From the Los Angeles Times, Oct. 31, 1993:
What was for decades one of Hollywood’s juiciest rumors–the kind of scoop Walter Winchell and Hedda Hopper whispered about but never dared dish–unceremoniously surfaced this month in a newspaper death notice three paragraphs long, Page 14, Column 6.
Patricia Van Cleve Lake, “the only daughter of famed movie star Marion Davies and famed (publisher) William Randolph Hearst,” was dead.
Hollywood of the 1920s once buzzed with rumors that a child had been born of the scandalous affair so publicly conducted by Hearst and Davies–the eccentric newspaper monarch and his actress mistress. But the little blond girl who lived in the margins of the publishing dynasty was always introduced as “the niece of Miss Marion Davies.”
Patricia grew up mingling with the likes of Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and Jean Harlow at the parties Davies threw inside Hearst’s hilltop castle at San Simeon. If anyone noticed the striking resemblance the young girl bore to Hearst, they did not mention it aloud.
She carried the secret around for more than 60 years, even after the deaths of Hearst in 1951 and Davies a decade later. But 10 hours before she died from complications of lung cancer in a desert hospital on Oct. 3, Patricia Van Cleve Lake told her son she wanted the world to know who she really was.
Updated:This article erroneously identified the man on the left as W.R. Hearst. It has been updated with his correct name, Horace Brown.
Jon Ponder | Nov 29, 2013
Section: Sunset Strip History