORE on Murray's career …

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