Spirit of America Bookstore

William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst [1863-1951] late-life portrait          short profile

works about
Wm. Randolph Hearst

movies, plays, other media

The Hearst Empire
Hearst Castle

family & friends
Marion Davies


"News is something somebody doesn't want printed; all else is advertising."

"You must keep your mind on the objective, not on the obstacle."

"The coming of the motion picture was as important as that of the printing press."

— William Randolph Hearst

          B I O
          t e x t
          h e r e
major factor in growth of Hollywood, emergence of studio system
newspaper tycoon William Randolph 'W.R.' Hearst

W.R. Hearst entry at Wikipedia
W.R. Hearst credits [1915-33] at Internet Movie Database
W.R. Hearst credits {as character} at Internet Movie Database

Works About Wm. Randolph Hearst

Citizen Hearst  "Citizen Hearst: The Monumental & Controversial Biography of One of The Most Fabulous Characters In American History" [1961]
by W.A. Swanberg

Scribner mass pb [5/81] out of print/many used
B.B.S. Publng 9½x6½ hardcover [9/96] out of print/used
Hearst & Davies Affair TV movie starring Robert Mitchum  "The Hearst and Davies Affair" [A.B.C. TV movie Jan 1985]
"America's Royal Scandal" Partly filmed at Hearst Castle; although newspaper tycoon William Randolph 'W.R.' Hearst was married, he did not hide his long-term affair with actress Marion Davies, which began around 1918 and lasted until his death in 1951. Directed by David Lowell Rich; starring Robert Mitchum (as W.R.), Virginia Madsen, Fritz Weaver, Doris Belack, Laura Henry, Frances Hyland, Caroline Yeager, Lorne Kennedy (as Charlie Chaplin), George Touliatos, Wayne Best & Kimble Hall (as Thomas Ince)
DVD not available • A.B.C. Video color VHS [6/93] out of prodn/used
full credits from IMDb • movie entry at Wikipedia {empty}
William Randolph Hearst Early Years biography by Ben Procter  
"William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years, 1863-1910" [1998]
by Ben Procter

Oxford Univ Press 9¼x6¾ hardcover [4/98] for $60.00
William Randolph Hearst & the American Century book by Nancy Whitelaw  "William Randolph Hearst and The American Century" [1999]
by Nancy Whitelaw

Morgan Reynolds Publng library hardcover [1/2004] for $24.95
Morgan Reynolds Publng 8½x5¾ library hardcover [12/99] out of print/used
The Chief biography of William Randolph Hearst by David Nasaw  "The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst" [2000 national bestseller]
by David Nasaw

Mariner Books 8¼x5½ pb [9/2001] for $11.53
Houghton Mifflin 9½x6½ hardcover [6/2000] out of print/many, many used
Giants of American Industry, William Randolph Hearst book by Nancy Frazier  "Giants of American Industry: William Randolph Hearst" [2001]
by Nancy Frazier

Blackbirch Press 9x6¾ hardcover [4/2001] out of print/many used
Hearst Over Hollywood book by Louis Pizzitola  "Hearst Over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda In The Movies" [2002]
by Louis Pizzitola

Columbia Univ Press hardcover [2/2002] for $37.48
Walking Shadows / Welles, Hearst & Citizen Kane  "Walking Shadows: Orson Welles, William Randolph Hearst & Citizen Kane" [2004]
by John Evangelist Walsh

Popular Press 8¼x6 hardcover [11/2004] for $28.70

see also Magic Lantern's Orson Welles [1915-85] Page

William Randolph Hearst Later Years biography by Ben Procter  "William Randolph Hearst: The Later Years, 1911-1951" [2007]
by Ben Procter

Oxford Univ Press 9¼x6½ hardcover [4/2007] for $20.38
Why Be Good? Sexuality and Censorship in Early Cinema docufilm  "Why Be Good? Sexuality & Censorship In Early Cinema"
[Playboy/American Cinemateque May 2007]

