Dec. 22, 1937: Ted Healy’s death is reported in the Los Angeles Examiner.
Before we get into Healy’s last days, let’s take a look at some of the people who were involved in the story.
There’s Jack Marcus, his manager, and his sister, Marcia, both of whom were present when he died.
The most intriguing player in the drama, however, is his ex-wife, Betty Braun Healy, because she is the prime mover in raising suspicions about his death. Everyone else — Healy’s widow, his sister, his manager, police investigators, the coroner’s office and eventually Dist. Atty. Buron Fitts — insisted that Healy died of natural causes.
Only his ex-wife was adamant that there had been a cover-up, that people were being protected and that she was being blacklisted for not keeping quiet, provoking angry charges from Healy’s sister and widow that she was a glory seeker trying to capitalize on his death.
Let’s look first at Marcia Healy, who was born in 1904 as Marcia Elizabeth Nash and died in 1972 as Marcia Read.
Oct. 17, 1937: Marcia Healy attends Betty Hickman Healy’s baby shower. Also present are the wives of manager Jack Marcus and Shemp Howard.
Unfortunately, there’s very little in The Times about Marcia Healy aside from her comments on Healy’s death and speculation that a movie about Healy’s life might be in the works:
Jan. 24, 1938: Speculation on a movie about Ted Healy’s life.
She clearly had her hands full dealing with her brother:
Dec. 26, 1935: Ted Healy has night on the town. He is accused of starting a fire and by the way has a gunshot wound to his left hand. At least we learn that Marcia Healy is a radio writer and has a summer cottage at 141 Mabery Road [misspelled as Mayberry] in Santa Monica.
Mabery Road, Santa Monica, via Google’s Street view.
To be continued.