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1926 - 2011 Obituary Condolences

Marilyn Nash Hill was called to green pastures on October 6, 2011. She is now with many close friends and under the wings of God, His Son and angels.

Born October 26, 1926 to Lloyd and Beatrice Nash of Flint Michigan, Marilyn and her sister, Elizabeth were part of the Great Depression era children. Although it was a difficult time, this prepared her to stand up as a young woman and take life by the horns. At the age of 17, while traveling with her mother to Los Angeles, she met a distinguished actor while playing tennis at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The actor was non-other than Charley Chaplin. Having an athletic ability and outgoing personality, Mr. Chaplin challenged her to a game of tennis and then signed Marilyn to a multi-year contract with Chaplin Studios. Although she never became a major star, she went on to act in several movies including, Monsieur Verdoux and Unknown World. At a young age, she met and married famous Broadway and Hollywood writer/producer, Phillip Yordan. She gave birth to her first son, Daniel soon afterward. Marilyn was very active in local children's charities and as an active member of the Motion Picture Academy, headed many significant charity fund raisers that took place at famous mansions, including Playboy's Hugh Hefner home and The Ten Commandments Director, Cecil B. Demile's home. To read more of Marilyn's Hollywood history, read her interview at:


In the 1950's, she met and married Dr. Donald P. Franks. Her son, David was born in 1956 and her twin boys, Dennis and Douglas were born at UCLA Medical Center in 1961. In 1971, the family moved to Oroville, CA, where she became very involved with the local theatrical and historical associations. In particular, she was a casting director for several Hollywood movies that were made in Oroville. Several local talents can be seen in the movies, "The Klansman", and "The Outlaw Josey Wales". She also went on to direct and star in several local theatrical productions, including Auntie Mame.

One of her favorite local organizations was the historical society that ran and funded the Lot House and the Chinese Temple. These historical structures were made in the early 1900's as part of the gold and railroad industry presence in the area. She worked hard to preserve this heritage.

Marilyn met a love of her life at age 73 in Chico CA. His name was Mack Hill. She adored Mack and they were married in 2000. Although Mack was called to God a short time later, they had many precious moments and her continued devotion and memories of Mack were always at hand.

Not only was she talented at helping organizations, she was also very athletic. She loved to swim, play tennis, snow ski (thanks mom for getting us started) and ride horses. She was an accomplished rider and took many 'Top Five' trophies in long distance endurance (50 & 100 mile) horse races. Through her love of travel (from China to India and Big Game Hunting in Africa), she taught her boys to travel and explore. She was an original, and whether you agreed with her or not, you were sure to experience her energy and resolve when she was 'on a mission'!

She was full of energy and life. She wrote books, was a self taught architect, a certified gemologist, and a published film critic. She taught her boys to dance (thanks Mom, great way to get the girls).

She always compared her life to that of the wonderful film character 'Auntie Mame' played by Rosalind Russell. A 'go-to-it' Gal that never took no for an answer. That was Marilyn. She was way ahead of her time and yes, She Was An Original.

And we all will remember her, and be thankful for all the good things she did for us and for being our Mom and friend.

Preceded in death by her mother, Beatrice; father, Lloyd; husband, Mack Hill, and the recent passing of her sister, Elizabeth.

Survived by her sons/wives, Dan Yordan, Dennis and Becky, Douglas and Paula, David and Diane Franks, and her grandchildren, Sean, Tyler, Nicholas, Alexia, Jordan and Madeline.

A Memorial will be held Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 11 a.m. at St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church, 228 Salem Street, Chico, California 95928.

In memoriam of Marilyn N Hill, donations can be sent to:

The National Fragile X Foundation, PO Box 37, Walnut Creek, CA 94597 or online at nationalfragilexfoundation.org
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Oct. 24, 2011
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