Thanks to Kevin for the sad news that Michelle Triola Marvin passed away.
Ms. Marvin was one party in the law suit that established in California law the right of unmarried partners to sue for joint property on grounds that their partners had violated a relationship contract. Thirty years later, many courts recognize property rights for unmarried partners, but there is no consistent law on this. In 2000, the American Law Institute recommended that all de facto domestic partners should have property rights.
On the less wonky, more human side: It is really neat to learn that, although she became famous as a result of her six-year unmarried relationship with Lee Marvin, Michelle’s ultimate life partner was Dick Van Dyke. They were unmarried to eachother for 30 years! Our condolences to Mr. Van Dyke and their family.