In November 1931, at the age of nineteen, Marius married Mary Westwood Steel at Gretna Green, Scotland. They had eloped to Scotland as Marius was underage and his mother, Katie, tried strenuously to prevent their marriage - Mary was ten years his senior and pregnant with their child. Katie finally relented and gave her consent and they had a second marriage ceremony in a London register office in February 1932 (with Katie and his aunt Freda acting as witnesses). Marius's only child, a daughter Phyllida, was born a few weeks later in March 1932. The marriage did not succeed.
He became engaged in 1935 to ballet choreographer and designer, Susan 'Susy' Salaman, older sister of Merula Salaman Guinness, wife of Alec Guinness. Tragically, Susy contracted acute encephalitis in late 1935 and was left brain damaged. Marius wanted to go ahead with the wedding but Susy's father, Michel Salaman, would not allow it.
Marius first met Lucie Mannheim in late 1936. Lucie had been a principal actress in the Berlin Theatre but had to leave Germany when the Nazis came to power as she was Jewish. She had made her way to England in 1934 and soon established herself in films such as Alfred Hitchcock's 'The 39 Steps' (1935) and in a very successful production of Bruno Frank's 'Nina' which she had previously performed on the Berlin stage.
After the success of 'Nina' Lucie Mannheim was looking for a partner for her next play, 'The Unknown Girl' ('Girl Unknown') by Franz Molnar, and decided on a certain Marius Goring, whose photo in the theatre almanac 'Spotlight' she thought quite passable.
Lehnhardt, Rolf. Die Lucie-Mannheim-Story. [The Lucie Mannheim Story] (Remagen-Rolandseck, Verlag Rommerskirchen + Co., October 1973), 47.
By 1939 Marius and Lucie had formed a romantic and professional partnership, producing plays such as a revival of 'Nina' in which he co-starred with Lucie and also directed. In June 1941, he and Lucie, who was thirteen years his senior, were married. She worked with him in numerous stage productions after that and, notably, in seven episodes of 'The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel' (1955), one episode of which he wrote especially for her, as well as in several films such as 'So Little Time' (1952).
“The question must arise whether this was, like some other marriages at this time, a marriage of convenience, intended to give Mannheim British nationality, but it seems unlikely that was the main purpose. Goring had divorced his first wife in order to marry Mannheim and might well have married her earlier, if he had not been obliged to wait for his divorce to come through. It was not a short-lived marriage, lasting thirty-five years and ending only with Mannheim’s death in 1976, only after that did Goring marry for a third time.” 1.
After their marriage, Marius and Lucie were living at Cobham in Surrey, 20 miles south west of London but it was only 5 miles from the Vickers Aircraft Factory at Brooklands. The Luftwaffe had bombed the Vickers Factory buildings and extensively damaged the facilities on 4 September 1940. Nearly 90 aircraft workers were killed with at least 419 injured.
"Before the elementary horror of the war, which fell on London with the bombing raids and later with the bombardment with the V1 and V 2 rockets, Lucie Mannheim crept home like a terrified animal. She was simply unable to concentrate on any work; she admired her husband and his colleagues, who were meanwhile calmly playing Shakespeare's "Tempest" in London's Old Vic, like heroes. Later, on top of her own creature fear of the threat from the air, came the tormenting thought that people were in the old homeland and that her Berlin friends and relatives were no better off. With the move to a "quiet" country house twenty kilometres from the city, she went from bad to worse, because the Vickers aircraft works were nearby, a first rank magnet for German bombers, which in turn attracted the British interceptors. Only when their little house had a solid basement did Lucie's nerves solidify back to the point where she was capable of occupational therapy." Lehnhardt, Rolf. Die Lucie-Mannheim-Story. [The Lucie Mannheim Story] (Remagen-Rolandseck, Verlag Rommerskirchen + Co., October 1973), 48.
1. Dove, Richard. Foreign Parts: German and Austrian Actors on the British Stage 1933-1960. (Cambridge, New edition ed., vol. 15, Modern Humanities Research Association, 2017), 111.
A letter from Marius to Lucie dated 23 November 1944 ("Luchie"was Marius's pet name for her)