The name Mel Odom is synonymous with Gene. Mel Odom, raised in North
Carolina, educated in Virginia and England, finally found home in New York. He started his career as an award-winning
illustrator and then followed his heart to design Gene. Mel's love of the glamorous and enchanting 'Golden
Age' of Hollywood, is truly reflected in all aspects of Gene and her wardrobe. In both quality and authentic
design, to Gene's porcelain-like finish of her skin, has made Gene a rival in the fashion doll industry.
Apart from the intricate detailing and alluring designs of the 1940's and 1950's,
Gene has intrigued fans with her very own "real life" story. Reminiscent of the tales of legendary screen
goddesses, Gene's story is told little by little with every doll and costume introduced, so that collectors can share an intimacy
with her. Let the legend begin!
Katie Marshall, born April 17, 1923, is the eldest of two daughters of Dr.
and Mrs. Edward Marshall. From the age of two, it was obvious that Katie was going to be an amazingly beautiful woman. Her
perfectly heart shaped face and vivid blue eyes made people melt with one glance. Even at this young age, there was an apparent
sophistication and maturity about her that could not go unnoticed.
From very early on, Katie was a very imaginative child who believed in fairies,
ghosts, and monsters under the bed. She would spend hours playing outside with the fairies, building little houses out of
twigs and leaving snacks for them before bedtime. Because of this overactive imagination, Katie was afraid of the dark, claiming
that the monsters under the bed were going to get her. Her father was always there to protect her, chasing away the monsters
and making everything alright again.
As Katie grew older, the movies became her new passion. From the first moment
she saw "Jazz Baby" Katie was hooked! She wanted to go see movies so much that her parents had to set a limit at two movies
per week. Katie would collect pictures of her favorite movie stars from magazines and wallpaper her room with them. She would
read about the lives of the movie stars and imagine herself as one of them.
In school, Katie would perform in plays
and was frequently asked to take the lead role. This was the result of both her looks and her talent as an actress. In third
grade, Katie played the roll of Cinderella and for days later, she remained in character. This tendency to live in a fantasy
life and believe in it occasionally worried her father, but her mother, Mrs. Marshall, encouraged Katie to follow her dreams,
no matter how fantastical they may be.
By the time Katie reached high school, her looks had bloomed even more. she
got many offers from boys to go out on dates, but she considered them basically immature compared with the leading men in
the movies. Katie was a very good student, especially in literature and science.
After graduating high school, Katie
longed to go to New York City. Her father wasn't really happy with the idea, but decided to let her go for 6 months. The daughter
of a family friend was going to be her roommate at the Barbizon Hotel for Women, so this eased Dr. Marshall's mind. Upon arriving
in New York City, Katie had an interview with the Chambers Model Agency, and with her looks, grace, and sophistication, she
was hired on the spot. During Katie's second week in town she read in the papers about a glamorous movie premiere the previous
night at the Regent Movie Palace. Hoping that another premiere would take place there, Katie went to the Regent Theater and
applied for a job as an usherette the next afternoon.
Much to Katie's delight, "Manhattan Nights" was set to premiere
at the Regent Movie Palace. She was thrilled to be a part of the glamour and excitement of a movie premiere. That night, Katie
led a tall, distinguished man to his seat in the darkened theatre. Her flashlight fleetingly revealed her lovely face to him.
This man was none other than producer Eric Von Sternberg. Astonished at her beauty and poise, Eric Von Sternberg declared
Katie his latest discovery and took her to Hollywood. Katie adopted her beloved grandfather's name, Gene, because
he had always urged her to follow her dream to Hollywood stardom, and Gene Marshall was born!
- Introducing Gene Marshall
- "Gene is a small-town girl with dreams of stardom who lands a job as an
usherette in a New York City movie theater. One night she leads a famous Hollywood producer to his seat. He takes
a close look at her lovely face, figure and her natural grace and poise...and 'a star is born'. Gene is
whisked off to Hollywood. The year is 1941.
- Fate steps in again when Gene's first small part in a film is expanded at the last moment
into a starring role. Overnight, she becomes a national sensation. From then on, Gene is a full-fledged
star with the glamorous life and the wardrobe to match. Gene attends gala premieres. Wins awards. Poses
for pin-ups for the boys overseas in W.W.II. A bit later in her career, she appears on live TV (in the early days of that
medium). She has love songs written for her. And designers the world over are clamoring to design fashions for her alone.
Through it all, Gene moves from one exciting movie role to another, playing a gangster's moll...a Victorian
governess...an unwitting jewel thief...a chic and savvy private eye...and much more. In one role, she's a curvaceous
blonde...and then, a gorgeous redhead or a stunning brunette.