TOMMY MANVILLE (International Playboy)

Tommy Manville (Thomas Franklyn Manville) was born on April 9th, 1894. He was grandson of Johns Manville founder C.B. Manville and partial heir to the Johns Manville Abestos fortune. But actually, the stipulation for his share of the fortune is complicated… let me explain. He was a 20th century Manhattan socialite/celebrity type… kind of like Paris Hilton, only waaaay more rediculous and entertaing. He became filthy rich on account of the oversight of language in his grandfather, C.B. Manville’s will. The thing is that C.B. wrote in his will that Tommy (his grandson) was to recieve 1 million dollars upon his marraige, except he failed to make allowance for how many times this exchange could happen, meaning that every time Tommy got married he would recieve another payment. This crucial oversight propelled Tommy Manville into the ranks of legendary irresponsibility and 13 diffierent marraiges to 11 different women which landed him a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records. Tommy’s rediculous anitics and big bank account literally charmed the pants off of many notable women including (in chronological order) Florence Huber (11 years), Lois Arlene McCoin (5 years), Avonne Taylor (34 days), Marceelle Edwards (3 years) , Bonita Edwards (17 days) , Willhelmina Boze (2 months) , Macie Marie Ainsworth Ethinger Moran (7 hours and 45 minutes) Georgina Campbell, and Anita Manville. These are only 9 of Tommy’s 11 different wives and who knows how many mistresses. History remembers a few great quotes by Tommy including “She cried and the judge wiped her tears with my checkbook”. It was true, many of his ex-wives were pulling down huge settlements… his obituary that appeared in Time Magazine on October 20, 1967 repoted that he shelled out over 2,000,000 in alimony and lawyers fees. He became notorious and his ninth wife Anita even wrote a book called “The Wives and Lives of Tommy Manville” Despite being a skilled  marraige ruiner he seemed to have a hillarious and fun life, and from the photos that i’ve seen it looks like he took his many wives along for the ride. It seems he had a love for automobiles too, being the first person to ever own a Rolls Royce New York roadster in 1929. The whole story is totally hillarious, especially considering the fact that it was all at the expense of C.B. Manville and the fortune he built at the expense of so many peoples health and safety. Tommy died of a heart attack at age 73 on October 9th, 1967

When I meet a beautiful girl, the first thing I say is ‘will you marry me?’. The second thing I say is, ‘how do you do?'” — Tommy Manville


8 thoughts on “TOMMY MANVILLE (International Playboy)

  1. Pingback: One Last Thought on Tommy Manville « Manville, NJ … Revolution on the Millstone

  2. That’s my father’s William Edwards’ sister Bonnie (Bonita) Edwards in two of the pictures of the gallery as his wife – twice! She went on to co-own the Beverly Hills Hotel with her last husband Ben for some 35 years.

    Bill Edwards, Jr. Newport Beach, CA

    • Bill – I am working on the family of William Rufus Edwards only because of his brother Benjamin Kilbourne Edwards who md. to Marion Fillius who was a d/o John & Love (Daniels) Fillius.

      Would like to hear from you or a member of your family.


  3. The middle photo in the 4th row (Tommy sitting on the floor wearing white pants) shows him with Nina Pierson, who almost became his wife in 1937. They were lovers for a time. Nina was a Ziegfeld Girl and died unexpectedly in Paris in September 1938. She was my grandmother’s cousin. I would love to acquire a copy of that photograph, which I’ve seen only in photocopy. Can anyone help?

  4. Robert, This is Mike (that runs this blog) I can print you a physical copy on a pretty nice printer if that would help. If you want to personally email me at and send me your address I’d be happy to put it in the mail.

  5. You need a good copy editor who can correct your spelling! What you have to say loses impact because there are so many misspelled words! Sad!

  6. The Manville family also purchased (and lived) on a 150 acre estate in Pleasantville, NY, which fronted on the east along Bedford Rd / Rt 117. The road southern side (also Rt 117) of the estate was named after the family; Manville Road. The west end of the property edged Washngton Ave and the north Pierce Drive, named for Hanna Pierce, from whom they purchased the land from in 1908. While one of the two homes Tommy and Hiram built still stands today, it is the site of Foxwood Condos as well as several office buildings. Singer Corp. occupied the site in the recent past as well.

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