Will recalls his childhood with Marilyn with bitterness as he says she was not supportive of him growing up. During one Christmas, she was so excited when Will asked for two G.I. Joes, because she thought he was building an Army, but was disturbed when she realized he was really "building a home".
Marilyn also used to play "The Vacuum Game" with Will where she would follow him around while vacuuming and reward him with a fudge brownie whenever he does it right.
Due to George's affair with Tina and Marilyn's affair with her yoga instructor Tim, they later decide to separate and eventually divorce. The two, however would start seeing each other again, with Tina and Marilyn openly sharing George behind Will's back. George eventually stops seeing Tina and rekindle his romance with Marilyn to Will's joy, but George suffers a heart attack and dies shortly afterwards.
Marilyn is portrayed as a typical WASP, keen on maintaining composure and appearances amidst family problems such as her husbands affair. She also tends to say racist and anti-Semitic remarks. It has been mentioned that Will is her favorite son and though she completely supports Will as an adult, she still resents gay jokes at Will's expense.
Through most of the series, she constantly puts up with her husband's affair with his mistress Tina.
- She doesn't like Les Misérables, because according to her, "in real life, the poor people never sing that much."
- For her performance as Marilyn, Blythe Danner has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2005 and 2006.
- Moveable Feast
- Cheatin' Trouble Blues
- Home Court Disadvantage
- Me and Mr. Jones
- Heart Like a Wheelchair
- I Never Cheered for My Father
- Christmas Break
- From Queer to Eternity
- A Little Christmas Queer
- Blanket Apology
- The Mourning Son
You mean it's possible to wear less than you're wearing right now? — I Never Cheered for my Father
Boy, time flies when the man you've been devoted to for 40 years says, "Stop calling, you're waking us up." — Home Court Disadvantage