Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Tribute to Dorothy Devore

A Tribute to Dorothy Devore

Dorothy Devore was one of those silent film actresses that have been largely forgotten today even though she was a popular actress and comedienne in her time.

Born Anna Inez Williams in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 22, 1899, Dorothy Devore began her professional career as a singer at Al Levy’s Café in Los Angeles at the age of fourteen.

In 1918, Dorothy was signed to a contract by Al Christie, a major producer of light comedy. Dorothy was quite unusual for a light comedienne since she undertook a lot of physical comedy in her films.

“Hold Your Breath” (1924) was Dorothy’s favorite feature and it might be described as a feminist reaction to Harold Lloyd’s “Safety Last” (1924). Dorothy does not only crawl along an outside ledge on the third and fourth floors of the building, but she also climbs up higher on the façade and swings and hangs from a canopy several stories up. Dorothy also recalled that this monkey that was on wires would get excited and bite her.

Dorothy’s departure from the studio came one year before her marriage to businessman A. Wiley Mather in 1925. She signed a seven year contract with Warner Bros., starring first in “The Narrow Street” (1924), but she bought herself out of the contract rather than play a supporting role to Rin Tin Tin in “The Night Cry” (1926).

From 1927 to 1929, Dorothy had her own series, the Dorothy Devore Comedies, for Educational Pictures. She was also featured in some poverty role productions, but basically retired with the coming of sound films.

Dorothy Devore died on September 10, 1976, at the Motion Picture Country House. She was seventy-seven years old.


  1. She looks fascinating from the few clips I've watched. I don't know much about silent film so I may be wrong, but to me what she did looks revolutionary.

  2. Thank you, Silent for your wonderful post on the silent actress, DOROTHY DEVORE. I'm surprised that she isn't better known.

  3. Welcome, Film Flare. I'm glad that you stopped by.


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