Today is the birthday of Renée Adorée (Jeanne de La Fonte, 1898-1933). She started out performing in French circuses with her parents at the age of five, migrated to theatre in young adulthood and made a couple of films in Britain before coming to Hollywood in 1921. Buster Keaton’s 1922 short Day Dreams was one her first American pictures. She was a major star of the silent and early sound era; her biggest film was King Vidor’s The Big Parade (1925). For Tod Browning, she appeared in The Blackbird (1926) and The Show (1927). He was in no fewer than nine films with John Gilbert. From 1921 to 1924 she was married to Tom Moore (Owen Moore’s brother). Adorée’s previous stage experience served her well during the sound period, although to bolster her rep in 1928 she did undertake a tour of big time vaudeville, Her last film was Call of the Flesh (1930), her fourth movie with Ramon Novarro; she died of TB shortly after its release.
Here she is in a portion of the carnival story The Spieler (1928) with Alan Hale and Clyde Cook:
To find out more about vaudeville past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss 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