70-minute documentary about the uncensored days before the Hays Code was established in 1935; featuring archive & interview footage of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Cecil B. DeMille, Marlene Dietrich, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, Jean Harlow, Will H. Hays, William Randolph Hearst, Pola Negri, Mary Pickford, Barbra Stanwyck, Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, and Mae West Co-written & directed by Elaina Archer; co-written by cinema historian Scott Eyman; narrated by Diane Lane; modern interviewees include Cari Beauchamp, Budd Schulberg, Kevin Thomas, and Marc Wanamaker • full credits at IMDb
Image Ent. color/b&w DVD [11/2008] out of prodn/used

Devil's Garden novel by Ace Atkins  "Devil's Garden" [2009] by Ace Atkins
Pinkerton agent (and future noir master) Dashiell Hammett was indeed hired by the defense team in the notorious San Francisco manslaughter trials of silent screen star Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. From this seed of fact, Atkins weaves together the lives of Hollywood luminaries such as Arbuckle, his estranged wife Minta Durfee, newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, and Hearst's very public mistress Marion Davies.
Berkley Trade 8¼x5½ pb [3/2010] for $11.70
Putnam 9x6 hardcover [4/2009] out of print/used
Uncrowned King William Randolph Hearst book by Kenneth Whyte  "The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst" [2009]
by Kenneth Whyte

Counterpoint 8½x5½ pb [12/2009] for $11.96
Counterpoint 9x6¼ hardcover [12/2009] for $21.90

Movies, Stageplays, Other Media

"Citizen  Kane" [Mercury/R.K.O. May 1941]
Citizen Kane one-sheet poster  

Citizen Kane screenplay  

Generally considered the 'Best Film of All Time' A multimillionaire newspaper tycoon {modeled after Wm. Randolph Hearst} dies and his last utterance is the single word 'rosebud'; a curious reporter attempts to unlock the riddle of its meaning by interviewing the tycoon's friends and business partners, revealing the tycoon's life events through flashbacks. The film won an Oscar for Best Original Script, and is number one on the Top 100 List of the American Film Institute, is listed on the National Film Registry (1989), and is listed on Time Magazine's All-TIME 100 Movies (5/2005). Produced, co-written & directed by Orson Welles [1915-85]; co-written by Herman J. Mankiewicz; cinematography by Gregg Toland; music by Bernard Herrmann; co-starring Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead, Ruth Warrick, Ray Collins, Erskine Sanford, Everett Sloane, William Alland, Thomas Anderson, Paul Stewart & George Coulouris
Turner b&w DVD [9/2001] 2 disks for $16.97
Turner b&w VHS [8/96] out of prodn/many used
Varese Sarabande soundtrack CD [11/99] for $16.18
full credits from IMDb
"Citizen Kane" screenplay [2002] by Orson Welles & Herman J. Mankiewicz
includes the essay "Raising Kane" by Pauline Kael
Methuen Drama pb [5/2002] for $18.42
more details (synopsis, books, posters, links) on
Magic Lantern's "Citizen Kane" 1941 Movie Page

"R.K.O.  281"  tv movie
[H.B.O./WGBH airdate Nov 1999]
R.K.O. 281 video  The title is the production number for the filming of "Citizen Kane". After Hearst learned that Orson Welles was making a feature film that was a thinly-disguised and unflattering look at Hearst's life, the publishing tycoon and presidential hopeful used his power and influence to bury the picture. Directed by Benjamin Ross; starring Liev Schreiber {as Welles}, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich & Roy Scheider; nominated for 13 Emmy Awards, including Best TV Movie, Best Direction & Best Script, won 3 minor Emmies; won WGA Award for Best TV Script (tied)
H.B.O. Home Video color DVD [4/2000] for $12.99
H.B.O. Home Video color VHS [3/2001] out of prodn/used
full credits from IMDb

"The Cat's Meow"  feature film [Lionsgate April 2002]
Cat's Meow movie directed by Peter Bogdanovich  A version of events on Hearst's yacht Oneida, during a star-studded party off the coast of California in November 1924, and the possible connection to the death of Thomas Ince; real-life passengers included Hearst, his girlfriend actress Marion Davies, Charlie Chaplin, studio head Ince, actress Margaret Livingston, columnist Louella Parsons, author Elinor Glyn, and others. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich; script by Steven Peros, based on his stage play; starring Cary Elwes {as Ince}, Kirsten Dunst, Edward Herrmann, Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Tilly, Claudia Harrison, Victor Slezak & James Laurenson
Lionsgate widescreen color DVD [9/2003] for $12.99
Vidmark/Trimark color VHS [8/2002] out of prodn/used
R.C.A. soundtrack CD [4/2002] out of prodn/used
full credits from IMDb


