By James D. Carney
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Perhaps she felt the need to concentrate on her rocky marriage to a playboy whose father, she was beginning to learn, was a millionaire tightwad. Banned from the fashionable Riverside apartment, the two scraped a living in a one-room flat on West Eighty-Sixth Street. When the furniture he bought on credit was repossessed—he assumed his father would pick up the bill—they moved to a furnished apartment on Park Avenue. Junior’s assumption that his millionaire father would keep him and his showgirl wife afloat landed him in court in early May 1909, just as Mae was rehearsing for the Follies of 1909.
New posters, giving equal billing, saved the day. “During the entire Mae Murray 34 engagement Mae was sweetness incarnate,” Clifton recalled. ”9 Clifton Webb was Mae’s steady partner throughout the spring of 1914. After their Palace engagement, they did two shows at the Colonial before wowing the crowd at Mae Murray’s Folies Marigny, atop the Forty-Fourth Street Theatre. On Sundays, they did matinee performances at Hammerstein’s and the newly opened Brighton Theatre on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn.
12 Back in the States, William acted in some George M. 13 Howard Koenig, Mae’s youngest brother, had no interest in show business. While William was traveling the world and Mae was entertaining audiences on Broadway, Howard worked as a clerk for the National Biscuit Mae Murray 36 Mae’s brothers, Howard (left) and William Koenig in the mid-1910s. Courtesy of David King. Company. He and his wife, Beryl, reputed to be a relative of the notorious Dalton Gang, lived in Hamilton Heights. e In the fall of 1914, Mae was hired for a small part in Miss Daisy, a musical by Philip Bartholomae.