Millicent Hearst

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Millicent Hearst, née Millicent Veronica Willson (July 16, 1882 – December 5, 1974), was the wife of media tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Willson was a vaudeville performer in New York City whom Hearst admired, and they married in 1903. The couple had five sons, but began to drift apart in the mid-1920s, when Millicent tired of her husband's longtime affair with the actress Marion Davies.


The daughter of George Willson and Hannah Murray Willson. Following in the footsteps of their father, a moderately successful vaudevillian, Millicent and her older sister Anita performed on the stage in 1897 as “bicycle girls” in Edward Rice’s The Girl from Paris at the Herald Square Theater on Broadway. The 16 year-old beauty caught the eye of the 34 year-old Hearst, a lonely bachelor and notorious stage-door Johnny at the time.

The couple’s first dates were chaperoned by her sister Anita. And after a lengthy courtship, on April 28, 1903, the controversial publisher and aspiring politician William Randolph Hearst, married 22 year-old Millicent Willson.

Millicent gave birth to five sons: Born just 5 days before the Hearsts' 1st wedding anniversary, George Randolph Hearst, born on April 23, 1904; William Randolph Hearst, Jr., born on January 27, 1908; John Randolph Hearst, born in 1910; and the twins, Randolph Apperson Hearst and David Whitmire (née Elbert Willson) Hearst, born on December 2, 1915. Phoebe Apperson Hearst, the very proper mother of...
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