"W.R. and Daisy" musical stageplay [2004]
Composed by Glenn Paxton, book & lyrics by Robert & Phyllis White • official website

The  Hearst  Empire
owns 20% of ESPN
WINS news radio station in New York City
Hearst's I.F.S. movie mill
film company Cosmopolitan Productions

Hearst newspapers
Hearst flagship San Francisco Examiner [est. 1865, purch 1880; sold to Anschutz in 2004]
The Advocate [est. 1829, purch 11/2007] in Stamford, Connecticut
Times Union [est. 1857, purch 1924] in Albany, New York
Edwardsville Intelligencer [est. 1862, purch 1979] in Edwardsville, Illinois
Post-Intelligencer [est. 1863, purch 1921, online-only 2009] in Seattle, Washington
San Antonio Express-News [est. 1865, purch 1992]
San Francisco Chronicle [est. 1865]
defunct Los Angeles Express [est. 1871, purch 1931]
defunct Los Angeles Herald [est. 1873, purch 1931]
Greenwich Time [est. 1877, purch 11/2007] in Greenwich, Connecticut
Beaumont Enterprise [est. 1880, purch 1984] in Beaumont, Texas
Laredo Morning Times [est. 1881, purch 1984] in Laredo, Texas
Midland Daily News [est. 1881, purch 1979] in Midland, Michigan
The News-Times [est. 1883, merged 1933] in Danbury, Connecticut
Connecticut Post [est. 1883, purch 8/2008] in Bridgeport, Connecticut
defunct New York Journal-American [est. 1895, merged 1937, closed 1966]
Houston Chronicle [est. 1901, purch 1987] in Houston, Texas
defunct Los Angeles Examiner [est. 1903, merged 1962]
Huron Daily Tribune [est. 1906, purch 1979] in Bad Axe, Michigan
defunct New York Daily Mirror 'racy' tabloid newspaper [est. 1924, closed 1963]
defunct Los Angeles Herald-Express [purch/merger 1931, re-merged 1962]
defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner [merged 1962, closed 1989]
Midland Reporter-Telegram [est. ?, purch 1979] in Midland, Texas
Plainview Herald [est. ?, purch 1979] in Plainview, Texas

Universal News Service
International News Service [est. 1909]
King Features Syndicate
1914 Examiner Newspaper Building in Downtown Los Angeles, California

The Ranch in Wyntoon near Mt. Shasta, California
W.R. Hearst’s Mansion [built 1927, purch 1947] in Beverly Hills
Hearst's 1,625,000-acre {6,580 kmฒ}) ranch, Babicora in Mexico [sold in 1953]

La Cuesta Encantada {Hearst Castle}
Hearst Castle was built from 1919 to 1947 near San Simeon, California by architect Julia Morgan; Hearst Corp. donated
the property to the State of California in 1957; public tours are very popular, with around one million visitors each year.
Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument
Hearst Castle entry at Wikipedia

Hearst's Dream book by Taylor Coffman  "Hearst's Dream: The Evolution of The Enchanted Hill, From Camp To Castle, and A History of The San Simeon Area" [1989]
by Taylor Coffman, Illustrated by Charles Collins

EZ Nature Books 8½x5½ pb [12/89] out of print/used
America's Castles, Hearst Castle At San Simeon  "America's Castles: Hearst Castle At San Simeon" [A&E 1995]
45-minute documentary film • series credits at IMDb
A&E Home Video color DVD [3/2006] for $9.99
Murder At San Simeon mystery novel by Patty Hearst  "Murder At San Simeon: A Novel of Suspense" [1996]
by Patricia Hearst & Cordelia Frances Biddle

