|Intro||American actress and dancer|
|Was||Actor Dancer Film actor|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Dancing Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||19 February 1906, New York, USA|
|Death||2 September 1983, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 77 years)|
Toni Lanier Mannix (born Camille Bernice Froomess; February 19, 1906 – September 2, 1983) was an American actress and dancer in early motion pictures filmed with soundtracks, known as "talkies". Going by the name Toni Lanier, she became known in Hollywood circles for her extramarital relationship with future husband MGM studio head Eddie Mannix, who was married at the time to Bernice Fitzmaurice. Following Fitzmaurice's death in 1937, Lanier moved in with Mannix, the couple later marrying in 1951. It was not long after her marriage to Mannix that she began a notorious affair with actor George Reeves, also in 1951.
Mannix was born Camille Bernice Froomess on February 19, 1906 in New York City. Her father, Charles, was a French immigrant, and her mother, Elizabeth, was a French Canadian Roman Catholic. The large family would ultimately include 11 children: seven boys and four girls. The children were raised in their mother's faith. Mannix's father was a department store window decorator in Rochester, New York, and her mother was a homemaker.
For a time, Mannix was a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl, and appeared in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer biography of Florenz Ziegfeld's life, The Great Ziegfeld (1936).
As Toni Lanier, the Ziegfeld dancer and actress met MGM's general manager Eddie Mannix in the 1930s. She later lived with him as his mistress, and then as his wife, until his death in 1963. Shortly after her marriage to Mannix in 1951 and shortly before the launch of George Reeves as star of the successful television series Adventures of Superman, Mannix met and began an affair with Reeves, with the acquiescence of her husband, according to Reeves' co-stars Noel Neill and Jack Larson. Reeves ended the affair in 1958 after meeting and starting a relationship with "B-girl" Leonore Lemmon in New York while he was travelling on business. His death by gunshot wound to the head five months later was officially ruled a suicide, although questions have been raised about the circumstances under which he died. Kashner and Schoenberger's partially fictionalized biography Hollywood Kryptonite states as unsourced fact that Mannix, via her husband's criminal connections, ordered Reeves murdered by a hit-man. This theory was endorsed by publicist Edward Lozzi, who stated in 1999 that he had witnessed Mannix's deathbed confession. Although the 2006 film Hollywoodland uses Eddie Mannix's complicity as one possible solution to the Reeves mystery, the film remains ambiguous about the truth behind his death. Mannix was devastated by Reeves' death and remained dedicated to him, reportedly building a shrine to him in her house.
Later years and death
Mannix, wealthy following the death of her husband in 1963, developed Alzheimer's disease when she was in her seventies. She died in 1983 in Beverly Hills at the age of 77, having neither remarried nor having had children. She interred next to husband Eddie Mannix at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Her crypt niche's memorial marker reads: "Camille Toni Mannix, 1906-1983, God Bless".