Today is the birthday of silent screen comedienne Dorothy Devore (Alma Inez Williams, 1899-1976). Originally from Texas, she moved with her family to the LA area when still in school. Her first show biz experience came from appearing in amateur revues and singing in vaudeville. In 1918, she began appearing in comedies with Eddie Lyons and Lee Moran at Universal’s “Joker” imprint. She then went over to Al Christie’s studio for the next five years. A brief stint in features at Warner Bros. in 1924 didn’t suit her taste (playing second fiddle to Rin Tin Tin) so she returned to two reel comedies at Educational through the end of the silent era.
To learn more about silent and slapstick comedy please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
To find out about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.