A young woman is surprised when given the task of sprinkling her mother's ashes at the Hearst estate, San Simeon. While there, she overhears gossip that her grandmother – one-time personal assistant to actress Marion Davies (mistress to married tycoon William Randolph Hearst) – was involved in the mysterious death of Thomas Ince during a yacht party hosted by Hearst, so she sets out to clear her grandmother's name.
Pocket mass pb [12/97] out of print/many used
Scribner hardcover [9/96] out of print/many used

Hearst Castle Building the Dream IMAX movie on DVD  "Hearst Castle: Building The Dream" [IMAX 1996]
Filmed in 70mm for IMAX; 40 minutes of mediocre spectacle written &
directed by Bruce Neibaur
Vista Point Ent. color/b&w DVD [9/2006] for $14.95
Sling Shot color/b&w DVD [6/99] out of prodn/used
Sling Shot color/b&w VHS [6/2000] out of prodn/used
full credits at IMDb
The Angel's Cup novel by Patricia Little  "The Angel's Cup: A Novel" [2000] by Patricia Little
During a public tour of Hearst Castle, Maggy Lane sees an angel, who wants help recovering an antique cup. The request involves Maggy's grandmother's diary and events of 60 years past at Hearst's fabulous estate.
Writers Club Press 9¼x6 pb [5/2000] for $15.95
author's website
Hearst Castle books by Victoria Kastner & Victoria Garagliano  "Hearst Castle: The Biography of A Country House" [2000]
by Victoria Kastner, Photographs by Victoria Garagliano

Harry N. Abrams 12x9½ hardcover [11/2000] for $40.81
"Hearst's San Simeon: The Gardens and The Land" [2009]
by Victoria Kastner, Photographs by Victoria Garagliano

Harry N. Abrams 12x9½ hardcover [5/2009] for $43.74

"Secrets of San Simeon with Patricia Hearst" TV movie [2001]
Co-produced, written & directed by George Merlis • DVD/Blu-ray not available • credits at IMDb

Hearst Castle, An American Palace book by Barbara Knox  
"Hearst Castle: An American Palace" [ages 9-12; 2006]
by Barbara J. Knox

Bearport Publng 10¼x8¼ hardcover [1/2006] out of print/used
Hearst Castle: The Enchanted Hill video release  "Hearst Castle: The Enchanted Hill" [undated]
90-minute program, 53-minute version on VHS, 60-minute version on DVD;
hosted by actor John Forsythe • not listed at IMDb
Total Content color DVD [3/2006] for $16.95
Total Content color VHS [undated] out of prodn/used
below VHS is possibly a different product with the same title
Panorama Intl. Prodns color/b&w VHS [black cover; undated] out of prodn/used

Family & Friends
father mining engineer Sen. George Hearst [1820-91]
mother Phoebe Apperson Hearst [1842-1919], married 1862, widowed 1891
only son Wm. Randolph Hearst [1863-1951]

wife Millicent Veronica Willson Hearst [1882–1974]
married 1903, long-separated, widowed 1951
son George Randolph Hearst [1904-72]
son William Randolph Hearst, Jr. [1908-93]
son John Randolph Hearst [1910-58]
son {twin} Randolph Apperson 'R.A.' Hearst [1915-2000]
son {twin} David Whitmire (n้e Elbert Willson) Hearst [1915-86]
'love child' with Marion Davies Patricia van Cleve Lake [1923-93]

Wm. Randolph Hearst III [b. 1949]
{daughter of R.A.} Patricia Campbell 'Patty' Hearst Shaw [b. 1954]
{daughter of Patty] model Lydia Marie Hearst-Shaw [b. 1984]
{daughter of R.A.} editor Anne Randolph Hearst McChesney Harris McInerney [b. 1956]
{daughter of Anne] socialite Amanda Randolph Hearst [b. 1984]

Hearst's longtime mistress/companion
Marion Davies
William Randolph Hearst holding hands with Marion Davies at San Simeon party, late 1940s              Marion Cecilia Douras was born on 3 January 1897 in Brooklyn, New York City. She and her sisters had showbiz aspirations, and all changed their surname to Davies. Marion was hired for the Ziegfield Follies in 1916. She wrote her first major film appearance, which was produced by Broadway producer George W. Lederer, her brother-in-law. The next three films assured her stardom; she made 29 feature films in the next ten years.
       She became mistress to the married (and effectively estranged) William Randolph Hearst around 1918; he formed Cosmopolitan Pictures to make films starring Marion, and heavily advertised the result. Marion concluded in her biography that Hearst's over-promotion actually hurt her acting career. She made her last film in 1937, and thereafter devoted her time to being Hearst's 'companion', which included hosting weekend trips and parties at San Simeon and Hearst's Beverly Hills estate and her own Ocean House in Santa Monica.
       Cosmopoltan Pictures folded in the late 1930s, and Hearst suffered a series of fianancial reversals. Marion sold a castle in Wales that Hearst had bought for her, and wrote him a check for $1 million. She tended to the failing Hearst until his death in August 1951 at age 88 at the Hearst Mansion in Beverly Hills, which she inherited. Hearst gave her 51% of his wealth in his will; she was barred from Hearst's San Francisco funeral.
       Nine weeks after Hearst's death, Marion married Horace G. Brown in Las Vegas, Nevada; by all reports, the marriage was unhappy, and she filed for divorce twice (neither filing was finalized). She died at age 64 of bone cancer in September 1961. Her footprints are in the forecourt at Grauman's Chinese Theatre {13 May 1929} and she received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
       After the death of Marion's neice Patricia van Cleve Lake [1923-93], the family revealed that Patricia was the love child of Hearst and Marion Davies, raised by Marion's sister Reine 'Rose' Davies Lederer Regas.

search DVDs on keywords 'Marion Davies' at Amazon
Marion Davies credits [1917-60] at Internet Movie Database
Marion Davies credits [1914-20] at Internet Broadway Database
Marion Davies entry at Wikipedia
Marion Davies Photo Gallery at Silent Ladies & Gents
Marion Davies 'Ocean House' at Santa Monica Beach [reopened as public facility April 2009]

Intimate Biography of Marion Davies book by Fred Lawrence Guiles  
"The Intimate Biography of Marion Davies" [1972]
by Fred Lawrence Guiles

Bantam mass pb [1972] out of print/scarce
W.H. Allen U.K. import hardcover [1973] out of print/used
The Times We Had autobiography by Marion Davies  "The Times We Had: Life With William Randolph Hearst - The Publishing Czar & The Hollywood Star" [1975] by Marion Davies, Edited by Pamela Pfau & Kenneth S. Marx, Foreword by Orson Welles - "with more than 150 outrageous photographs"
Ballantine Books mass pb [3/85] for $7.99
Bobbs-Merrill 10x7¼ hardcover [1975] out of print/many, many used
True Story of Marion Davies  "Captured On Film: The True Story of Marion Davies"
[2001 Turner/Milestone TV documentary]

Co-written & directed by Hugh Munro Neely; narrated by Charlize Theron; featuring Cari Beauchamp, Kevin Brownlow, Charles Champlin, Virginia Madsen, Constance Moore & Ruth Warrick
Image Ent. color/b&w DVD [12/2002] out of prodn/used
Milestone color/b&w VHS [1/2002] out of prodn/scarce
documentary's credits at IMDb
the DVD includes the 1-hour documentary, a stills gallery, and the silent period comedy
feature "Quality Street" [1927] co-starring Conrad Nagel

L i n k s
W.R. Hearst entry at Wikipedia
W.R. Hearst credits [1915-33] at Internet Movie Database
W.R. Hearst credits {as character} at Internet Movie Database
search DVDs on keywords 'William Randolph Hearst' at Amazon
search posters & photos on keywords 'William Randolph Hearst' at AllPosters.com

listed #80 on The Atlantic Monthly's Top 100 Most Influential Figures in American History [Dec 2006]
as "The press baron who perfected yellow journalism and helped start the Spanish-American War."

here on the Wm. Randolph Hearst [1863-1951] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

top of page • short profile • works about Wm. Randolph Hearst • movies, plays, other media •

The Hearst Empire • Hearst Castle • family & friends • Marion Davies • links

˜                    ˜

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